Plastic-free July: Day 29
Kake mentioned finding it hard to find plastic-free soap packaging apart from Lush soaps, and this surprised me. Of course, I don’t know where I’d find them in Croydon, but it feels to me as though there’s quite a few places worth trying in Oxford (and some of these solutions might apply more generally). This is going to have to be a bit of ‘armchair shopping’ (with no photo!) as I haven’t had time to get out much recently because of work, but let’s see what I can find.
There’s a gifty shop in the Covered Market that does French soaps (i.e. this kind of thing, though I don’t think it’s actually that brand). There’s probably quite a few other gifty shops that do this kind of thing, but I can’t think of any offhand (suggestions welcome in the comments!) but generally I reckon the more gift-like a soap is the more likely it is to be packaged in paper, fabric, etc. On the other hand, it’s more likely to be expensive, too. Indigo on Cowley Road does gifty/Fairtrade stuff, and from their website it looks like they sell One Village soaps (as well as some really fancy stuff wrapped in fabric).
Then there’s Boswell’s department store which does Bomb Cosmetics (quite similar to Lush, and they sound fairly green and ethical even if they don’t shout about it quite as much as Lush do). Their soaps are very pretty, and helped persuade my 3yo to wash her hands, but otherwise I don’t think they’re quite as nice to use (smell or feel) as Lush’s soaps. NB Boswell’s is brilliant and I really should remember to use their pharmacy instead of Boots, so I can support a local store (and go somewhere that actually sells pharmacy stuff without making me fight through a cloud of perfume to get there).
The Fair Trade shops (Fairtrade at St Michael’s in the town centre, Windmill Shop in Headington) stock Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps (e.g. http://www.drbronner.co.uk/baby-mild-bar-soap-140-g-2/) which are packaged in paper. I do like the Dr Bronner stuff, especially the Baby Mild (which is really gentle and more or less fragrance-free) and the Almond one which smells marvellously of marzipan (though I accept that’s not to everybody’s taste!), but I actually prefer their liquid soap, which comes in — guess what — plastic bottles. On the other hand you can buy it in GIANT bottles, which is at least probably less packaging-per-unit-of-soap than the smaller bottles…?
I’m also pretty sure Holland and Barrett (several branches in Oxford) do some paper-wrapped organic soaps, but I haven’t been in there recently and it’s hard to tell from the website whether packaging really paper/cardboard or plasticky stuff; similarly for Uhuru on the Cowley Road, except that they don’t even seem to have a website where I can check.
Can anybody think of any other places to get soap with plastic-free packaging in Oxford?