I started making soap after suffering from overly sensitive skin, as did some of the people around me. Spending money on products that irritated and inflamed my skin was frustrating and costly. I have always valued good health, our environment and natural organic foods as well as truth and fairness.
We have chosen to live low cost in a small house, growing our vegetables, working from home in a purpose built studio made from recycled materials, using solar power and rain water and generally working towards a self sufficient lifestyle whilst reducing our impact on the environment.
We have been established for 3 years and are regulars at Markets in the area. We enjoy the personal contact, feedback, bartering and bargain hunting that markets encourage. We buy local and get to know where our products are from, the growers or crafts person and how they are produced.
When buying a product I believe everything in it should be listed and not omitted, not called by another name (eg Palm oil is often labelled vegetable oil) and not full of wild claims. A LONG-STANDING proposal to require all health claims on packaged food and beauty products to be substantiated before they go on the market has been derailed by the billion-dollar grocery industry, which is proposing that it be allowed to sell first, prove later. We need a Truth in labeling bill to be passed.
I have priced my products fairly so they can be an affordable indulgence, which is 100% natural and 100% bio degradeable. We never use palm oil for environmental and humane reasons and sponsor an Orangutan through Borneo Orangutan Survival, named Dodo.
Our packaging I designed and had made from 100% post consumer waste so that it can be reused. Our glass bottles, I offer a 50c refund, so they can also be reused. At the markets we sell all of our soaps with out packaging and use only recyclable brown paper bags. My commitment this year was not to accept one plastic bag. I have been caught out at the shop and have ran several trips to the car with my items in my arms.... that will remind me to have some of my green bags handy!
Scrumpy Soap Co soaps are made by hand in small 4kg batches. We use only local Australian extra virgin olive oil which makes up 80% of the soap. To get a great lather we add coconut oil and the castor oil acts as a fantastic emollient. It is the right combination of these oils that produces a mild and gentle soap bar. Our method also retains all the glycerine. Commercial soap (usually made of palm oil as it is a third of the price of olive oil) is boiled and the glycerine removed to sell as a byproduct leaving you with basically a detergent bar. Then of course the artificial hardeners, latherers, soap scum inhibitors, artificial colours and fragrances, parabens, sodium Lauryel sulphates etc...are added. How else could you unwrap your soap after years on the shelf with the fragrance still intact and the bright pink, not faded??
Scrumpy Soap Co use only natural clays, botanical, fruits, herbs, honey, local un pasturised goats milk and even sustainable bamboo charcoal for colour. The majority of our soaps are made only with essential oils that are either extracted from the plant by the cold processed method or distilled, making our soaps 100% natural. All our soaps are hand cut so if you get to the market early you get to pick the biggest ones!!
We grow most of the herbs ourselves and all are spray free, that we add to our soaps. These include, Comfrey, Mint (several varieties) Aloe Vera, Calendula flowers, Rosemary and Lavender. Other herbs such as our green tea, we will always try to source from local suppliers of the organic variety.
Gardening is something we really enjoy and living in a small house on a large block is more than ample to grow many varieties of Fruits, herbs, vegetables and bird and bee loving plants. I make an Aloe Vera and cucumber soap in summer that has our own home grown cucumber and I extract the Aloe Vera gel from the plant myself an add this directly to the soap. It just doesn't get more natural than that. Needless to say we are not looking to be a HUGE business, just enough to sustain us and keep me busy, but not time poor, so that I can continue to enjoy creating great products for people who really appreciate and understand our philosophy. Keeping a balance and learning to say no in our small business is important as do not want to compromise the quality of our product..
As we value health, we enjoy keeping fit. So we often run through the bush along the Mundabiddi trails near our home where fantastic wild orchids grow at this time of year. I am currently training for a long distance 10km swim so this takes a bit of time for training. Then there is making all our meals from scratch, gardening, dog walking, reading etc.... Like everyone you can get very busy quickly and we want to keep life balanced.