I think it is time to begin writing about Packaging, Labels and Certification, as they are an essential part of soap and skincare products. All three serve important purposes, but unfortunately they have become big business. I would love to be able to sell our products simply without any sort of packaging whatsoever, keeping down cost and waste. I even imagine a world where you go to the shop or supermarket with your basket and fill up your own containers you bring… how we could cut down on just about everything, how brilliant it would be for the environment! For now, packaging is a necessary and required part of our products.
From a practical point of view, soap should be protected or covered. In our early soap packaging, we kept it open at the sides but found that leaving areas exposed affected both colour and scent, and we also wanted it protected from handling. Not fans at ALL of plastic, we ruled that out. We began packaging in paper, hand wrapping each and every bar, which became too tedious as our soap quantities increased, so we brainstormed solutions based on our core values. It had to be simplified so that we could enjoy packaging again, natural, support the local economy and environmentally friendly…. We came up with a cloth bag!! Simple for us to package. Natural cloth purchased from our local market. Sewn by a local seamstress. Stamped with our logo by a local t-shirt company. Bag tag printed locally. And as for the environment? We expect people to reuse these bags!
As for the rest of our products, we use glass and skin-care safe aluminum tins. The tins are lightweight for carrying and for shipping. They are not plastic, which we avoid as much as possible. They protect and conserve the product well and they are recyclable. Glass is my favourite however it adds weight, protects the product less from sunlight and for bathroom products, breakage can be dangerous. We use tinted glass for some of the smaller products.
So, basically, and offers protection from light, and other environmental factors like humidity and temperatures.
When purchasing skincare products, I encourage people to choose products packaged in keeping with their own values.
I will continue in another post about Labelling in skincare as it is very important to be able to understand what goes into your product.