Emma's Soap • Environmentally Friendly, Sustainable, Ethical Soap.
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Environmental Sustainable Statement Emma invited to apply & applicant of DEBI Devon Environmental Business Award 2010
Environmental sustainable statement...
No Palm Oil
Why Emma makes soap...
Emma's Charity Pledge
What others say...
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...
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Emma’s Soap Environmental Policy
Good truly honest green credentials

Honesty Policy
Emma’s Soap endeavours to ensure that every business decision made from manufacturing, waste, deliveries, are made with an environmentally sustainable conscience.
All products are from ethical sustainable sources, considering the World environment, animal welfare, workers rights and their health and safety from ingredients to packaging.

What/who is Emma’s Soap
A small soap manufacturer based in Britain, Emma's Soap is all hand made using ecological and natural oils, the finest grade, extra virgin, first pressing, Organic and unrefined. Nothing else is added, no petroleum or mineral oils, no artificial fragrances or colours no preservatives and No Palm Oil. Just a bar of soap made from oils and butters. Wrapped in Organic fair trade cotton, a reusable packaging. Emma's Soap is presented with zero to landfill waste as all the packaging can be reused, recycled or composted. And the soap is good for your skin too, shortlisted in the FreeFrom Skincare Awards 2016 and 2017 and Gift of the Year 2020.

The environmental benefits of using Emma’s Soap are:

  1. In the ingredients of the soap.
  2. In the packaging, it is recyclable, reusable and compostable.
  3. In the manufacturing base.
  4. In the waste policy both manufacturing and the end user the consumer.
  5. In transportation and delivery.

In the ingredients:
All oils and butters used in Emma’s Soap are from UK based suppliers, although regrettably most materials used are not grown in the UK. All oils are from a cold press process avoiding chemical base solvents for extraction purposes. Where possible oils and butters are organic and always unrefined (without bleach). Emma uses the beeswax from her own hives and that of a local small holder bee keeper, sustainable wax obtained by working in harmony with the bees.

Emma’s Policy is to ensure only the best grade of oil, butter and wax is used in the manufacturing of the soap, which out causing harm to the planet, giving the end user a high grade product that is truly natural, that you want to put on your skin.

Emma chooses to use extra virgin olive oil, which is a renewable product. 45/50% of her soap is made of the extra virgin olive oil because it is pure, full of anti-oxidants and vitamin E. The cosmetic industry tends to use olive pomace oil; this is not a pure product, as the extraction involves the use of high temperatures and petrochemical solvents such as hexane.

Emma imports her Extra Virgin Olive oil directly from the growers in Spain, she also imports her Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil direct from the growers in Sri Lanker

Oils purchased from UK  Supplier are:

Organic Cocoa Butter
Sweet Almond Oil
Unrefined Avocado Oil
Organic Jojoba Oil
Unrefined Shea Butter
Unrefined Rosehip Oil


In its packaging:
Emma’s Soap considered various methods of packaging her soap from paper to bio-degradable packaging.

Paper was a serious contender with many environmental sustainable options from FSC managed forests to recycled paper. However Emma was of the opinion that paper in its sustainable recycled format was a material already used extensively throughout her business in the form of letters, business cards, invoices, promotional posters, product information etc.

Research also showed that Paper can only be recycled so many times and needs a percentage of virgin paper to give it strength. The more paper is recycled the higher the percentage of virgin paper is needed.

Whilst recycling paper is by far superior to buying and using virgin only paper, one tonne of recycled paper is the equivalent of 17 mature trees! The energy  and subsequent pollution used to recycle paper is less than that required for virgin paper, 35% less water pollution is created and 75% less air pollution.

Recycling your paper should be second nature and buying only recycled paper should also be the choice.

Emma’s paper consumption:
Invoicing, letters, courier labels - Emma uses certified recycled paper - printed via a Brother printer which accepts the used toners for recycling.

Gift Boxes and laundry boxes - are made from 76% recycled card, 24% FSC sustainable sourced card.
Recycled Tissue Paper, acid free sourced in EU.
Paper tape - renewable kraft paper, water and solvent resistant, acid free.  It is suggested that the tape remain on the envelope or box for recycling, this way the paper has a chance of being reused up to 7 times.

Soap labels, marketing booklets, point of sale material are printed on FSC approved, recycled, ECF virgin fibre and acid free paper/card. Using vegetable based inks.

Emma Promotes:
Paper - Recycle - Compost - make a paper Fire Block
“Once you have finished with any of your vitally important correspondence and are sure you no longer need the contents, then we suggest you shred it, soak it and press into a paper brick. Then pop on the fire, keeping you warm with our compliments. If you'd like to know how to make paper bricks”, click here...


Biodegradable packaging was also a consideration in 2010 that was soon discarded when Emma, through research, learnt that much biodegradable packaging comes from sisal.  Furthermore areas of the Malaysian rainforest are being destroyed to provide farming ground, to grow the sisal.  Feeding the consumer demand for biodegradable packaging.

It's all about balance, as soon as we the consumer all switch to one idea, the demand increases and the sustainability ceases.
However I am pleased to say that Biodegradable packaging has developed much further now in 2020 with items made from Bamboo, sugarcane, cornstarch and wood pulp.

Emma uses cornstarch bags for all her laundry products. The cornstarch is made with Symphony Environmental's d2w oxo-biodegradable technology which ensures that at the end of their useful life, in the presence of Oxygen they will convert into biodegradable materials.

Emma uses cellulose/biofilm bags made in the UK,  for the ‘off cuts’, bath salts and laundry extras as well as her range of greetings cards.

After use the bag, which is approved to the UK Compost Home standard and for home composting can starts to break down within a few weeks (depending on the ambient temperature).
This material will biodegrade producing CO2 and H2O, these 2 compounds combined with sunlight convert into energy by plants in a process called photosynthesis. The resulting tree growth can then be used to produce more cellulose.  
The film spec states that, when being composted, it must biodegrade to a minimum of 90% within 6 months although in reality this can be achieved in less than 45 days with industrial composting. Home composting will be at a lower temperature and will take longer.


To use organic fair trade cotton fabric was an early ethical decision, not only does it present the soap beautifully; it allows the soap to breath as well as protecting the soap and it can also be re-used.  The fabric has become part of the labelling with each base oil allocated a colour and each essential oil combination allocated a pattern. Some of Emma’s Soap is wrapped in bamboo fabric.
Emma promotes her ‘reduce reuse recycle’ ideas on each bar of soap and at events where she exhibits she has examples - see waste policy.

Emma wraps the soap parchment paper before the fabric, this reduces the rate that the essentials oils in the soap evaporate giving the consumer all the benefits of the oils and scent. Most baking/ parchment papers are coated with Quilon, which contains heavy metals like chromium that can be toxic when incinerated. Emma has selected a paper that uses Silicone, derived from a natural element. It's a much more expensive process, but worth it for everyone. Equally important, the paper use no chlorine in its production, which means no chlorine is dumped into our lakes and streams.
Emma's Labels are printed on recycled card with vegetable ink. Both the label, raffia and parchment paper are biodegradable and can be popped on the compost heap. Therefore if using the correct disposal methods there should be no landfill waste from Emma's Soap.


In the manufacturing base:
Emma's Soap manufacturing premises is up-cycled repurposed shipping containers, lightweight, highly insulated, airtight buildings, requiring minimal heating, with natural ventilation, maximising solar gain.

Current electricity provider is Ecotricity, the site has PV panels feeding back to the grid. All light fittings for the manufacturing site are low energy.
The energy load is kept to a minimum through the extensive use of insulation whilst maximising efficiency of the production line.

All drying racks and soap storage containers have been salvaged, up-cycled and repurposed.


Waste Policy
Emma manages her manufacturing to minimise electricity use by efficiently integrating batches to harvest and reuse heat.

Emma tries to minimise waste with consideration to all materials. All cardboard is reused and recycled. Waste paper is made into paper bricks and then used as fuel.
Oil containers are reused, with drums being upscaled into water butts, plant pots and incinerators or recycled through appropriate waste stream.
Each base oil has its own decanting/pouring container to minimise washing up and water waste.

When mixed the soap is poured into a mould. Once it has formed a solid block, it is cut into loaves and then into bars, all the ends and misshapen bars are sold as ‘Off Cuts” or ‘Sud” standard bars.  All scraps and shavings are grated into soap flakes for Emma’s laundry Soap.

Minimal fabric waste occurs due to precision cutting for the soap bars and smaller guest soaps, any waste is used as fill packaging. Raffia ends are collected and also used as fill packaging.

Packaging received from suppliers is reused when sending out goods.

As a result Emma has very little if any landfill waste.

How much Landfill:
Unprocessed waste - shrink wrap from pallet deliveries, bottle tops, plastic bags that contain sodium hydroxide. These bags cannot be re-used for health and safety reasons.  This waste is disposed of via Devon Contact waste who have a zero to landfill policy where upon waste is incinerated to make electricity.

Waste policy
Suggestions for the Consumer:
Emma’s Soap is wrapped in Organic fair trade cotton and Organic Bamboo fabric

The consumer is suggested to re-use the fabric or return it, to compost the parchment paper, label, raffia or make a paper brick (link).

As stated on Emma’s Soap label:
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Ideas for reusing the packaging

  1. Collect the fabric squares and make a patch-work, bag, pillow or even a quilt.
  2. Use to top your home made Jam, Chutney & Pickles!
  3. Make clothes for your best loved doll or teddy!
  4. Use to wrap your soap when traveling.
  5. Return to Emma’s Soap to be reused and get 5p off next purchase.”

Emma has also created patterns for consumers to make bunting, dolly dress’s, bees wraps, door stops and shopping bags.

(Link: dollies dress pattern)
(lLink: bunting pattern)

Even the gift boxes have ideas for re-use, made from 76% recycled card, 24% FSC sustainable sourced card.

Just Think
Some of the ways you could reuse this box

  1. A small bed for teddy or dolly
  2. treasure/trinket box
  3. Recycle as a gift box for a friend
  4. A useful storage box spare buttons and fuses

All retail internet orders are dispatched through the postal service, in Jiffy Green bags which has 100% recycled paper fibre lining and is fully recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable. The envelope is sealed with compostable paper tape. Emma also supplies a re-use label that can be placed over the address, allowing the customer to give the envelope a second use.

Policy statement on Emma’s retail Web site regarding packaging:

You have purchased Emma's soap which is wrapped in Organic fair trade cotton, a reusable material. The soap is first wrapped in a quilon and chlorine free parchment paper, the label is printed in vegetable ink on recycled card attached with raffia. All these items are compostable.
Please re-use the Jiffy envelope a reusable label has been provided to cover the address, alternatively this can also be composted.
Gift boxes can be reused or recycled
Cellulose and cornstarch bags can be composted.
To complete Emma's zero to land fill policy, the outer casing that carries your product through the mailing/courier service has been reused, it could be a potato or apple box, even a shoe box, basically a sturdy clean box having a second life. Emma's Soap does not use single use plastic courier bags.


In transportation and delivery:
Emma endeavours to minimise the number of journeys made, with all deliveries made within existing routes and their timings;
When delivery is not environmentally and financially viable alternative
Courier and postal services are used.