There are numerous zero waste products available these days that help people transition away from using products that are packaged in plastic and/ or contain harmful chemical ingredients.
Speaking to Founder & CEO of Bare Necessities Zero Waste India, Sahar Mansoor, this interview series looks at the reasons why the Bangalore based social business chooses to provide alternative, earth friendly options to consumers in India.
"Though one wrapper of soap or one bottle of shampoo might not seem to matter, it can definitely make a difference when multiplied by over a billion people, who live in India and who comprise one-seventh of the world’s population" (source).
What materials are used for your soap range?
We have multiple varieties of natural soap that use a South Indian favourite ingredient, coconut oil, along with sesame oil, castor oil, neem oil with added scents and ingredients from natural local sources.
Why do you use this type of material?
The materials we use really fit into the aims and objectives of Bare Necessities. They are all natural, chemical free, plant based ingredients that combine beautifully into a wonderfully scented earth friendly cleaning product.
Our packaging is made of recycled paper, no plastic or single use tape is used.
Why design it in this way?
By moving away from body washes, which are filled with synthetic sulfates (many found in our personal care products, are known carcinogen), we are able to waste less and promote a healthier lifestyle.
That sounds technical, I know, but think about it this way. When we clean ourselves our body absorbs over 60% of what we use on our skin. So, instead of using products where some of the ingredients are unknown or are harmful, we have designed an alternative that does no harm to the body or to the planet.
Where did the team gain inspiration for this product from?
India! Inspiration is all around us. With the sights, and smells of our country small steps really helped.
We moved back to bars of soap, instead of body washes that come in plastic bottles. We found ingredients that are natural and local. We worked out new designs and ensured that the product cleaned effectively.
Basically, by finding out about the harmful ingredients in body washes we wanted to return to South Indian roots. Ideas came from local ingredients, traditional recipes and new innovations that we found that suited our modern day lives.