With #PlasticFreeJuly just around the corner, the team here at Little Soap HQ felt that there was no better time than now to talk about the work that we’re doing to make an impact in this area. We’re proud of our achievements so far and so thankful for your support and loyalty too- we couldn’t do this without you! So, this week we’re delighted to share an update on how Little Soap Company is making a difference and how you can get behind #PlasticFreeJuly too.
1. We’re making a difference with our packaging
Firstly, everyone can see that our bar soaps are only packaged in recycled, recyclable cardboard. That shiny surface on the outside of the box? Not a plastic film. Finding a biodegradable gloss finish gives the best of both worlds: sustainability AND beauty. Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean dull and plain!
This year, we’ve also moved away from using lined paper wrap on our Naturals range. This happened because we had SO many problems trying to keep this to a sustainable format. Dismayed to discover the paper on one batch mistakenly lined with plastic, it was time to completely rethink the packaging. We wanted to keep it all UK made, packaging too, it’s so important to us to keep Britain manufacturing. Now more so than ever. The background challenges and heartache we faced around this particular issue illustrate our commitment – and my personal commitment – to always taking the greenest path available to us, and continually reviewing our practices even if they perhaps commercially aren’t the easiest. These steps we’ve taken to help support #plasticfreejuly aims to reduce plastic waste each year.
2. We’re making a difference with our product options
We often get questions about why there are plastic bottles in the Organic range, and we know it’s perplexing to some people that we do this. I’ve always seen the bottled products as a way to win people over – if someone tries the Organic Liquid Hand Soap and likes it, then as they get to know us, they’ll dip their toe in the water and move over to the bar products. This approach has worked too, as bar soap by far makes up the majority of our sales – as in 90% of them.
Right now, what customers and supermarkets want is changing fast, and we could not be more delighted. We’re glad the demand for bar soap is rising as it means Little Soap Company can make bars even more dominant.
Our new range, Eco Warrior, is deliberately entirely plastic free. More than that– it’s product solutions for things that are usually supplied as liquids. It’s good to say that this year, we’ve been able to move to cease production of many of our bottled products, as customers shift their demand from plastic to bars. So rest assured – you might not feel that what you choose on your one weekly shop makes a difference, but supermarkets watch sales closely and putting it simply, they supply what people buy.
After a year in Asda we decided the focus was on bar soap and we have ceased production of the 4 liquid hand soaps. That’s many hundreds of thousands of bottles saved a year.
In Waitrose we’ve swapped out our Organic Liquid Shea Hand Soap with Eco Warrior Bars… the same with our Organic Peppermint and Lavender and Citrus – we stopped producing the liquids and turned them to bars too…
As for liquid products, great eco packaging solutions are not available right now. Not if we are to keep the products at the same price. Businesses are keenly looking for better solutions to come to market for us to use. These things take time; that’s the truth. The few liquids we do supply come in PET plastic which is by far the greenest option – these products are all concentrated so are by no means are the bottles single use, the reverse they will last double if not more than the life of cheaper, watered down variants. We trialled using recycled PET bottles but as we only fragrance with essential oils the integrity of the bottle wasn’t the same, the oils eroded them too quickly – and as you know, I am not prepared to cheapen our ingredients or use synthetic copies so we can use a thinner plastic. It’s chicken and egg. Pet is recyclable – it’s the best green choice on the market right now and I stand beside that. Why don’t we use glass? That’s already been covered in our past blog post here.
3. We’re making a difference with our availability
Our goal has always been to make pure, natural soap accessible to all. To my mind, there’s never been a time that it’s been more important. In the early days, my focus was on making sure that people could get organic, natural products that were much better for the skin than the majority of cheap, detergent-laden bars and liquids lining the shelves. It’s now the case that environmental conservation and action are a huge reason, too.
The rise in the understanding and awareness of the single use plastic crisis means that people want alternatives. But the reality is that not everyone can or will travel to niche health food and green living stores for their shopping. We need to reach people where they are. We need to make it easy. With our presence in the high street multiples, as the first ever organic and naturally derived bar of soap on the supermarket shelves, we have an unrivalled ability to get people easily and quickly on the path to a plastic free bathroom. The #PlasticFreeJuly campaign reports that 9 out of 10 people are now able to make changes that become habits for life and we are thrilled that we’re are assisting in this!
4. Get behind #PlasticFreeJuly.
You can get involved and make a difference too! Each time you choose a Little Soap product you’re increasing the demand for eco-friendly bar soap over plastic-laden alternatives. You’re helping us to become more widely available to more families and households, and you’re supporting a small business with a big heart. Thank you! Find out more about how you can be part of the solution here.