Soypa is strongly committed to contributing to sustainable development by using plant-based ingredients, plastic-free packaging, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Soypa's soaps formula is developed, assessed and approved by the certified chemical laboratory according to the EU Cosmetic Regulations (CPSR certified). All soaps and soap ingredients are not tested on animals.
If you want to know more about Soypa's environmental impacts, including the contribution to Sustainable Development Goals, keep reading. Have in mind that Soypa just started and no quantitative data is available at the moment. This is an assessment based on my sustainability education knowledge and available information research.
Life Cycle Assessment Study on the footprints of home-care and personal-hygiene products revealed that the life-cycle impacts of bar soap are highly influenced by the consumers' usage (up to 88% of the carbon and environmental footprints). By lowering the water temperature and using less product, consumers can significantly reduce the ecological footprint of the used soap. It also showed that hand-washing with bar soap overall proves to be preferential to liquid soap as the hand-washing with bar soap requires less product, and thus has considerably lower impacts throughout the supply chain (except for land-use impacts).
In the production phase, Soypa's soapmaking consumes minimum energy for batch mixing. Solid oils are usually melted using the heat from the chemical reaction of water and sodium hydroxide.
Compared with liquid soaps, soap bars use much less water in production. Water content in the overall soap batch is around 20%, where most of the water evaporates during the process of soap curing. The majority of the impact comes from washing the equipment after the soap production.
The aim is to reuse the packaging from purchases as much as possible and to order larger quantities of ingredients to minimize waste accumulation.
Unfortunately, a lot of the ingredients are packed in plastic; however, some of the containers are reused in soap making or for storage. The rest of the waste is properly sorted and disposed of for recycling.
Soap ends are sold as samples, while leftovers are collected and used for rebatching soaps for personal use or cleaning.
Soypa tries to minimize GHG emissions from shipping. All our ingredients come from European suppliers, purchasing the European origin ingredients if possible. In general, solid soap bars have a lower carbon footprint as they usually do not contain fossil fuel-derived chemicals, have non plastic packaging, and are more energy-efficient in terms of transport.
Soypa's formula is based only on the plant oils and butter which are labeled as vegan, and not tested on animals. Even though there is sustainably produced palm oil on the market, Soypa decided not to use palm oil. Similar to essential oils, the main impact of plant-based oils comes from the land use required for the production.
At the moment, shea butter, sunflower, castor, and coconut oil used in the production have the EU organic/NL-BIO-01 labels, while the short-term objective is to include EU organic apricot kernel and sweet almond oils as standard ingredients.
The production of essential oils (EO) has a negative side. EO can be resource-intensive requiring the use of pesticides and large amounts of plants to produce a certain amount of essential oils.
Soypa uses several essential oils with the EU organic/NL-BIO-01 labels available on the market (patchouli, elemi, lemon, orange, cedarwood, lavender).
Plants like sandalwood, rosewood, frankincense, and atlas cedarwood are on the IUCN red list of threatened species, and Soypa does not include them in the recipes. As an alternative, Amyris (West Indian Sandalwood) and Virginian Cedarwood essential oils are used.
Some EO can be harmful or toxic to aquatic life, and to humans, if not used correctly which is why they need to be carefully applied and within the maximum allowed concentrations regulated by international standards. Therefore, soaps such as Highlands and Degready are unscented to reduce the potential allergy triggers and minimize environmental impact.
Soypa packaging is plastic-free, made of recycled paper, and can be composted or recycled again. This kind of paper can be recycled again several times, it does not contribute to deforestation and requires over 50% less water and energy in the production. Please make sure you properly dispose of our packaging!
Handmade soap does not contain detergents and phosphates which can be a major polluter of lakes and streams and contribute to eutrophication. All vegetable and essential oils used in our production are biodegradable.
According to the World Health Organization, hand washing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Soaps are important in hand hygiene as they are proved to be superior in killing microbes to alcohol and antiseptic wipes and do not dry the skin. Soypa promotes hand and body hygiene without harmful chemicals for human health.
All Soypa soaps are designed as unisex, regardless of the color or scent. We do not support meaningless gender stereotypes like pink is for women and blue is for men. A sustainable lifestyle is genderless. Also, in case you were wondering, Soypa is a woman-owned and woman-led micro-enterprise.
Handmade soap bars are water-efficient, as they contain minimum water compared with liquid soap and shower gel varieties. Using biodegradable, chemical-free ingredients and plastic-free packaging reduce water pollution. Remember to turn off the tap to save water!
Sustainable production and consumption is the main driver of Soypa's business model. Humans consumption exceeds planetary boundaries and available natural resources and it needs to change.
By offering products that can be used in various ways, Soypa soaps reduce the need to buy multiple products for everyday hygiene and cleaning. As they are more concentrated, less product is used, meaning fewer purchases and less waste produced.
In the production, Soypa tries to minimize the waste by reusing plastic and cardboard packaging, buying larger quantities of the ingredients, and in plastic-free packaging as much as possible.
By offering solid products which usually have a lower carbon footprint in plastic-free packaging, Soypa reduces its climate change contribution. Plastic is a petroleum product whose production contributes to climate change. Recycled paper packaging saves trees and energy required for paper production, meaning more trees - more carbon sequestration and less energy - less GHG emissions.
Moreover, through the carbon offset for each shipment offered by Shopify, Soypa funds the Jarí Para Forest Conservation Project in the Amazon Rainforest, working on avoiding deforestation and restoring native vegetation.
By offering products without plastic packaging, Soypa eliminates further marine plastic pollution, which became one of the major threats to the ocean ecosystems. Millions of plastic and microplastic debris end up in the oceans which are ingested by the animals causing injuries or death.
Detergent-based cleaning products can have a negative impact on the water quality and contribute to eutrophication. Soypa soaps are derived from plant oils which are biodegradable and their use does not contribute to the algae bloom.
The production of plant-based oils has a negative environmental impact in terms of land use, pesticides and fertilizers, and energy needed for the production. Soypa tends to buy organic ingredients produced in sustainable agriculture practices as much as possible. Ingredients contributing to deforestation and biodiversity loss, such as palm oil and endangered species' essential oils (sandalwood, rosewood, atlas cedar) are not used in Soypa's soaps. Also, by choosing recycled paper packaging, further deforestation and land use are avoided.
Don't forget that everything we use has an impact, but we should strive to consume the products with lower consequences for the environment and people who make them.