THE SUSSEX HANDMADE SOAP COMPANY STORY
The Sussex Handmade Soap Company was formed in 2019 in the ancient fishing town of Hastings, East Sussex by friends Anne and Wayne. That's us, on the left! This photo was taken on the day we found out that we had won an award for our "Dead Sea Clay" soap bar - hence the Champagne! Our main aim when starting this business was to create a product that was natural, attractive, good quality and above all else, something that we were both passionate about making!
We began by making soap as a hobby as this combined Wayne's love of cooking with Anne's love of science and chemistry. We both have a creative side and enjoy coming up with new scent combinations and decorative ideas. We chose to use the cold process method for making our soaps as in a fast paced, modern world, we liked the idea of creating something using an old fashioned and traditional method.
We combined this traditional method with the more modern values that we both feel strongly about. To us, this meant that all our soaps had to contain clean, safe, cruelty free ingredients and absolutely no parabens or sls.
We were also conscious that we wanted our soaps to be as environmentally friendly as possible. This means that all of our soaps and other products are either vegetarian or vegan and we avoid the use of palm oil wherever possible. Our packaging is all recyclable or biodegradable and none of the packaging materials that we use leave behind microplastics.
Our first soap bars were created and tested on our human friends and family - no animal testing took place either on our finished bars or on any of the ingredients that we used to make them. We listened to feedback from our friends and family and used that feedback to create what we feel is the perfect collection of products.
The good stuff!
Our soap bars contain all natural carrier oils and butters, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and shea butter and due to this, they are incredibly kind and gentle on the skin. Most of our soaps do contain beneficial essential oils, but for extra sensitive skin, we have created an unfragranced Goats' Milk soap bar which is incredibly gentle and an unfragranced Dead Sea Clay bar, which is also good for troublesome skin.
For us, our company is all about keeping things wholesome and simple and producing as many of our own ingredients as possible. While we unfortunately cannot produce our own oils, we do use a collection of botanical ingredients in our soaps. These extra ingredients add both attractiveness to the finished bars and are beneficial to the skin. Many of these botanicals and additional ingredients are grown and raised by us. For example, our Calendula soap contains real flower petals from flowers that we have grown from seed and our Lavender and honey soap bars contain lavender flowers from our own bushes and honey that we have collected direct from the beekeeper.
We are passionate about our products and really love working on new recipes and ideas. We listened hard to customer comments and feedback during our first full year of trading in 2020 and in view of this, in early 2021 we began introducing a new range of products scented with safe but synthetic fragrance oils (something we initially never imagined doing!) These products are kept in their own shopping category, separate from our all natural ranges so that there is no confusion over ingredients. None of the fragrances we have selected contain parabens as these are something that we absolutely do not want in our products.
We want our customers to follow our story and realise that when you purchase from us, you are supporting a small, local business who hand produce all their items in small batches with a lot of love and care.
We love showing off our products and meeting customers in person, so one of our favourite things to do is attend various shows and events across the South East of England. We have a number of shows lined up for later this year and will be announcing them soon! The shows we attend are handpicked by us and are always a lot of fun for visitors and exhibitors alike. If you do find yourself attending a show and you spot us, please do come and say hello!