Fellow teamie, Erin of KrugsEcoLogic, creator of fabulous vegan & eco-friendly bath and body products, was kind enough to share this article from her blog.
Why SHOULD You Buy Handmade Bath and Body?
This is a great question and one that may cross your mind as you are perusing through the wonderful online bath and body shops.
Here are a few fantastic reasons ....
# 1 - 'Big brands' that advertise their lotions as 'made with shea butter' or 'natural' aren't quite living up to their perceived expectations. Many times if you look at the back of their labels, you'll see that awesome ingredient they're advertising as one of the very last ingredients on the list (meaning... it's concentration in the product is minute compared to the other ingredients). For example, the main component of lotion is water. About 15-25% of the ingredients are moisturizers, scents, and preservatives. So the ingredients you see at the very end of the list are in a very small concentration.
Most handmade bath and body shops' MAIN ingredients are super high quality oils and butters. These are our MAIN ingredients. Many of us don't use synthetic moisturizers, or extremely harsh shelf-life extenders. Many of our lotions are made to use within a year (the life span of the oils/butters contained within). This is the GOOD stuff. You can't find this quality in a big brand that's concocted to indefinitely sit on a store shelf. You know by the ingredients list, that the main moisturizing components in our lotions are butters and oils... not synthetics.
#2 - If you followed my previous experiment where I used Ivory for one half of my body and my handmade soaps for the other (for one week) you can see how damaging commercial bars can be. So - what about the "natural big brand" companies - why not just buy their soap bars? Again, their soaps are made to be able to sit on the shelf for an extended period of time. Even the 'natural' brands add sodium chloride (salt) to harden their bars and extend the life. Even some big brand 'natural' companies take out the naturally produced glycerin from the saponification process... this is the component that sets handmade soaps apart from the others. Glycerin pampers and soothes your skin.. helping your skin to not dry out (like detergent bars can). Don't get me wrong, handmade bars DO last a good long time... but, we don't take out all the good stuff, and add in hardeners, and shelf life extenders.
#3 - You're helping to support small businesses. Your one purchase helps to keep small businesses afloat in America. With the downfall of so many large corporations and the government tightening rules and regulations on all companies (big and small), it is making it increasingly more difficult for small businesses (with all the fees associated) to sustain themselves and the families of which they feed.
#4 - What's even BETTER than buying just handmade, is buying handmade and LOCAL ! Buying local is an awesome way to reduce all the transportation of goods in and out of your BIG stores. I have a very sound customer base here, in Hanover, and just love that my customers can get high quality without having to have it shipped from a far away land. There are no jobs going overseas when you buy local... you're supporting your friends, neighbors, and helping to only make your community stronger and more self-sustaining. I have a very well established rapport with my local customers... many of whom are now my friends. They trust me, and they know exactly what's going into what they're putting on their bodies.
# 5 - reduction in packaging is yet another fantastic reason to buy local and handmade. Imagine all the packaging your products go through to make it from the factory, overseas, to the store, and finally to you. You'd be amazed at the amount of paper and plastic wasted just to keep your little bottle of lotion or soap safe. Buying handmade (and local if possible) reduces that waste. Speaking for myself, I reuse all packaging materials I can get my hands on. I pick up material from freecyclers (www.freecycle.org) and reuse what they may have thrown in the landfill - all very good material.. they just had no use for it. I also offer 'naked' bars, at a discount to the customer. No packaging, no ribbon, no wrap... so no waste at all. Plus... with the discount, why wouldn't you?
There are many other fabulous reasons to purchase handmade bath and body products... these are just a few! Thanks for reading!