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How We Made The Most Sustainable Soap For Under $5.00

How We Made The Most Sustainable Soap For Under $5.00

I'm going to be transparent: for a few months, we've been buying sustainable soaps for $4.00, and selling them for $6.00. These are terrible profit margins, and in the long run would push us out of business. 

So I tried to look for other soaps, but I couldn't find a single brand that was actually sustainable AND genuinely affordable. Big surprise.

This meant I had to start manufacturing my own... and that means learning A LOT about soap. And after doing so, I felt obligated to write a blog about what I learned

3 Things I Learned About Bar Soap

Dyes Are Linked To Health Issues

Dyes are pretty, and make products look good. But they're also synthetic and are linked to health issues.

That's right, the dyes we use in cosmetic products are also the same dyes that have caused cancer and illness over and over in animal studies.

In fact, ~30 years ago the US banned Red #3 in home products for being a known human carcinogen, but the food lobby was too strong for them to ban it in thousands of US food products. This caused much controversy at the time.

To give another example, Red #40 has benzidine in it which is derived from coal tars and is a known carcinogen. It's also linked to hyperactivity and behavioral disorders in children. Europe banned it, but it's still available for use in the US

So why don't more people know about this? Well, it's because big corporations don't want you to worry about it. They promote misinformation and lobby for the use of these dyes because it's use is convenient for them.

It's also incredibly hard to find cause-and-effect relationships with these dyes, and the health issues they cause in humans. Due to it being just about impossible to control hundreds of confounding variables in hundreds of humans over several years. So although there may be strong links, we can't often find cause and effect relationships in humans.

Fragrances are Often Carcinogenic

Fragrances found in products usually consist of hundreds of lab made chemicals that don't need to be proved safe before being used commercially. Companies also don't need to state the chemicals they're using because they're considered "trade secrets".

Unfortunately, many of these chemicals are linked to chronic health issues, like cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive harm. They aren't banned though, since the burden of proof to ban a chemical in the US is incredibly high.

It's why, since the inception of the EPA ~45 years ago, they've only been successful at banning 5 chemicals from commercial use. Even though 85,000 have been produced since the end of World War II.


Corporations need lots of oil to make soap, so they contract out smaller companies, which contract out smaller companies. This is when oversight gets lost, and forced, child, or slave labor starts getting used to produce these inexpensive oils. contractors have even started torturing and enslaving monkeys to gather coconuts used for coconut oil.

Then there are the questions of which oils are they using? Where are they being grown? are they organic, or pesticide intensive? Is it an oil like that requires 300 acres of rainforest to be burnt down every hour, or is it regenerative?

To Conclude...

we had to take all this research into account when formulating a seriously sustainable soap at an affordable price. And we're so proud to finally launch it at Ecoternatives: The World's Most Affordable Zero Waste StoreIt's a soap that's fair trade (meaning that the producers of the raw materials have incredible benefits and wages), is organic, plastic free, and comes without all the artificial fragrances and dyes.

If you have friends or family that would appreciate our store or soap, please share it with them! We rely on word of mouth to spread our mission :)

Happy Washing!


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