Responsible soap making
One of the reasons I embarked on soap making was a continuation of my quest to make as many body care products as possible myself
- so as to know what substances I was applying to my body,
- and reduce the amount of packaging
Soap is the ideal form of body /hair/ hand wash as it requires no plastic packaging (unless you choose to, which unfortunately many people still do). It is pretty easy to go plastic free when packaging the end product, but what about the other end of soap making - the ingredients used for its production. This has been a far greater struggle. However after a time consuming process and one year into the business I think I can safely say I've found the best options.
I source my liquid vegetable oils from a local distributor (Produits - La Goutte d'Or (lagouttedor.com)) The oil comes in plastic pouches which they take back and refill. It might cost more than other suppliers but I'm not producing any packaging waste.
My solid oils (shea, cacao and coconut) I source from Baraka Handmade, Raw & Unrefined Shea & Cocoa Butter, Coconut & Palm Oil (barakasheabutter.com). Though I can't return their packaging it is minimal, and importantly I know that the oils are obtained from sustainable and fair trade sources. I quote their values, which reflect mine: "Baraka believes that business can and should be a force for good, integrating social value, business value, and environmental stewardship."
So this leads me onto my next concern - the origin of my ingredients. Ideally I would make soap with local oils, produced here in Quebec. Unfortunately it is impossible to make good soap with only sunflower, canola, hemp seed oils. A quality soap requires at least one saturated oil (mostly shea and coconut in my case) and olive oil. Sadly, these plants do not grow in our northern Quebec climate. I have no option but to source these from abroad, but at least I can make sure they are from responsible suppliers.
I have already touched on the thorny issue of essential oils and the environment in a previous blog article,. So the essential oils I use and all my other additives are Ecocert. This is a trusted certification which guarantees "environmentally friendly production and processing processes respecting also human health."
development of the concept of green chemicals
responsible use of natural resources
respect of biodiversity
absence of petrochemical ingredient ( except for authorized preservatives): parabens, phenoxyethanol, perfumes and synthetic colorants
absence of GMO