In early 2019, when we set out on a mission to curate a line of luxe products that were sustainably made and clean, we didn’t know how difficult it would be stay true to the course we set out. There were times along the way where it would have been easier to cut a corner or two to get us to market more quickly, or with a little less work. Our team was never tempted.
It took Maple & Lather over a year and a half to bring our six, delicately scented and undeniably pampering soaps to market. That said, we can stand by our collection with pride. Our dual focus on product integrity and ensuring we understand every step of the supply chain means we know we are bringing a product to you that’s so much better than anything else out there.
A few of you have asked us, “what do you mean when you say your soap is sustainably made?”. It’s a great question, and we want to give you some insight to that, and the journey we’ve taken to get here.
Responsibly Farmed Vegetable Oils
Oils are the core ingredient in most soap, giving them many properties essential for saponification. One of the most common oils is palm oil. Palm oil is efficient, effective and produces a long-lasting bar. These are important traits in sustainability. At the same time, palm oil is highly controversial. Unscrupulous farmers in native-countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have indiscriminately de-forested palm. This practice has led to environmentally damaging burning, clearing and elimination of animal habitat.
Enter the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, or the RSPO, an industry organized group that has a rigorous certification methodology in place for its growers. RPSO certified companies are assessed for environmental responsibility, and further – for fair trade attributes like working conditions and wages for workers. Maple & Lather sources its soap from highly specialized producers, in Provence, France who only use RSPO certified soap. As an added vote of confidence, the World Wildlife Foundation has given its endorsement to the efforts of RSPO. From Malaysia, to Provence, to its final destination at your door, when you lather up, you can be sure you’re using responsibly sourced raw ingredients.
Beautiful, Recyclable Packaging
Whether you’re indulging in our delicately exfoliating Lavender Flower bar, or our crisply energizing Alpine Cedar bar, you’ll notice two things. First, it’s all recyclable paper. Our vendors all use post-consumer recycled paper at origin. We don’t embellish our packaging unnecessarily with plastics and other non-recyclables. Second our uniquely commissioned art hearkens back to the roaring 1920s, a time characterized full of discovery and romance. It was important that if we were using simple paper, we maximized the medium to bring you something that would calm and inspire your day.
We’re all starting to hear more about recycling, notably the sad fact that “just because something’s recyclable, that doesn’t mean it gets recycled”. Starting with something that’s already been recycled is a good way to start with sustainable packaging. Although usually more expensive, using recycled paper ensures that the circle of re-use has already begun. The Forest Stewardship Council is the world’s most widely known program for forest management, and an important certification point for recycling. While all of our packaging is made with already recycled paper, you’ll notice that for our larger collection boxes – which use more paper – we’ve taken the extra step of sourcing FSC certified materials.
Responsible, Sensible Packaging
Finally, we haven’t forgotten that our subscription and single purchase options mean you’re getting something shipped to your door. There’s nothing worse than getting a two-inch product delivered to your door in a ten-inch box (we all know a certain e-commerce company who’s guilty of this). From biodegradable foam ‘peanuts’ to paper boxes that are measured to fit right, we minimize materials and ensure they’re all recyclable as well.
We’ll finish by saying that in a world that is surrounded by unnecessary waste, we will continue to look in the mirror and assess ways we can reduce our environment footprint at Maple & Lather. What we know from our long journey is that this is not easy, and it’s not a one-time task. We’re committed to continuing to deliver responsibly sourced, environmentally sustainable products, that you can feel good about using every day. Lather Up!