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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A blend of natural oils to make nothing but soap, Emma’s Soap, handmade wrapped on Organic fair trade cotton.

The environmental benefits of using Emma’s Soap are:

  • In the ingredients of the soap.
  • In the packaging, it is recyclable and reusable.
  • In the health of the consumer.
  • In the manufacturing base, process and waste.
  • In transportation and delivery.

In the ingredients:

All oils and butters used in Emma’s Soap are from suppliers who import where possible from within Europe. All oils are from a cold press process avoiding chemical base solvents for extraction purposes. Where possible oils and butters are organic and or unrefined, Emma uses the beeswax from her own hives and that of a local bee keeper, ensuring only the best grade is used in the manufacturing of the soap, giving the end user a high grade product.

Emma chooses to use virgin olive oil, 95% renewable product. 45/50% of her soap is made with virgin olive oil because it is pure juice, 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 has designed a soap that does not use palm oil (sodium palmate) the crop is used for a myriad of purposes from an ingredient in food products to engine lubricants and a base for 99.9% of all cosmetic products. It is reported that 50% of all consumer products are made with palm oil, the US demand for this oil has tripled in the last 5 years.

Plantations now cover millions of hectares across Asia due to the crop's unparalleled productivity. Simply put, oil palm is the most productive oil seed in the world. A single hectare of oil palm may yield 5,000 kilograms of crude oil.

Emma discovered that as there is no Material Identity Card (MIC) scheme in place to trace the raw material of palm oil from its origins and through all the refining processes, it is impossible to know exactly which plantations the oil has originated from. The industries involved do not provide any tracking of the origin of palm oil, in most cases suppliers and purchasers do not know anything about the oils origin, questioning the certainty of sustainable palm oil.

Environmentalists believe the western consumers are directly fuelling the destruction of orangutan, Asian elephant, Sumatran tiger and rainforest rhino’s habitat as well as sensitive ecosystems and the destruction of communities living in the forest. The Indonesian rainforest is being decimated at an alarming rate, it is estimated that 98% by 2020 of the Indonesian rainforest will have been destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations. Indonesia is now the third biggest climate polluter in the world from its deforestation with approximately 20 square miles of rainforest being cut down every day. 95 % of Borneo rainforest has been destroyed to grow oil palm and Malaysia is following suit.

Emma’s Soap has pledged and adopted, Michelle an Orangutan, Matilda an Asian Elephant and Imogen a wild Sumatran Tiger. These animals are all suffering the effect of Oil Palm plantations

In its packaging:

Emma’s Soap considered various methods of packaging 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.

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

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.  Emma promotes her ‘reduce reuse recycle’ ideas on all her labels and at events where she exhibits examples:

Emma’s Soap is wrapped in Organic fair trade cotton

Reduce Reuse Recycle
Ideas for reusing the packaging

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

Emma wraps the soap parchment paper before the fabric, this reduces the rate that the essentials in the soap evaporate giving the consumer all the benefits of the oils and scent. Some 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 car 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 health of the consumer:

Emma, inspired by her daughter, wanted to avoid harsh chemicals on their skin such as Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS’s & SLR’s), petrolatum, synthetic colours and fragrances and more. Emma could not find a soap that was as the label described or portrayed; a soap that was environmentally sustainable, that performed, which naturally cleaned and moisturised the skin.

Emma believes the consumer will no longer need additional moisturisers such as hand cream body lotions, aftershave etc., making Emma’s Soap an environmentally affordable option accessible to all.

In the manufacturing base, process and waste:

Emma's Soap premises is a lightweight, highly insulated, airtight building, requiring minimal heating, with natural ventilation, maximising solar gain. Materials were sourced locally or through the internet and delivered through postal services. Current electricity provider is Ecotricity. All light fittings for the manufacturing site are low energy. After an environmental assessment use of onsite renewables was not practical as the manufacturing site is too small. The energy load is kept to a minimum through the extensive use of insulation.

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. Containers are returned to supplier for refills or recycled through appropriate waste stream. Each base oil has its own decanting / pouring container to minimise washing up and water waste, when washing of a container is necessary, the base oil (all bio-degradable) is saturated in recycled paper towel which is composted down resulting in fertilizer. Any soap shavings from the mould removal are re batched. All material is re-used and any off cuts of material are bundled and sold. Raffia ends are collected and used as packaging for the gift boxes. As a result Emma has very little landfill waste.

In transportation and delivery:

Emma endeavours to minimise the number of journeys made, with all deliveries made within existing routes and their timings; her vehicle is environmentally responsible. When delivery is not environmentally and financially viable alternative courier and postal services are used. Emma’s Soap manufacturing base is within walking distance of her home.