Did you guys get down to London VegFest this weekend?

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It has been a busy few months at HQ. We have been busy formulating, packing, updating, expanding … basically gearing up to world domination 🙂 There is so much news to tell you, which we will be sharing with you in the next few weeks, but first …

This weekend the #OrangeFrog held a stand at London Veg Fest, and it was awesome! For those of you who don’t know VegFest, it is basically a festival that celebrates all things vegan and vegetarian. There are loads of talks about vegetarian and vegan lifestyle, vegan food, vegan clothing, vegan chocolate, vegan bodybuilders, vegan cupcakes, vegan sword-swallowers and did we mention loads of yummy vegan food!

The great thing about VegFest is you get to meet loads of new people, especially the charities that hold stalls at the event. One of the great charities we met are called Save The Harlan Beagles . They are campaigning against Harlan UK which breeds beagles for animal testing ONLY. Saying it is horrific is not even touching it! In 2011 The Sunday Times ran an expose with a former Harlan employee, where he exposed what life is like for these poor animals. To read more visit their website and please support their work!

Our other neighbours were the Wild Futures charity. They campaign to help end the suffering of thousands of primates in the UK by working towards ensuring that the UK primate pet trade is made illegal. Check out their campaign and sign their petition.

We met Metala at Vegan Faces UK, who had some lovely vegan hypoallergenic face paints for kids as well as loads of lovely make-up. Alan Sugar loves her stuff and we can see why! Other great stand holders were Buddha Beauty , Animal Aid , Teen VGN , Razzle Dazzle Ice Cream , Mimi’s Miracles , Nakd , Trina’s Delicacies , too many to mention!

It was an awesome day and we met some of our lovely regular customers, catch up with mates, and bought loads of food, which are all featured on our facebook album. If you didn’t get to visit us this time round, come and see us at our next event on the 19th October 2013 at the LABL Fair in Liverpool.

Till next time!

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How to use those ickle bits of soap and other helpful tips

Spending too much time on pinterest has really got me into looking at how I can reuse so much of what I would normally consider rubbish. If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen the t-shirt bracelet fiasco (I had so much fun!)

So in very much the same vain as those super crazy-organised eco peeps on Pinterest here are some great ways to make sure you are getting everything you can out of the stuff you buy from us:

soapnut soap from living naturallyUsing up all those little soap bits:

After using our gorgeous soapnut soaps and shampoos and you have a nice little collection of soapy bits, put them all into a small muslin bag. When you take your next shower or bath you will have a ready-made exfoliating mit complete with soap.

Another great use for those muslin bags for soap with bits:

living naturally coconutty shampoo barMe personally I love my luxurious soapnut soap with bits and my OJ without. But if you prefer it to be smooth the whole way, then here’s another little tip. With our Coconutty Shampoo Bar, put it into a muslin bag before you start soaping up that wonderful lather. Just put the bar in the bag, pull the drawstrings so it doesn’t slip out, and wet bag thoroughly and rub. Once it is all lathered up rub on hair, wash, rinse, condition and go!

What about my left over soapnut shells?

If you are like me and constantly wondering if you can get anymore soap out of the soapnut shells once you have used them then wonder no more. Simply put them in a blender with some water and you will see that even when they are exhausted from laundry they still have quite a bit of soap left in them. Then use this soapy mixture to either top up your foaming handwash pump bottles (thoroughly strain this liquid so no bits clog up your pump) or pour over your veg in your garden to keep them pest free!

And finally … A really great tip on another way to use our biodegradable stain remover!

How about your own home-made stain removal spray? Simply grate some of our biodegradable stain remover stick and put it into a spray bottle with hot water (hot enough to melt the stick). The quantities are one tablespoon of grated stain remover stick to one cup (250ml) of boiling water. When you want to use it, simply shake and spray. Full recipe details here.

Have fun with all my tips .. now back to pinterest!

Soap and water and common sense are all you need!

Natural handmade soap from Living Naturally

“Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants.” William Osler, Physician

You all have the water and the common sense, now let me tell you why you need our 100% natural handmade soapnut  soaps in your life!

Over here at Soapnuts HQ I have been extremely busy creating a whole new range of lush soapnut soaps that are 100% natural & handmade and are compeltely free of SLSs, parabens and other horrible toxins that you might find in commercially produced bars.

Next time you swing by Sainsburys or Asda check out the soap aisle … if it doesn’t say ‘soap’ then think twice about picking it up. Usually those bars are syndet bars – that’s synthetic detergent bars to you and me. They contain ingredients that can cause irritation to your skin but also pollutes our water systems. Now some manufacturers have got wise to the tide turning on these artifically created bars, so they have now created combo bars that include a very small amount of natural ingredients. Just enough so theycan talk about it in the advertising 🙂

At Soapnuts HQ our soaps are:

  • Made with Love 🙂
  • Made with 100% natural vegetable oils
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Most of our soaps are Vegan (some contain milk or honey)
  • Most of our soaps are palm oil free (or they use certified sustainable plam oil)
  • None of our soaps contain any SLSs, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial colours, fragrances or preservatives.

Still need convincing? Give them a go! The results are in and they are good! Here are some customer reviews:

“I started using the chamomile & olive soap and found that my dermatitis on my hands was disappearing! I have changed nothing else, so thank you v. much!” Halla

“I bought it as a present for my uncle who has ezcema over his body, he loves it so much and won’t use anything else now!” Nicki

All of our soaps are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skins, and if you don’t know which one to try, we have coveniently put together a sample pack of 10 ofour best selling soaps for you to try. So now there is no excuse 🙂

Try our soaps for yourself

We’ve had a facelift and we are finally ready for our close up Mr DeMille!


It has been a busy time at Soapnuts HQ and we’ve been a little quiet. We have been so busy transforming ourselves and working on new products and we wanted to give you guys a little taster!

Our new brand is inspired by our ethos of keeping clean without making the planet dirty! Living Naturally Soapnuts are not only certified organic, vegan, biodegradable and hypoallergenic , but they are also chemical & especially phosphate free! So when your waste water enters the water system and goes back out into the environment, you can be sure that no fragile ecosystems are being harmed. We wouldn’t any of our froggy or fishy friends to be harmed and have been long-running supporters of the LOVE YOUR LAKES campaign.

We want everyone to benefit from using soapnuts, including our soapnut collectors! Our soapnuts are collected by local families and farmers who are able to have a better quality of life because they get a fair wage and also get taught a trade as well.

We want to make sure we are doing all we can to reduce landfill and so our new packaging is 100% recyclable! And because you don’t need to use any additional softener, you will be  saving twice the space in landfill!

But that’s not all! If you haven’t been using them for more than just your laundry, we have included a handy soapnut liquid recipe so you can make your own chemical free cleaner or organic pesticide.

Our new look packaging will be out in March so keep an eye out! We will also be launching our new-look website in March so make sure you don’t miss a thing! Keep up to date …

Sustainable Palm Oil? Is it really ok?

Twitter seems to be alive because of the noise palm oil is making. So I wanted to break down the issue. Is it really sustainable? Should we still be using plam oil?

The problem with palm oil?

The problem is not with palm oil itself, but is actually with the way the palm oil is produced. In West Africa, palm oil has been used for centuries as a cooking oil with no problem at all. The problem is that with the discovery of how amazingly well palm oil grows in the Far East, and that it is a very useful and cheap ingredient in commercial food production, palm oil is now in huge demand. Palm oil is now the most produced and traded oil, and now accounts for at least 75% of all the vegetable oil traded internationally.

The biggest use of the world’s palm oil is in food production, and at least one in ten products on supermarket shelves contain palm oil. Approximately six percent of the global supply is used in the cosmetic industry and palm oil is also increasingly being used as a fuel source.

This demand for plam oil is fueling deforestation in countries like Indonesia, forcing the indigenous people off their land and pushing animals like orangutans, elephants and tigers to the brink of extinction. The deforestation is so horrendous that Indonesia’s forests could be gone by 2015. Another huge impact on the environment is the amount of C02 emissions that are released when forests and peat land are destroyed to make way for these plantations.

So Let’s Stop Using It?

Well if it was only that simple. Unfortunately the palm oil production is a huge part of the economy of the countries that produce it like Malaysia and Indonesia. And as well as big businesses, there are also smallholders who produce a minimal amount of palm oil and rely on it to help support their families. The Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil RSPO member and founders WWF have been campaigning about the fact the buyers (from companies right down to consumers) should insist on the buying and using of only sustinable plam oil. But what is not being talked about are the deals that go on alongside these campaigns that continues unsustainable/unethical plam oil production, so as a consumer what do we do?

Take Action

As a consumer this is what you can do:

  1. Be aware of the issue
  2. Add your voice to the campaign on palm oil
  3. Buy Responsibly

What are we doing about it?

We only stock and/or make products that have RSPO certified palm oil or use alternatives to palm oil. And we have clear label ingredients so you know what you are buying.

Have you got FOMO? Here is some stuff you missed at UK AWARE…

UK AWARE 2011

UK AWARE - Mar 25th / 26th 2011

For all those with a fear of missing out…Living Naturally Soapnuts were at UK AWARE this weekend…and WOW was I tired after the show! It was a great show, we got to meet lots of similarly-minded people, some loyal customers like Dani and we learned lots of new stuff! Also we got to showcase some of our new products like our Soapnut Powder and our Natural Stain Remover Bar, which were very poular! Here are some of my show highlights…

Hubcap Creatures

Hubcap Creatures

Hubcap Creatures

Opposite us was this fantastic guy who made the most amazingly intricate Hubcap Creatures. Hubcap creatures are made entirely from re-cycled materials. All the hubcaps are found, usually on the side of the road, and therefore bear the scars of their previous lives in the form of scratches and abrasions. I believe these marks add texture and history to the creatures they decorate, and so choose not to fill, overpaint or alter them in any way. Ptolemy says…”My fish try to say things about our wasteful society and about our prejudices towards value. Hopefully they will encourage people to reconsider before they discard something which apparently has no purpose.”

BPA Free Water Bottles!

A Fine Choice BPA Free Stainless Steel Bottles

A Fine Choice BPA Free Stainless Steel Bottles

Now anyone following me on Twitter knows I am always tweeting about Bisphenol-A and how it leaches from plastic bottles and is so bad for your health. BPA is a compound which is used to make polycarbonate plastic. BPA was banned by the European Commission and cannot be used in baby bottles in the European Union. The commission cited fears that the compound could affect development and immune response in young children.

So I was very happy to be standing next to A Fine Choice at the show. AFC (not Arsenal) is run by Daniela Schaffrik, who helped me pick out my very own Green Bottle. If you know anything about BPA and are looking for an eco long-lasting bottle for your kids to go to school or for yourselves that won’t affect your health then check A Fine Choice out! They also have a fundraising idea for schools…The Green Bottle™ Fundraising will help you raise money for schools and charities through the sale of our eco-friendly products with a 20% cashback.

Defend the animals!

Animal Defenders International

Animal Defenders International

We also got to meet Eti & Krystal at Animal Defenders International. This is a fantastic charity campaigning for animals all around the world. I learned some horrific things about soft leather and how they get it (they beat the animals until the skin becomes puffy then they skin them…ugh!) I also learned about animal abuse by individual farmers as well as circus organisers…get educated peeps!

Doug Disposal Anyone?

Doug Disposal @ Disposal Know How

Doug Disposal @ Disposal Know How

Does anyone know Doug Disposal? There is a great site called Disposal Know How and they were at the show too! This is a site you need to bookmark if you are 100% committed to recycling. Fantastic site about recycling everything…even the new energy efficient light bulbs! Top Tip…please recycle these light bulbs as they contain toxic mercury and will eventually pollute our water if you just dump them in your normal rubbish. Heavy metals like mercury can lead to txicity in the brain…Alzheimers…Autism…I’m just saying…

The guys on the stand were also giving away ‘Eat Well, Waste Less – An A-Z guide to using leftovers’…Free book from Kensington & Chelsea Council…Nice!

Eco Chic!

Ecosheek Organic Cotton Bags

Ecosheek Organic Cotton Bags

And finally I managed to pick up a lovely very chic shopper bag from sarah at EcoSheek Bag Company. The bags are great and not expensive, and Sarah does wholesale for all those wondering…great gifts, picnic bags, laptop cases (saw these very sophis!) etc. EcoSheek designs and makes high quality bespoke organic bags while actively developing and suporting sustainable, ethical supply chain solutions.

We also saw our friends at Fill Your Pants, who were sharing a stand with other real nappy peeps: Cheeks and Cherries, Nappy Ever After, Hush-A Bye-Baby and Coverdry.

Had a great show, and if you didn’t go never mind go and check these guys out anyway:)

TGIF! Pamper away the winter blues!

Homemade spa treatments to indulge yourself!

Homemade spa treatments to indulge yourself!

The winter weather is abyssmal, so I thought I would dedicate some time to pampering myself today. And as I am always in a giving mood, I wanted to share the love!

Below are some seriously yummy face and body scrubs to try at home. You don’t need to spend huge amounts at the salon to feel beautiful…try some of these instead:

Honey & Lemon face scrub:

1 teaspoon of honey
2 teaspoons of soapnut powder
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, apply to skin and rub gently with a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry! Ta da! Lemon is an astingent so don’t use this if you have sensitive skin.

The wonderful benefits of honey

The wonderful benefits of honey

Honey has a hygroscopic nature, which means when exposed to air, it naturally absorbs moisture in from the air. In treating open wounds, honey is useful as it could help prevent scarring by keeping the skin moist, encourage the growth of new tissues. Honey is also a source of antioxidants which helps protect the skin under the sun and help the skin to rejuvenate and stay young-looking. Darker honey is said to have more antioxidants, and manuka honey is said to be the most antibacterial. Manuka honey is also the best one to use if you have scars on your face, because it promotes healing.

Soapnut Powder

Soapnut Powder

Vanilla & Honey Scrub for Sensitive Skin

1 Cup soapnut powder
1/2 cup sweetened almond oil
1 tsp of vitamin E
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp of honey.

Mix ingredients together and apply to the skin. Massage gently for one minute and rinse with warm water.

This is a great gentle scrub which is packed with antioxidants, skin healing vitamin E and honey, and antibacterial properties because of the honey and soapnut powder. See above for more details on honey.

Amazing Olive Oil

Amazing Olive Oil

Olive & Almond Oil Body Scrub:

3 cups of soapnut powder
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sweet almond oil
essential oils as desired

Olive oil is great at replacing lost moisture and elasticity because it is naturally rich in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants that have tremendous healing and preserving properties. Olive oil can also help restore and retain hair and skin`s health, youthfulness and beauty. Almond oil is also great for your skin, it is a great emollient and can help with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It is also great for reviving dull complexions.

Now you are all scrubbed up and beautiful, put on your favourite comfortable clothing, get a nice warm drink and cosy up with a good book, film or friend:)

Enjoy!