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Going Plastic-Free For Our Courier Shipments

We’ve been using courier services to deliver our goods, ever since we started business. But the one thing that bugged me was the use of those plastic sleeves to wrap each parcel – they only served one purpose, which was to protect the parcel and hold the consignment note while in transit, and after that it would be torn or cut open, and discarded. I thought they were a compulsory requirement from our courier companies – until someone showed me how they shipped their parcel via PosLaju, without any fuss from the staff when there was no outer plastic sleeve. What a revelation!

So this is what we’re going to do, from now on:

  • All our parcels will be going out in kraft or manila paper envelopes or cardboard boxes, with our items wrapped and protected with paper GEAMI wrap.
  • We will forgo using the outer plastic sleeves that courier services provide us.
  • We are replacing cellophane tape with paper tape.

And yes, we’ll still be able to hold our consignment notes to the odd-shaped envelopes, without relying on clear plastic windows.

Here’s how we’ll do it, and you can follow along too!

Step 1: Gather your materials

You will need:

  • An envelope, roomy enough to fit your item(s) in and wide enough to accommodate your courier’s consignment note / airway bill,
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Good quality glue

Step 2: Make paper corners

Cut 2 strips of paper, about 2 x 4 fingers wide. They need to be fairly wide, in order to hold your consignment note securely on the envelope.

Fold each end down to make a 90º angle in the middle of the strip. This is your paper corner.

Cap diagonally-opposing corners of your consignment note with your paper corners, if you are only using 2. Otherwise, cap all 4 corners.

Step 3: Position your consignment note on envelope, glue down paper corners

Step 4: Insert contents and seal envelope

…et voilà, your plastic-free parcel is ready to go!

Also, it would be a good idea to write your addressee’s details directly onto the envelope, and include the courier’s consignment note number too.

We’ll do the same paper corner trick with our parcels that go out in boxes, or at least glue the whole consignment note down onto the parcel and cap the corners where the duplicates open up, just to make sure the paper doesn’t flap around during transit.

I hope this gives you an idea of how you too can go plastic-free with your shipments. 🙂

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Kinder Soaps Is Going Palm-Free in 2017

It’s been a long time coming. We are officially going to rework ALL our soap formulations to completely exclude palm oil from now onwards.

For years, we at Kinder Soaps have been agonising over the use of palm oil in our soap. We’ve held on to it for so long because

  • it lends good lather, cleansing and moisturising properties to our soap;
  • it is the cheapest ingredient we hold in our inventory;
  • it is very accessible.

That is, it makes good business sense to keep using the stuff in our products.

However we can no longer turn a deaf ear, nor a blind eye to the many issues surrounding the use of palm oil globally. The ones that are of particular interest to us are

  • rampant deforestation of virgin rainforests to make way for new plantations;
  • the use of the slash and burn technique to clear old crops in Indonesia, which gives rise to the choking haze that has to be suffered by its citizens, as well as its neighbouring countries, every year.

Our choice to distance ourselves from using this key trade crop for our country may not leave any significant impact on the industry as a whole – but we will certainly be able to sleep better at night, knowing that we are actively taking steps to be a smaller part of the problem.

(I keep thinking of the future environment that my children will grow up being accustomed to – easy access to unspoilt forests, or just swathes of mono-cultured land?)

What does this mean for our customers?

You will still be getting great soap bars that are just as nourishing for the skin – which will also be even more gentle on our environment. 🙂

We will be using a lot more coconut oil in our soap base formulations. They make for hard, long-lasting bars of soap that also give wonderfully fluffy lather, and together with the olive oil and cocoa butter, the resulting soap will still have great moisturizing properties too.

This decision comes at a price – doing away with palm oil means that it will cost more for us to produce each bar of soap. So as we gradually roll out the new palm-free formulations to replace the soaps that eventually get sold out, we will also be adjusting their prices upward, between 10-15%. Some soaps may be their prices revised by an even larger percentage, because of their essential oil prices (we haven’t decided on their price tiering just yet). For now, however, you will still be able to get your soap at the old price of RM22 per bar.

So all in all, we are very excited to roll out our new formulations – and to be a part of the global movement to hopefully make a sustainable change to this earth-damaging, yet critical, industry.

Please share our story with your Facebook network, your friends and family. We will need your support more than ever, as we try to do our best by Nature, on whom we depend entirely for all our needs. And if you have anything to add to this issue, please comment on this post or get in touch with us at ask@kindersoaps.com. We’d be more than happy to chat with you. 🙂

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Refrigerate Your Soap For Best Shelf Life

fridge interior

This, ladies and gents, is probably the best possible place for you to store any form of handmade, all-natural skincare. Given that we are trying to do away with plastic shrink wrapping, and that our beeswax wraps themselves also have limited shelf lives of their own, we highly recommend that you treat them as you would fresh food.

Place your unopened soap bars in plastic containers and keep them in the fridge until you need to use them. The containers will help to prevent the soap and food from cross-contamination of odours, but they are not necessary. The cold, dry insides of the fridge will prevent the formation of mould on the beeswax wraps, which has happened for soap bars that were stored in warm, humid places. And since your fridge is already running 24/7, adding a few soap bars in there won’t do much to change its current energy consumption. Reducing spoilage will also mean that we won’t use up resources to replace otherwise perfectly good bars of soap.

It’s a terrific win-win solution all round:

  • we do away with plastic shrink wrapping
  • the lifespan of both our beeswax wraps and soap are prolonged
  • our collaborative efforts will reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills and waterways
  • reduced carbon footprint of having to purchase shrink wrapping or importing (costly) biodegradable options
  • reduces waste from having to replace spoilt soap bars
  • makes use of an existing resource, i.e. your fridge, which already operates 24/7 without any additional energy consumption to accommodate the soap.

I know that this is a bit of an odd practice when it comes to storing skincare items, and I do apologise if this causes you any inconvenience. However I feel very strongly about using as little plastic as possible, and to also minimise the amount of materials we use for packaging as best as we can. Too much waste from the consumption of all kinds of things in our daily lives is already being dumped into landfills. I believe that you and I are in a good position to reduce our contribution to waste generation by tweaking our habits here and there. 🙂

Thank you so much for your continued support. Please share this information with other users of handmade skincare (not just Kinder Soaps), so that we can save even more space in the earth from being taken up by unnecessary packaging.

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The Story Of Stuff

Ever wondered what the whole picture is when it comes to making the handphone that you’re putting to your ear? The car that you drive? The groceries that you pick up from your local supermarket? The clothes you’re wearing right now?

Here’s a very entertaining and informative video that will give you the low-down of the actual cost and processes of making the stuff that we consume every day. Personally I feel that it drives home an important message about being aware of how much our society is trapped in Consumerism, and that we have every right and every ability to shrug it off and make decisions that are better for our environment and our future generations.

Enjoy the video. Feel free to share your thoughts on what YOU can do to take a step away from being caught up in this ‘linear system’!