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Like many Hebden residents, Rob and Geoff started working at the legendary Suma Wholefoods Co-operative, where they learned that it was possible to run a successful business where ethics came before profit. This experience changed them in many different ways and inspired them to start their own ethical business – Friendly Soap in 2008.
From day one we made it our mission to do something simple: create high-quality products that tick as many ethical boxes as possible. We didn’t just want to make soaps that are cruelty-free or use less packaging: we wanted true all-rounders that leave customers feeling as conscientious as they feel clean. To be honest, the process has been a lot harder to perfect than we first expected. To be where we are now though, it’s been well worth the effort.
Using an ancient cold-process method, Rob and Geoff mix natural oils and fats with a lye solution to produce a natural biodegradable soap with no produced by-products. There is no waste. Everything is used up and turned into lovely Friendly Soap. These gentle soaps are then cured over 4 to 6 weeks to produce a long-lasting bar with amazing moisturising properties. Friendly soaps are free from harmful preservatives and foaming agents thanks to the zero use of SLS and Parabens.
Striving always to minimise their impact on the environment, Friendly Soap use as little energy as possible throughout production. Every bar of Friendly Soap is poured, cut, stamped, and packed by hand in the UK. Their soaps contain no animal products or by-products. They are entirely against testing cosmetics on animals and are registered with Cruelty Free International and The Vegan Society. Their packaging is pretty special too because it’s made from materials that are 100% recycled as well as recyclable. There is no Palm Oil in the soaps and Coconut Oil is bought from a women’s worker cooperative in Ghana where slave monkeys do not harvest the coconuts.
Our soaps are lovely bits of natural luxury. They’re packed with cleansing goodness and capable of almost anything, from helping you smell divine or wrestle those wrinkles to fighting off bugs (yes, even the creepy crawly types as well as coughs and colds).
They lead by example through their sustainable vegan lifestyles and encourage their team members to do the same. Lunches at Friendly Soap are strictly vegetarian while their homes and holidays are almost plastic free.
Ethics before profits. There are people who talk about it and there are some who “walk the talk.” All of us here at the Fay Store see the Friendly Soap team “walk that talk” in our day-to-day interactions with them. We are so honoured to have them as our partners in this journey.