Why we started refilling shampoo & conditioner bottles.
We make shampoo & conditioner that is good for your head and good for the planet too!
We saw an industry that has been responsible for so much plastic waste for too long and decided it was time to make a change.
Soaked has been designed to be convenient and sustainable whilst also looking great and feeling great on your hair.
We are Hollie & Ella, Co-Founders of Soaked. Keep reading for our story.
The beauty industry produces more than 120 BILLION units of packaging globally each year.
We met whilst both studying at The University of Sussex. We very quickly realised how well we worked together and ended up in the same internship! After a few years of studies and working alongside each other, we decided we'd like to start a business.
Having studied at Sussex and living in Brighton, plastic waste and pollution is something that is very pertinent for us. Each weekend as tourists flood to our beaches and fill them with rubbish, we see charities working hard to clear up the mess but ultimately a huge amount of plastic waste ends up in the sea. We knew we wanted to launch a business that was sustainable and made a real impact on plastic waste.
So began the research! Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, and about 12% incinerated and all the rest — 79% — ended up in landfills, dumps, or the natural environment. The issue with cosmetic packaging is that due to the water content in cosmetics, as well as their unstable nature, in order to pass testing plastic is often necessary. Don't be fooled by those kraft paper looking packaging alternatives - they have a layer of plastic on the inside to stop the packaging breaking down! Further to this, they aren't recyclable.
We were a bit stumped. We knew we wanted to make a product that was circular and plastic free. We also knew that consumers weren't all that into solid hair products. We also knew we wanted to make a product that was effortlessly sustainable.
We searched the market and spoke to what felt like hundreds of packaging companies until we came full circle and realised that actually, plastic pouches use very little energy to produce compared to other products. It's not so much the pouch itself, it's how we dispose of it.
We began our research into the recycling process. We've written a separate article on this, which you can find here so I won't bore you too much with the details, but as it turned out, recycling is a highly unsustainable process when it comes to cosmetic packaging. So we searched for an alternative. We eventually came across a process called chemical recycling. Again, we've written all about this which you can find here. But this process is entirely circular.
So there it was, we began filling our pouches with our products which we had formulated for us by a local Brightonian. We worked hard with Nick to create products that were nourishing to the scalp whilst also smelling amazing.
Our bottles are available in either glass or plastic and we tested over 100 pumps to find one that wouldn't break or wear down too quickly. Our labels are 100% waterproof and the bottle is dishwasher safe. I tried and tested the durability of my bottles for months before we launched and mine are still going strong 2 years later!
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