How Can Natural, Handmade Soap Compete against the cheap supermarket brands? How does it compare to the mass produced product?
I couldn't resist going over to the display and check out the ingredients on the back of the Natural Beauty soap wrapper. This is what I read:
- Polyquaternium 6
- Pentylene Glycol
- Castor Oil
- Trideceth 9
- D & C Green 5
- Olive Oil
- Citric Acid
- Aloe Barbadensis Extract
- D & C yellow 10
- Pentaerythrityl Tetra Di t Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate
- Titanium Dioxide
Natural? I can't even pronounce most of the ingredients!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- coconut Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Peppermint Essential oil
How can any mass produced soap with ingredients that need a dictionary and thesaurus be marketed as natural?
How could I possibly compete against the brand, the price and the marketing? How could any natural soap crafter? There is no way a soap maker, crafting cold process or hot process soap, could possibly sell their bars for $1 each!
My answer came to me very quickly, while I handed my credit card over to the girl at the checkout...I couldn't!
I could never compete on price, and point of purchase sales, and neither could I compete with branding...the only thing that would sell my product is:
- my belief in my own product.
- consumers wanting a safe more natural product and be willing to pay the price.
- A quality product.
A Closer look at Petrolatum one of the Natural Ingredients in the 'Natural Beauty Bar"
The following is a quote from the David Suzuki Foundation, "But this petrochemical can be contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The European Union considers it a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics. Download our wallet-sized Sustainable Shopper's Guide so you can avoid petrolatum and the other eleven toxic ingredients commonly found in your soap, shampoo, and deodorant."3
While researching Petrolatum, I did find one website that promoted its use as a moisturiser, (and also advertised for Vaseline), however, Petrolatum is an occlusive moisturiser and keeps moisture in your skin. This website concluded by stating that Petrolatum is not petroleum – and cosmetic-grade petrolatum is, by and large, safe.4 By and large safe? What does that mean? It's mostly safe or it can be a little bit unsafe?
So what should the natural soap crafter do against such odds?
I have been thinking on this and trying not to feel totally defeated by something so ubiquitous as large companies, with countless resources and funds, who use key emotive words like natural, organic and beauty, while peddling off an inferior product.
No...I will keep creating my soap because I know that it is better!
Download the Sustainable Shopping Guide from David Suzuki.org