In my first year of university, my flatmate gave me a piece of advice I still carry with me to this day. “Never scrimp on meat, or toilet paper,” she said as I picked up a bumper pack of bog-standard loo roll in our local Asda. When I questioned her on the latter, she looked at me blankly and said, “It’s your bum”. With those three words, I swapped my selection for Andrex Supreme Quilts and have never looked back.
You’d think, therefore, I would be a fan of the £33 toilet roll being sold on Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellbeing website Goop, perhaps being the ultimate loo paper splurge. Admittedly, it ticks all the boxes. It’s sustainable, being made entirely from bamboo. It has a ‘chic dark floral packaging’ and is ‘toilet roll with a conscience’ (Goop’s words, not mine). It’s ‘clog-safe’ and ‘septic-safe’ (what does this even mean? Is normal toilet paper septic? Send help). No.2, as it’s imaginatively named, is available in a pack of 24, meaning that each roll will set you back £1.38. Given that you can get nine rolls of toilet paper in UK supermarkets for around £3, Gwyn’s No.2 weighs in at almost four times more expensive than the average.
Goop isn’t the only supplier of sustainable loo roll, though. On the contrary, there seems to be a trend for the stuff, with brands like Bumboo, Who Gives A Crap and Cheeky Panda all providing bamboo alternatives to conventional loo paper, albeit for slightly less money than Goop’s No.2 (Who Gives A Crap offers 48 bamboo loo rolls for £36 and Bumboo offer 48 for £40).
While I’m yet to be able to justify spending £1.38 on one loo roll (much to the dismay of my old flat mate I’m sure), I’m always supportive of environmentally-friendly innovations, and if the general trend seems to be towards a tree-free alternative to traditional toilet paper, which also looks pretty and feels soft, then I’m not going to poo-poo it.