The double edged razor and lathering with a brush both evolved in eras when Western society did not have the material riches that it “enjoys” today. So they are not greedy of resources, make little demands of the environment and have the lowest possible impact upon it.
Let’s start with the razor. I regularly use a fat handled Gillette Tech from the 1930s, it is over 70 years old and is still perfect. Its life is virtually indefinite with a replate every 50 to 100 years to keep it going. Compare that with plastic and metal “system” razors that are built with planned obsolescence. They put you on a treadmill of constantly retiring your old razor in favour of new models with more “features”. You can try to hold out, but when they switch off blade manufacture you are left with no option.
Next the blades. System razors use cartridges that contain many different components and so which are difficult to recycle. Traditional double edged blades are pure stainless steel. I put my used blades in an Altoids mint tin and once a year take it to the recycling centre from whence the steel can go to make new razor blades. And there is more, most DE blades come in simple paper and cardboard packaging which is easily biodegradable, but system razor cartridges come in masses of packaging, most of which is plastics.
The big shaving companies like you to use aerosol cans of foam or gel, once again these don’t recycle very easily. Not only that they contain petrochemicals, manufactured by the oil industry, which is not the kindest contributor to our environment. Compare and contrast that with shaving soaps made from natural oils and which use the minimum of packaging. Some of these are are made by artisan soap makers with the highest ethical standards. The contrast with the aerosols could not be greater.
And finally we have something that system shaving lacks. The shaving brush. These mainly use natural animal hair and a good badger brush has a life of up to 30 years. After that all you need to do is replace the hair. The life of the handle is virtually infinite.
So real shaving isn’t just far more enjoyable, it also helps to save the planet.