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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Soapnut Laundry With Soda Crystals … when you know better, do better

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou. And who am I to argue with this great woman?

For many years now Living Naturally have been selling bicarbonate of soda as a very effective laundry boost to remove stains. Bicarbonate of soda is natural, doesn’t pollute and cleans extremely well, not to mention all of its other uses. But now we’ve found something better: Soda Crystals!

sodacrystalsThe old fashioned way to get your clothes clean and sparkling.

Soda Crystals have been around for generations, and before the invention of modern washing powder, were one of the most popular laundry products around, renowned for their ability to cut through tough stains and dirt on grubby clothes. They can be used to:

  • Shift organic stains from clothes by using as an in-wash additive. Simply add a tablespoon of Soda Crystals to the normal detergent.
  • Remove tough stains from clothes by using as a pre-soak. Make a strong solution of Soda Crystals and warm water and soak garment for 1 hour before washing normally.
  • Save money! Soda Crystals soften water in the washing machine meaning less detergent is needed.
  • Prolong the life of your washing machine by preventing limescale build up.

Soda crystals are not only a great laundry boost, but they can be used for a lot more …

cleaningjewellerySilverware and Jewellery: To put the shine back into silverware with ease, make a solution of 1 cup of Soda Crystals to a pint of very hot water and soak for 5-15 minutes in a bowl lined with aluminium foil. The tarnish will simply melt away. Rinse off and buff. Soak delicate jewellery in a regular solution. Soft stones such as Opals should not be cleaned using Soda Crystals.

Kitchen and wheelie bins: Clean out waste bins with a regular solution to keep them clean and odourless.

cleaningcarpetsCarpets: Soda Crystals are ideal for removing red wine, grass, ink and other stains. First sprinkle some dry crystals onto the stain. Then dab (rather than rub) upholstery with a mild solution to get rid of stains. Finally dab with a warm moist cloth. Over-wetting may leave a water mark. Test for colour fastness on an inconspicuous area first.

Drains: Because Soda Crystals dissolve grease, they’re great for unblocking sinks, drains, wastepipes and waste disposal units. Use a strong solution to flush drains regularly to keep them grease-free.

Living Naturally Starter Packs and Soapnut Sample Packs will now contain soda crystals. To find out more on how to use with soapnut laundry and to buy visit: http://www.soapnuts.co.uk

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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:)

Washing Cloth Nappies With Soapnuts

washing cloth nappies

Saving the earth one nappy at a time!

For all those newly initiated washers of cloth nappies with soapnuts, here’s a little how-to that should help you get rid of all stains and odours!

Step 1 – Preparing your nappies

When using the real/cloth nappies if they are cotton, hemp or bamboo wash them 3 – 4 times before use to improve absorbency (no need to dry them in between washes). You may also want to wash the covers.

Step 2 – Storing soiled nappies

When baby soils his nappy, change as usual with real nappies and then place soiled nappies into mesh bag in bucket (so you don’t need to touch it) and when the bag is full simply pick up bag and deposit in machine. For poopy nappies, dispose of poop/disposable liner in toilet, place soiled nappy in mesh bag in nappy bucket, change as usual.

Step 3 – Soaking

Washing real nappies is a breeze with soapnuts!…

  1. You can just run them through a cold cycle first (recommended so urine and the bits get washed away).

Step 4 – Washing

washing with soapnuts

Saving the earth one soapnut wash at a time!

Then wash using manufacturer instructions. Some nappies can be washed at 40 degrees, some at 60 degrees, so just check the wash instructions before washing. If you have an HE (high efficiency) / A rated machine we recommend using soapnut powder or soapnut liquid instead of soapnut shells .

Washing with Soapnut shells: Simply put five soapnut shells into wash bag, soak them for three minutes in hot water, then put soaked nuts into drum with cloth nappies. Wash as directed.

Washing with Soapnut powder: Simply put two tablespoons of soapnut powder in a sock and tie a knot in it, put in drum of machine with cloth nappies. 2 tablespoons of soapnut powder will last for 3 washes.

Washing with soapnut liquid: Once you have made the soapnut liquid (see soapnut liquid recipe), pour 1 -2 cups into drum of washing machine, add wash load, and wash as normal.

For any stains: Try a natural stain remover like our 100% Natural Stain Remover.

Adding a Fragrance: You can also add essential oils  to your wash or onto the soapnut wash bag if using one. Fave oils seem to be Lavender & Tea Tree. Or alternatively spray some floral water onto drying nappies for a gentle fragrance.

For more information please visit: http://www.soapnuts.co.uk