Friday, June 4, 2010

Wow, it's been awhile since we posted! It seems the busier we get, the more our little blog suffers.

We hosted St. Marys first ever World Fair Trade Day Coffee Break which was exciting. Our good friends at Harvest Bakery and Cafe handed out Fair Trade coffee and we baked up some Fair Trade brownies and cookies. We didn't get a huge crowd but big enough that we want to do something even more fantastic next year!

More exciting news from the soap studio...we are launching two new bars this month!

"Man Bar" and "Om Bar"....

I will post more details and pics in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!

If you aren't following us on best be starting...we post some pretty sweet 24 hour deals and you won't want to miss out.

Lastly, I (Stacey) am nominated for the Savvy Mom Entrepreneur award and the winner is determined by voters like you. Please check it out and if you see fit....cast us a vote!

Be happy and be well!

Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Purchase Fair Trade

1. Fair Trade means fair pay and working conditions for farmers and artisans as well as creating just economic opportunities for marginalized producers.

2. Fair Trade encourages environmental sustainability by using eco friendly farming practices and the use of raw materials found in nature or recycled. Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize our environmental footprint.

3. Fair Trade Protects children by local managers upholding their rights to security, education and play. Business owners respect local laws and social norms and disclose the involvement of children in production.

4. Fair Trade empowers marginalized workers/farmers and artisans by creating access to low cost, advanced capital as well as opportunities for building their technical and business skills.

5. Fair Trade is safe because it promotes integrated farming and management systems that improve soil fertility and preserves valuable eco systems while limiting the use of harmful agrochemicals that present dangers to the farmer's health. This means food that is safer for you and the farmers who grow it!

6. Fair Trade supports communities by working through co-operative structures artisans and farmers are able to invest fair trade earnings into their communities, improving housing, health care and schools.

7. Fair Trade is trade that artisans and farmers can count on. Fair trade is committed to strengthening direct, long term partnerships between buyers and producers. These partnerships provide an avenue for buyers to purchase quality items from people they trust. It offers a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their livelihoods.

8. Fair Trade connects you to other cultures by introducing you to products that are unique to the places they came from and the people who made them.

9. Fair Trade means sustainable local economies by giving the producers control over their own future. By allowing them to build their own businesses rather than work for a middleman. This means profits stay in their community and are put back into their businesses.

10. Fair Trade means that your purchases matter. It allows you access to high quality products while making a difference in the lives of the people who produced them.

***information courtesy of The Fair Trade Resource Network


Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Truth in Labelling...

This week we were confronted twice by the question of sodium hydroxide (Lye) listed as an ingredient in our soaps. This was surprising to us considering it is impossible to make cold process soaps without it and quite truthfully, this is the first time we were questioned about it.

When explaining this to our inquiring customers, they named two companies that they truly believed did not use sodium hydroxide in their soap. As a soap maker, knowing that this is impossible, we set out to investigate. How was it, that companies were making this claim? Were they being deceitful, unlawful, dishonest? The answer is no, none of the above.
As we expected, they are in fact using the lye, but having been at this longer than us, probably having experienced the same questions, they found a way to be truthful in listing their ingredients without scaring people away.

Let me first fill you in on why sodium hydroxide is a key component in soap making, and how it's not as scary as it sounds...

Soap is made by saponifying fats or oils (ie olive, coconut, palm) with an alkali (either sodium hydroxide for bars, or potassium hydroxide for liquid soaps.)
The saponification process separates the glycerin from the fatty acids, and the fatty acids combine with the sodium to create soap. The hydroxide forms water. The important point here is that there is NO sodium hydroxide left in a finished bar of soap. A necessary ingredient that plays it's role and disappears.

We firmly believed when we created our line that we wanted to be very transparent in our labelling, I think that in doing so, we also need to be able to explain the process in an honest and truthful way. We listed sodium hydroxide not because it's in our soap, but because it was used to create it.

What we have found in these other companies who also are very transparent in their labelling is that they list their ingredients as they truly appear in their soaps. "Glycerin" (because that is the byproduct of saponification.) Or simply, saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm....(because that's truly what is left in the bar.)
No dishonesty there, they didn't list lye, simply because like ours, there isn't any left in their soap.

I am not bothered when we are questioned about what we are using in our soaps and why, I think that it's a learning experience for both us and the person asking. I think that allows us all to become more knowledgeable and aware of what we are putting on our bodies. We should always question things that we're unsure of.

I hope that you have found this beneficial, ( I know that we have!)

Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

P.S. We are deeply saddened by the tragedy in Haiti, at the same time, very much uplifted by the outpouring of support and donations made. It truly makes me proud to be a human being when strangers are willing to reach out to help those in need.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sweet Soaps....

Wow, a new year! I hope you have all had a warm and happy holiday season...
2009 was a great year for us hear at Sweet Leaf Bath Co., our products received Fair Trade Certification through TransFair Canada, we were welcomed into some new stores and our online store went live.
We are very much looking forward to 2010! We're already busy brainstorming our new scent creations down in the soap studio and we know that you're going to love them!
We will keep you posted, but for now, I will leave you with some of our soaps to browse...
Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Going Green For Christmas

I love Christmas. Christmas lights, Christmas music, even Christmas shopping. I love looking at all of those beautifully wrapped presents that I have placed under an ornate tree waiting for their owner to come and claim them with excitement and laughter.

This year, I have decided to change it up a bit. I'm looking for ways to still have the beautifully wrapped presents under the tree but not with the usual snowman and Santa Clause wrapping. I am attempting to come up with some new ways to wrap this year that aren't quite so wasteful and I thought I would share some of these ideas that I have come accross in my attempts to be more green.

1. Wrap a gift in a beautiful scarf. It's two gifts in one.

2. Try rapping a husband or father's gift with the sports section.

3. College student at home? Why not use tupperware containers instead of boxes for their presents? (You could even send them home with leftovers in them!)

4. If you're someone who sews...there is always leftover material in your craft room...why not use it to wrap a gift?

As for the kids and I started making our own ornaments last year and will continue to do so each year. They are more beautiful than anything I could buy in a store and it gives my children a sense of pride to see their work displayed on the tree.

I will continue my quest to make my Christmas greener...and will keep you posted on all the wonderful tidbits I come accross.

If you have any good green ideas, please post them here, I would love to hear about them!

Happy Holidays,
Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Polish Your Way To Beautiful Skin

Many of us are truly afraid to exfoliate our faces. We conjure up images of red blotchy skin and bad breakouts. So many women that we talk to flat out tell us that they can't exfoliate their faces because their skin is too sensitive.
To these ladies...brace can exfoliate your will actually help reduce bad breakouts and red blotchy skin. In fact, if you use the right product, it can firm, fight wrinkles, moisturize and give you the radiant glow that all girls dream of!

Let me introduce you to my very favorite Sweet Leaf Bath product. It's our Adzuki Bean & Rice Bran Face Polish. I use it religiously, having converted from the school of "my skin is too sensitive to exfoliate." I have used numerous facial scrubs in the past with the end result being dry skin and and blotchy.

The key to a good face exfoliant is it's ability to gently polish off dead skin cells, while balancing skin tone and leaving behind a touch of moisture. The red and blotchies come from granules being to rough on the delicate facial skin, so we hand grind our adzuki beans until they are soft enough to rub on a baby's bum. A time consuming process but well worth it.

As a mentioned, a good polish needs the right balance of properties and ingredients. We carefully chose ours based on the benefits that they could bring to the table.

Organic Adzuki Beans - Gently exfoliating, leaves the skin with a radiant glow.
Organic Rice Bran - Prevents wrinkles, heals blemishes, attracts oil and dirt, leaving a healthier, balanced tone.
Cucumber Seed Extract - Hydrating, nourishing, rich in vitamins and anti - oxidants, aids in skin regeneration.
Ginko Biloba - Anti-aging and skin firming properties, revitalizing.
Apple Custard Powder - Helps the skin maintain elasticity, anti-aging properties, moisturizing.

We have heard nothing but rave reviews from anyone who has tried it (including me!) So get over your fear and give our face polish a chance...your face will thank you!

Sweet Leaf Bath Co.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting Ready For Christmas!

Wow, I have really been neglecting the blog! We have been so busy in the soap studio getting ready for the busy season as well as working with TransFair to get our packaging and website updated with the Fair Trade Logo.
I thought I would grab a cup of coffee (Fair Trade of course) sit down and send out a quick note to let you know what we are up to!
If you are in the St. Marys area, we will be at the St. Marys craft show all weekend so pop by, we would love to see you!
November 7th we will be in Goderich and November 14th and 15th at the Stratford Christmas Craft show.
Busy, busy, busy but loving every minute!
Please keep checking in for updates and I promise to be a little more diligent!

Sweet Leaf Bath Co.