Is your shampoo hurting your head?

business, ethics, shampoo, Skin, Uncategorized

Healthy Hair-Something that so many of us put so much time and money into maintaining- can sometimes come completely unravelled just by using shampoo! It seems crazy that we are constantly told that the products designed to ‘nourish’, ‘bring back to life’ and ‘rejuvenate’ our hair, are very harsh chemicals that in reality can actually just strip the goodness away!

 The best thing you can do for healthy hair is understand what is really in the products you are using and shift the focus to your scalp! Because hair growth comes from the follicle, keeping you scalp happy and healthy is a fantastic way to get the growth you want and maintain the health of your hair.

Here at the ANSC we are strong advocates of ethical and informed consumerism and we love to brag about all the amazing natural ingredients we use and how they are fantastic for your skin and hair. Some companies out there can be really misleading and employ ‘greenwashing’ tactics (ironic, I know) to make you think the products we buy are good for our health, as well as the health of the environment. The best way to wise up to ‘greenwashing’ is to simply read the ingredients of the products you choose to use on our body. One of the biggest red flags out there is the inclusion of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS). This nasty chemical is not only used to create a synthetic lather, but it is also used as a ‘filler’ ingredient in so many soaps and shampoos. Which means less beneficial ingredients for your $.  

 What is SLS you ask? SLS is a detergent and surfuctant which essentially means that it breaks surface tension and separates molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair. This in turn creates a lather which makes products like shampoo and toothpaste more effective cleaners. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is so effective and so inexpensive is that it’s found in a number of industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser and industrial strength detergents. It’s also widely used as a skin irritant when testing products used to heal skin conditions.

So it seems very counterintuitive that so many of us have been using products to repair our hair and scalps that have actually been creating a vicious cycle of damage. Absolutely crazy really! But the great news is that we have developed some amazing hair and skin products that use ingredients that are the complete opposite to SLS: truly natural!

 Our original Solid Shampoo is one of the products we are most proud of. Being a solid bar of shampoo that is plant oil based, it does not need the addition of any synthetic chemicals or preservatives to extent its shelf life The oils are already doing all the hard work! . (also no ‘filler’ ingredients here). We have a lot of people ask if it will actually lather, and boy-oh-boy does it ever. Because coconut oil is used as one of the base oils, The Original Solid Shampoo has one of the creamiest lathers around. All you need to do is rub the bar on you scalp and watch the magic unfold.

 In addition to the coconut oil you are also getting all the intense nourishment of sweet almond, grapeseed and olive oil. These three oils are fantastic for smoothing out your strands as they contain amazing amounts of vitamin E. Combine this with Petitgrain essential oil to help maintain the moisture and oil balance of the scalp, Patchouli essential oil which stimulates contractions in nerves and skin preventing hair loss and mandarin essential oil which promotes the growth of new cells and tissues, helping you get the growth you have always wanted.

 Best of all because the solid bar contains no nasties, it is completely biodegradable! So when you are on that once in a life time trip, in the middle of a rainforest with no bathroom in sight, you can wash your hair in fresh water without harming the environment around you! It is also fantastic in chuck in you beach bag or gym bag because despite being a ‘shampoo formula’ you can use the bar on your body also! It truly is the ultimate travel companion. Pick some up here and give it a try today!   

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Mother’s Day

business, donations, ethics, Uncategorized

The point of this day can get a bit lost in the fluff of flowers & chocolates, but deep down it’s not just another hallmark holiday; it’s a chance to celebrate and empower women.

It’s an acknowledgment of the strength it takes to raise a family (or the choice not to), build a valuable career, pursue unique dreams or to live any particular way of life as a woman in this world which still struggles widely with issues of equality. As a small business run almost entirely by women, we value the importance of encouragement and support for each other. Not everyone does things the same way, but it’s about accepting that and embracing our differences – not fighting them!

We wanted to do something different this Mother’s Day to support and share those values, so we decided to partner up with The Beauty Bank – An amazing team who take in donations to create gift packs for people in need who wouldn’t normally be able to treat themselves to little luxuries like shampoo & candles.

Nice soap is one of those things that few people buy for themselves, but we all know it makes for a great gift. This means a lot people come in to shop with us for unique presents to give their relatives or friends (and often leave with a cheeky piece for themselves!). But what if for a few extra dollars with your purchase you could pay a soap forward to a woman who is a victim of domestic violence? Or a teenage girl who has to wear the same uniform all week because her parents can’t afford spares? We like to think that you would do it.

So as of now & for the next few weeks, when you come to visit one of our shops or you browse our website, you have the option to pay a soap forward. You buy a soap, we put it in the donation basket, The Beauty Bank packs it up for someone they believe it will bring a little light of joy to. Simple!

It’s a chance for you to treat the women in your life, as well as women you’ve never met, to something a little bit special that might just be the sign of support that they needed!

Donation Soap – For a Feel Good Clean

business, donations, ethics, Uncategorized

Here at The Australian Natural Soap Company we believe in giving back to the community. We are a small growing business ourselves and we understand the importance of receiving support and encouragement from those around us, so we came up with a concept that allows us to do that kindness for others.

With the release of our Donation Soap in late 2015 came the opportunity to raise awareness and funding for not-for-profit organizations that we see as the positive change makers of the modern world. We are passionate about doing the right thing when it comes to environmental and animal welfare issues, so these are the kind of groups we had in mind to work with.

Our first partnership for this project was a small team of dedicated volunteers who run the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage in Far East Gippsland.

Brians Burrow

Wombats are one of the beautiful Australian animals that fall victim to our roads all too often. Many drivers do not pay enough attention on the roads that pass through bush land that is home to many native creatures, resulting in unfortunate deaths and injuries of our treasured wildlife.

The Goongerah Wombat Orphanage is devoted to saving the lives of the injured and orphaned wombats that survive these accidents. Their work is endless and tiresome, but is fuelled by love and passion. The care of furry orphans from the wild entails unique methods for providing them with the food, bedding and medicine that they need in their vulnerable state of separation from the pouch.

Baby Wombats

Sometimes there are orphans so young they barely have fur, so it really is like taking in a baby! At this age they require very regular feeding and temperature control, which means many sleepless nights and constant attention from the carers. The milk formula that sustains the little ones is about $150 per five kilos. As they grow they are introduced to oats and sweet potatoes, which become their staple diet along with munching on grass.
They start out sleeping in handmade pouches until they are old enough to begin the move outside where bales of hay are provided for the big kids and any grown ups that have been released who return now and then when times are tough.
So, what these carers have taken on is months of expensive milk formula per orphan and maybe years of oats and vegetables to fill the always hungry wombat bellies, plus bedding and vet bills when health issues arise – all out of their own pocket!

Wombats

So that, friends, is why we chose to donate to the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage and we are proud to have raised $336 through the sales of our Donation Soap in store and online. With many thanks from the GWO, and us, we hope that you will continue to support our endeavour to raise awareness and funding for those who are courageous enough to bring positive change into the world around them.

Business has the power to promote change

business, ethics, Skin

With our business going through a significant growth spurt, we thought it a good time to develop a mission statement. I remember learning about mission statements in my Masters in Communication Management and not really getting the importance.

Now I do.

I am a firm believer that business has the ability, even the responsibility, to bring about change. Change that is for the better.

Before we began making our soaps, I was uncomfortable with the fact that I had no idea about what I was putting on my skin. I began researching more into it and got up to speed on issues such as palm oil, animal testing, parabens, micro-plastics and sulfates. Realising that there was very little on the market that we wanted in our bathroom cabinet, we decided to start making our own skincare and soap.

I am a big believer that small changes – something as simple as using a more ethical soap — by many can cause real and significant change. The growing success of our business suggests that I am not alone. And this makes me so happy.

Our business was founded on strong ethics and we believe we are only as good as those ethics. And now as we begin to grow we need to ensure that everyone associated with the Australian Natural Soap Company – from employees, to suppliers, to wholesalers, share these values. And this is why we feel it’s the right time to produce our mission statement.

One of the areas of our business that we’re excited about is our partnerships with not-for-profits and organisations that align with our own values.

For a few months now, we’ve had a product partnership with the Orangutan Project. When we first came up with the idea of donating $1 for every $2 tester bar sold to this incredible organisation, I wondered whether we’d be able to raise anything significant. But it’s amazing how something small, supported by many, can grow. We have already donated more than $1,000 and will keep raising money for the Orangutan Project as we get bigger.

And we have lots more ideas in the pipeline to help other amazing organisations that do equally important work. We always have to be careful that we don’t over extend ourselves. But this is a big reason why we got into this business and one of the most rewarding parts of it.

It’s been a wonderful experience drafting our mission statement and we can’t wait to share it with you… so stay tuned.
– Emma ✌️

orangutanproject

A completely natural skincare regime made possible.

business, Skin

Did you know that The Australian Natural Soap Company has a sister company? Pharmaoil is our natural skincare range that is also certified cruelty free, vegan and palm oil free.

The philosophy is the same as our soaps – we use only natural plant oils, getting away from the creams and moisturisers that require the preservatives and chemicals. The plant oils we use are similar to your skin’s natural oils so they don’t sit on the skin, they absorb and are packed with minerals and vitamins

Pharmaoil’s moisturiser, for example, is actually a body oil. It combines 12 natural plant oils such as coconut, avocado, macadamia, rose hip, evening primrose and jojoba.

Having both Pharmaoil and The Australian Natural Soap Company means that we can offer a complete skincare regime that is also completely natural.

Pharmaoil_300x250_Animated_V2

From journalist, speechwriter… to soap maker??

business

Emma says… To think less than two years ago, I was making soaps in our kitchen. I was writing speeches for the Foreign and Trade Ministers by day and by night I was experimenting with a new type of creativity that involved scent and texture – it was the start of a love affair with natural plant oils for the skin.

My partner and I had talked for a while about starting a business – still not sure how a doctor and a journalist by training ended up in the soap business… but it kind of all just happened. Like most people we didn’t really think that much about soap but once we started making it and I started researching it, I think I had a light bulb moment where I realised how fundamental soap was to our modern lives and yet how unethical the whole production of commercially available soap was. Not to mention, how bad it actually was for your skin.

The journalist in me did an incredible amount of research on skin care and plant oils (It’s also handy having a doctor as my right-hand man who has an incredible understanding of chemistry and skin). Most of my research focussed on Australian oils. I had a hunch that these oils would be great for the skin and having travelled the country as a journalist with SBS and having written a lot of speeches on our first rate agricultural sector, I was biased.

We also started sharing our concoctions with family and friends and the response was so positive that I started believing that there was a business in this…

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Why The Australian Natural Soap Company?

business, ethics, Skin

Welcome to our very first blog post!!

This is where we share with you why we do what we do.

All of us who work for the Australian Natural Soap Company are incredibly passionate about producing the most ethical, nourishing, natural Australian skincare. None more so than the ANSC’s founder and director, Emma Cook who started the ANSC in her kitchen in 2013.

Emma’s going to start sharing her journey and the ANSC’s journey in this blog – a journey that if she could sum up in three words it would be skin, ethics and business.

The why is so important to what we do at the ANSC so we hope you enjoy reading!

Emma Cook