Here at Little Soap HQ we’re constantly reminded of just how far this little company has come! We’re immensely proud of all that we’ve achieved, and in the fact that vision we share is becoming a reality in so many homes. Recently I was interviewed by The Simple Things Magazine so we thought it would be a nice idea to share the Q&A with you guys, our loyal readers. With almost eleven years under our belts, we’re shouting loud and proud!
A little about the magazine…
“The Simple Things is published monthly in print and digitally and is all about taking time to live well.
We celebrate slowing down, enjoying what you have and making the most of where you live. We like to share good food with friends and family, grow some of our own vegetables, visit local markets, rummage for vintage finds, and decorate our home with the plunder. We love being outdoors, microadventures, forgotten wisdom and the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.
And we like to think that the small things we do will make a difference in the long run – whether that’s making, upcycling, growing, cooking, escaping or relaxing. “
The business celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2018. It’s been a whirlwind decade. How did Little Soap Company begin?
My Granny loved natural soap. After she died, I couldn’t find “Granny’s soap” anywhere. Realising you couldn’t get natural, let alone organic, soap on the supermarket shelf, I wanted to change that. I learnt how to make it, for family and friends, and made far too much. I got the recipes certified, plus insurance, so that I could sell the excess at farmers’ markets.
Six months later I got it into eight local Waitrose stores, then Tesco asked me to supply them regionally. I went national in Waitrose six months later. From there we were stocked nationwide in all the other major retailers. I haven’t looked back.
What makes your soap different?
We were the first organic soap bar to hit all the supermarkets. The counter has changed a lot in the past decade, and we are slowly being joined by other similar brands. I want pure, natural soaps to be the norm not the niche! Lots of people just didn’t know the difference between pure, natural vegetable oil soap and the cheap detergent-laden bars so readily available. So we’ve always, always been about making a superb natural product you can get hold of easily.
Anything you’re especially proud of?
We’ve always been transparent about our ingredients and process. We only use pure, essential oil blends to fragrance, we don’t use any synthetics whatsoever. It’s really important to me that we are doing things in the best possible way for the environment, our skin and nature. We were so proud to achieve the Leaping Bunny cruelty free accreditation, as well as Vegan Society and RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm) membership.
Tell us more about the palm oil issue…
We’ve used RSPO sustainable palm oil from day one. We only work with sustainable palm producers and our supply chain is heavily audited to prove this. It’s so important to me. I actually met my wife through ape conservation work and having a debate about palm oil, so suffice to say conservation runs through our veins! I believe sustainably produced palm needs to be backed by producers and championed as the solution. Boycotting palm isn’t the answer, it merely shifts the problem to other, equally damaging crops that can require greater land area for the same yield.
Who is Little Soap Company for?
Everyone, ideally! We believe pure, natural soap should be available to all and that’s why we’ve just created a naturals range for Asda – made with the same ethos as our organic range, only not using certified organic oils, which brings the price down. We’ve got a reputation for being great for people with sensitive skin as we do various unperfumed lines.
What does the future hold?
We’ve got new lines and brands bubbling away, including a new range commissioned by Sainsbury’s of functional bar soaps (including face, body, shaving, exfoliating and shampoo bars). These will be launched in late September and will be the first of their kind lining the supermarket shelves. It’s important to be ahead of the curve in terms of new products. This part excites me the most!
Any little-known gems to share?
Well, not many people realise that we do a pet range that really helps animals with dry or sensitive skin. It works on all our furry friends, too!