Today’s post is for the crafters out there, who want to start making their own products (whether for your own use or to start a business).

Check out @bottegazerowaste – she runs some workshops on how to make shampoo and soap bars.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill, to help you move away from buying soap from the shop and using bulk buy options to reduce your overall waste.

We need more small businesses selling zero-waste or reduced waste products.

I signed up for the shampoo bar workshop, as I already make my own soap from castille soap shavings. On the topic of castille soap, there are some that contain palm oil. Palm oil is linked to deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, and the massive loss of bio-diversity that goes along with this. Some brands state that they use sustainable farmed, RSPO  certified oils, but who knows what really happens at ground level with bribes etc. In my opinion, it’s better to avoid anything that is linked to the destruction of an orangutan’s home (not to mention the wonderful birds and other unique species).

After the workshop, I googled one of the recommended ingredients for the shampoo bar, cocamidropopyl betaine, and it came up some bad news- not recommended for sensitive skin, and listed as a carcinogenic in the state of California. I have sensitive skin, so I looked online for a replacement and found sodium cocoamphoacetate, which is nontoxic and non-irritant. It’s also used by Lush, so that’s a good endorsement.

What I’ve tried:

In the past, I’ve tried shampoo bars by Lush, with mixed success. Jason and the Argan Oil didn’t really work for me or my partner, but we really liked Avocado.

I’m currently sourcing the raw ingredients, but I will write about the shampoo bar once I’ve made it. For now, I’m using Lamazuma’s shampoo bar, which is being used by 2 people. So far, we’ve had 12 washes and it’s about a 1/3 of its original size. My hair feels clean and light afterwards, and it smells nice. However, EUR 9,99 is pretty steep.

Here in France, there’s also a brand called Comme Avant. I’ll do a review and comparison on both soon. I bought their shampoo bar to test – again – not cheap.

That’s why I’d prefer to make my own. Sustainability needs to be affordable to the great majority, otherwise it won’t work. Saying that, people who live in developed countries use and buy more stuff, so we have a bigger footprint than someone in a developing country.

Other options for soap and shampoo:

In Quebec City there area few shops that sold shampoo, conditioner, soap and detergent as bulk refill. I loved that option too – just make sure that your bottle is empty and clean before you take it to the shop. Zero waste shops in Quebec city include: Lemieux, La Recolte, Louca, and Le Haricot Magique.

I encourage you to play around, try new things and find what works for YOU!

Below: soap I made from dried orange peel, lemon essential oil and castille soap.

My handmade soap with dried orange peel