When I first spotted Public Goods, I was immediately hooked on its minimalist design and assortment of everything from pantry staples to personal care products (including a solid Aesop hand soap dupe). But do the products actually work as well as they look? A few months ago, I finally invested in a membership and got to test out the products firsthand. Here's everything you need to know about Public Goods.
(While I bought the membership and select products myself, I also received samples of the Original Ramen, Dish Soap, and Shower Essentials from the brand. All of the following thoughts and opinions expressed below are my own and are not influenced by Public Goods, in any way.)
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What is Public Goods?
Public Goods is a DTC, membership-based brand stocked with over 300 essentials, including personal care, household, grocery, wellness, and pet care products. Paired with sleek and minimal packaging, its products are eco-friendly and affordable compared to big-name brands.
"Our members get access to products at wholesale prices," Morgan Hirsh, co-founder and CEO at Public Goods, tells Hunker. "Similar to Costco, from a business model perspective, our product margins are two to four times lower than competitor brands, meaning better value for our members."
And on top of the prices, the brand has been committed to sustainability from the get-go. From its first personal care products made with sugarcane-based plastics to biodegradable tree-free toilet paper and toothbrushes made with bamboo, Public Goods' product development team "works to source, design, and in some cases re-design, the most eco-friendly products possible," Hirsch says.
What does the Public Goods membership include?
According to the Public Goods site, it uses the membership model to offer its products at the lowest prices possible as it ethically sources from vendors that are "good for you, good for your wallet, and good for the planet."
If you're new to Public Goods, you can test out the brand with a free two-week trial. After that, it's $79 per year to get access to its lineup of products and free shipping on orders of $45 or more.
What are the pros of Public Goods?
There are so many things that I love about Public Goods, including its product selection, packaging, sustainability, and transparency.
Product Selection: If you find yourself getting major cases of decision fatigue when shopping online or in-store, Public Goods is something to consider. It has a solid selection of items narrowed down to the best of the best, so there are limited options for each product.
Packaging: Public Goods' design is what immediately caught my attention before even testing the products. It's minimal, chic, and can look amazing in every room in your home. The bottles aren't eyesores, so you'll actually want to leave them out and not tuck them away into cabinets or shelves.
Sustainability: In addition to using eco-friendly design and materials, Public Goods also plants a tree for every order placed in partnership with the nonprofit Eden Reforestation Project.
Transparency: For every product on the site, Public Goods shows a breakdown of what's in it, what's not in it, where it's made, and the full ingredient list. And for an easy way to shop based on dietary restrictions or preferences, the brand has categories for products that are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan friendly, and tree free.
What are the cons of Public Goods?
If there's any setback to Public Goods, it's the annual membership fee of $79 per year (or around $6.58 per month). While I plan on keeping my membership because I love the brand's products, it might not be financially accessible to some.
Is Public Goods worth it?
As a shopping editor, three things I look for in brands are quality materials, great design, and quick shipping, and Public Goods checks off all those boxes. It's also perfect for shoppers who can get overwhelmed with too many options, like sticking to the basics, and want to stock up on high-quality, eco-friendly essentials without having to leave the house.
Planning on trying Public Goods yourself? Use code HUNKER25 at checkout for 25% off your first purchase.
My Top Picks
I was the most excited to try out the ramen, and it's hands down my favorite pick from the site. My favorites are Original and Spicy Sesame Oil, perfect for low-lift lunches or dinners.
The candles were my second-favorite pick, not only because I love candles in general, but also because I couldn't wait to upcycle the packaging. With bamboo lids and clear containers, the candles look just like the chic food storage containers you've probably seen in pantry makeovers. The 3.5-ounce options are great to reuse for spices or Q-tips and you can use the larger 12.3-ounce candles for snacks.
I wasn't sure what to expect with the mushroom soup, but I was pleasantly surprised and couldn't wait to order another batch. Just like the ramen, the soup is great for quick meals that also taste savory and amazing.
The set includes body wash, hand soap, and shampoo, all of which have a refreshing mandarin scent that smells similar to the luxury brand Aesop.
Since I knew the hand soap was a bestseller and an Aesop dupe, I got a refill pack in my first order. The refills are perfect for anyone who already has a reusable soap dispenser but still wants a luxury hand soap scent.
Somehow, I never have enough food storage, so I was excited to see that the brand added two size options to its collection when I first got my Public Goods membership. This set is dishwasher and oven safe with glass tops, making them easy to clean. However, I want to note that due to the round piece in the center of the top, they don't stack perfectly on top of each other.
A nice switch up from my usual dish soap, I love the mandarin basil scent that makes washing the dishes slightly more enjoyable.