7 Brands That’ll Save You a Ton of Time


The online retail landscape is crowded, to say the least, and the fastest-growing category of the e-commerce population might just be the direct-to-consumer brand. It feels like every month, another company pops up out of nowhere, promising quality products—from furniture to food and everything else in-between—without the extra step (or markup) of a middleman.

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But for every truly innovative brand that hits the market, there’s a slew of copycats falling all over themselves trying to reinvent the wheel. To help you cut through the noise, we’re calling out the ones that’ll truly save you money and time. Some are the original disruptors that are still killing it, while others are newbies bringing something fresh to the table; each has created an easier and more convenient way for you to acquire the things you need on a daily basis.

Care/of

What:

Personalized packs of vitamins and supplements.

Why:

Knowing exactly what vitamins you should be taking (and remembering to take them) can be challenging. That’s why vitamin-delivery service Care/of was founded: to simplify—and personalize—the process.

Care/of makes recommendations for what to include in your personalized daily vitamin pack through a series of questions regarding your lifestyle (things like diet, exercise, sleep, and alcohol consumption) and goals (ie: de-stressing, energizing, prepping for pregnancy). Each recommendation comes with all the info you’d need to decide if their picks are right for you—such as an explanation on why each vitamin was suggested, study statistics, ingredient information, and cost per month.

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Once you’ve built your customized box, Care/of will start sending you a monthly supply of daily packs that you can delay, cancel, or modify at any time. And because the packaging is cute, you’re probably pretty likely to keep them front and center in your medicine cabinet (and actually reach for them every morning).

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Quip

What:

A toothbrush you’ll actually love, with brush head refills when you need them.

Why:

Dental care without the gimmicks is the basic premise of this oral hygiene startup, which focuses on encouraging gentle, more effective brushing. Quip started by designing a “better” electric toothbrush, meaning one that had just the right amount of sonic vibrations (not harsh or overpowering), a 30-second quadrant timer, and a travel-ready holder that suctions to bathroom surfaces.

Brushes start at $25. For an additional $5, you can opt for brush head refills, and for another $5, toothpaste refills delivered to your door every 3 months. Because how many of us actually replace our toothbrush heads when we’re supposed to?

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Hubble

What:

Your monthly supply of contact lenses.

Why:

According to this eyewear company, 95 percent of the contact lens market in the U.S. and Canada is controlled by just four large manufacturers, leaving wearers with few options (and often, gouging them with inflated prices). Hubble set out to change this by offering quality daily contact lenses at an affordable price, so consumers wouldn’t have to decide between overpaying or over-wearing.

For $33 a month, you’ll get a 30-day supply of lenses (the first shipment includes 15 pairs for free) and you can cancel or modify your subscription at any time. Hubble’s lenses are manufactured by St. Shine, an FDA-approved contact lens manufacturer with more than twenty years of experience. Bonus: All of the lens packs and boxes are 100 percent recyclable, so you’ll have good vision and good karma.

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Lola

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What:

Tampons, liners, condoms, lube, and more.

Why:

Started by two friends who became fixated on the lack of transparency in tampon ingredients, this feminine-care subscription service promises to have you covered “from your first period to your last hot flash (and beyond!).” Lola offers 100% organic tampons with either plastic or cardboard applicators, as well as pads and liners, all of which can be customized by absorbency, quantity, and frequency of delivery.

Cramp-soothing essential oils and multivitamins are also available, as is a thoughtfully designed first period kit. Lola recently expanded its mission to include sexual health (because, obviously), with condoms, personal lubricant, and cleansing wipes; there’s even a one-time purchase kit that includes all three, along with a guide to sexual wellness. That means you literally have no excuse to ever be caught unprepared again.

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The Farmers Dog

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What:

Pet food that’s customized for your pup.

Why:

Pet parents are savvier than ever, which means that for most, any old kibble from the grocery store isn’t going to cut it. We want our dogs to have the best and the healthiest food possible, without sacrificing the time (and nutritional expertise) it takes to home cook every meal. Enter: The Farmer’s Dog, a brand that delivers customized pet food, freshly-made from human-grade ingredients, straight to your home.

By answering a series of questions about your pet, you’ll get balanced recipe options tailored to your dog’s needs and the choice to order a full daily meal plan (at $31.30/week) or a topper plan to supplement an existing feeding regimen (at $18.20/week). Every pack is pre-portioned and ready to serve, and nothing is frozen or needs to be cooked.

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The Sill

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What:

Plants, with some help on how to keep them alive.

Why:

Founded on the idea that there’s no such thing as a green thumb, The Sill aims to make people happier, healthier, and more creative by delivering the benefits of indoor houseplants (clean air, for one) right to their doors. Every plant from this “growing” brand (get it?) comes with simple care instructions, a money-back guarantee, and access to a team of experts to answer any and all questions.

The site makes it super easy to shop the right greenery for you, with categories like “Best for Beginners” and “Pet-Friendly,” and products listed with their requirements for brightness, sun exposure, humidity, and water. They even offer weekly workshops (online and in their New York City stores) to take your plant parenting skills to the next level.

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Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway Unlimited

What:

A rotating wardrobe resfresh.

Why:

Because life is more than dressing up for weddings, this OG fashion disruptor upped its own ante a few years ago with Rent the Runway Unlimited, a service that refreshes your closet on a regular basis.

As opposed to its original one-time rental model, RTR Unlimited gives you the option of four rentals at a time, including anything from accessories to sportswear to, yes, special-occasion wear, with unlimited swaps whenever you want, for a monthly fee of $159. That includes free 2-day shipping both ways, as well as perks like 25 percent off all 4-day Reserve rentals and a members-only discount to buy what you borrowed if you just can’t bear to part with it.

There’s also the added bonuses of getting to try new trends and designers, all while reducing your carbon footprint. So chic.

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