You’ve probably read articles and opinion pieces on the use of palm oil, and the fact that we should all be avoiding products which use it. So it might come as a surprise to learn that here at Little Soap Company we don’t actually avoid using it at all. And we have more than a few very good reasons too. We use sustainably produced palm oil, and we’d like to explain why.
What’s the problem with palm oil?
Palm oil is very widely used across the globe thanks to its cheap price and versatility. But the harvesting of palm oil has caused a lot of destruction- namely deforestation and community conflicts. Reports are aplenty when it comes to how the supply and demand of palm oil has destroyed environments, exploited farm workers and threatened the survival of many ecosystems and wildlife.
This has led to widespread boycotting of palm oil, with many initiatives urging us to give it up altogether – not an easy task, we might add, as palm oil is used in such a wide range of everyday products. Boycotting it completely is a huge challenge for many. But do we really need to boycott it? And what happens if we do?
The truth is, if we all agreed to never again buy products containing palm oil, we’d be putting some six million workers out of a job. These are people who already live in poverty and who rely on the palm oil industry to survive. Not only that, but a boycott would also mean that demand would grow for other vegetable oils instead, potentially leading to even more deforestation. A boycott could also lead to a drastic drop in the price of palm oil, causing a rise in demand in countries such as India and China, and prompting an increase in demand for its use in biofuels.
So boycotting really isn’t the answer – but sustainably produced palm oil is.
What is sustainably produced palm oil?
Palm oil itself is not bad; it’s an extremely versatile oil which has so many uses. But it’s the unsustainable production of it we need to be aware of. In contrast, sustainably produced palm oil has a much lower carbon footprint – 36% lower, in fact. It is possible to produce palm oil with as low an environmental impact as possible, minimising the threat to wildlife and upholding high standards of human rights. It’s the products which use this palm oil that we need to be buying.
Why choose sustainably produced palm oil?
When you choose to buy from brands that invest in sustainably produced palm oil, you’re doing so much more than just buying a product. You’re helping to protect against deforestation, protecting livelihoods, supporting decent living wages, and driving industry transformation.
Here at Little Soap, we choose to use sustainable palm oil because we’re passionate about – and fully committed to – our planet, and doing what we can to preserve it. We’ve done our research. We know that using carefully sourced oils from sustainable organic plantations, and in the case of palm oil from accredited organic, RSPO-certified sustainable plantations, is the right thing to do. This means that our soap is wholesome, rich, lathery, and organic – but we absolutely have not sacrificed the well-being of any forest or the workers who produce the oil.
Yes, it may have been easier for us to remove palm oil and to shout out loud and proud about the fact that we don’t use it at all… but we chose to educate ourselves instead. We consciously chose palm oil because we believe it to be an essential ingredient – and we chose sustainably produced because we believe in our planet.
The fact is that palm oil does not need forest conversion to be produced. It does not require deforestation at all. And so boycotting the entire industry is not the answer. Transformation is.
We’d love to see a world where all brands who use palm oil source it from sustainable producers. We’d love to see a world where the clearing of forests ends. We’d love to see a world where more companies around the world take the pledge to adopt zero-deforestation policies.
Here at Little Soap, we pledge to only use organic, certified sustainable palm oil in our products – so you know the palm oil we use has been produced without harming the orangutans and many other species who depend on the rainforests for survival. You also know that your purchase from us is helping to keep forest standing and wildlife safe- and that’s simply priceless.