Lindsay McCormick wants to make a low-waste lifestyle easy for everyone. In order to do so, she’s creating sustainable-yet-stylish personal care products under the name Bite — Because It’s The Earth. This direct-to-consumer daily care company took off like a rocket during the pandemic and continues to grow, with low-waste toothpaste and mouthwash “bits” (they look like mints) and a new deodorant.
Bite’s deodorant, in particular, feels like a brilliant idea that everyone missed. It features an aluminum case with refillable sticks in three scents — Neroli, Rose Vert, and Santal. It also solves a serious problem: the 15 million pounds of packaging that ends up in landfills yearly from products in this category. So it’s no surprise to learn that Mark Cuban tried to buy a 15% stake in the company on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2020.
“If you’re doing it right, the challenges don’t stop,” McCormick says of her blossoming business. “And they also don’t get easier, because you’re leveling up and you’re having new, just as hard, just as scary challenges.”
In 2017, McCormick started Bite in her living room, taking chemistry classes online at night, sourcing non-toxic ingredients, and purchasing several tablet pressing machines to create Bite’s natural, tubeless toothpaste bits while still working her day job as a TV producer. The problem she wanted to fix was staring her right in her face, as she constantly traveled for work on a plane, where TSA liquid rules don’t allow any personal care items over 3 oz. in a carry-on bag. The bigger issue, she soon realized, is the enormous amount of waste that plane-appropriate, travel-size items create.
“Pick a problem that you are fiercely dedicated to solving,” she says. “It will be astronomically harder than you ever thought, but that much more rewarding.”
For as long as she can remember, McCormick has been obsessed with all things sustainability and the environment. As a child, instead of asking for presents, she would ask her parents to adopt a specific animal from the World Wildlife Fund in her name. At just seven years old, she stopped eating meat after watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her parents agreed but made her commit to a scoop of peanut butter with every meal.
Growing up, McCormick admired her dad, who worked at the Washington Post, and her mom, who taught marketing to high schoolers. Shadowing the two of them, she came to revere the power of the media and cultivated a gift for storytelling. After college, she moved to LA’s Venice Beach, where she made videos for travel companies. Yearning to travel the world, she took her life savings, sold her car, and convinced a travel outfitter to fly her out to Alaska in exchange for promotional videos she would create while there. Ending up in Sweden, she kept on traveling, eventually to South East Asia. But watching the Superbowl from abroad in 2013, when Beyonce’s performance literally changed the world, McCormick knew she missed the high-intensity energy of being on set.
Aspiring to work on nature documentaries, McCormick returned to LA and scored a job as a TV show producer for HGTV and the Travel Channel, which took her all around the globe, living her dream. But she saw a problem that needed to be solved when she noticed the correlation between her career and the waste that it produced.
“It started with the question of ‘why did we do it this way?'” McCormick says of her initial idea. “Like people in general, how have we gotten to where we are with these products that exist? And if we redid it and just stripped this down to the studs and figured out how we could make this the most eco-friendly way and the most, you know, clean way — what would I put in it and how would I make it? That was the beginning of that thought.”
A long-time vegan, McCormick lives in SoCal with her boyfriend and Co-founder of Bite, Asher Hunt. In 2018 they had planned to leave LA, and live in their converted Sprinter van — selling Bite toothpaste bits in glass jars on the road. But when a promotional video went viral, the company’s sales soared and the duo decided to stay home and hit the gas on their shared business.
These days, McCormick manages 10 employees but still produces all of Bite’s videos, ads, and social content. She’s always sure to share the company’s selling points — sleek packaging, clean look, quality (vegan) ingredients — but she also hopes to send a bigger message about the importance of creating less trash.
“We were built on social media,” she says. “But we’re not just about being a toothpaste company. We are trying to get people to live a low-waste lifestyle.”
With leaders like McCormick and brands like Bite, that lifestyle finally feels viable for everyone.