Interview with Dave… The Vegan Card and NEW D & T Brand
You may know Dave from his previous project The Vegan Card which entitles card holders to a discount at various vegan-friendly establishments around the country. Dave’s latest project however has led him to create his own line of organic products for men. D and T offers a variety of beard care, hair care and skin care products that are made all by hand and are ethical and sustainable in their very nature.
Read more about Dave and his new line of work below…
What inspired you to create your new business?
Simply put my beard…ha ha, clearly! Actually it was pretty funny, a couple of years ago I had been growing my beard for about a year and thought ‘oh well, why not shave it.’ Oh man, I felt so depressed! I vowed to myself to grow it back and never shave again!
Hence I started getting my girth back, and for the first time in about 15 years I actually went to a barber. I had been coping a bit of a hard time with my beard and the barber was awesome. He created a great nurturing feeling. It was just awesome to speak to someone that had the same passion.
Looking back on it, I would think that this drove me into creating a passionate product that the boys liked. I wanted to bring this nurturing feeling through my handcrafted range.
Did the Vegan Card lead you to your new project in any way?
Maybe. It is always hard to quantify this. However, the business relationships I had gathered during that time probably helped launch the product.
Do you find that vegans and non-vegans alike are all enjoying your new products- are you trying to make them ‘mainstream’ or appeal more to your target demographic?
The new products are a pretty big hit, currently I am running out of raw ingredients and waiting for deliveries so I can make more. It is very cool!
I don’t think I consciously made the choice to exclude the word vegan on the range, however it is just worked out that way. I wanted everyone to enjoy the product, and not just include or exclude a segment of the market. Primarily due to the fact that the products are awesome and we want everyone to LOVE them!
Why do you love the products yourself?
Ohh, for so many reasons. The initial concept came about because I have very sensitive skin. Even before having a beard, I would very rarely shave.
In all my time I tried everything to help soothe and ease itchiness or dryness. It took me about 20 years to bring this range together and used all my experience to help bring this together.
Honestly, I don’t really get it. Why do other companies include alcohol, chemicals and petro-chemicals into their range. I mean, I guess it is due to them keep there operating costs low, but at what cost.
I actually had a burning sensation on my neck recently, and I just randomly used some aloe gel I was gifted. As soon as I put it on I knew it had alcohol in it and it burnt my skin even more.
Not D+T range, the stuff is wicked and the boys (and girls) will love it.
How important is organic to you and your lifestyle?
Wow, it is really important. My partner was diagnosed with cancer about 5 years ago. We did heaps of research and we found just how damaging all the chemicals that are sprayed on our food is to our bodies.
No different to what boys put on there skin. On average guys put 85 different chemicals on there skin every single day. That is just crazy.
D+T range is totally organic, and there is just no need for it.
Do you feel people are becoming more conscious consumers?
Yep, definitely. To be honest girls are a lot more open. However, in saying this, the boys are totally coming around. They may have an initial wall up, but it takes nothing to break it down and then they love it.
It was pretty funny. We launched the product in Melbourne at World Vegan Day, and we had a heap of girls drag their boys over to us saying ‘you have to fix that beard’. They were a little hesitant, but once we were playing with our beards together they were loving.
D and T Products- http://dandt.com.au
The Vegan Card- http://www.myvegancard.com.au