In conjunction with Earth Day, Yuan Skincare & Soap 阿原肥皂 launches a sustainability initiative named Blue Hope, aimed at encouraging people to reduce single-use plastic bottles in the bathroom, and raise funds to support water sustainability efforts in Southeast Asia.
In recent years, global public sentiments against single-use plastic have led to concrete actions – some governments have banned the provision of free single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and many restaurants no longer provide plastic straws and lids.
Use bar soaps to reduce single-use plastic bottles in the bathroom
However, most consumers are not aware that they can take steps to reduce single-use plastic waste generated from the bathroom.
By choosing bar soaps to cleanse your hair, face and body, consumers are effectively reducing the use of three plastic bottles at one go, namely the shampoo bottle, the body wash bottle and the facial cleanser bottle.
Based on data from SingStat, Singapore has 1.37 million households in 2020. Assuming each household were to reduce three plastic bottles each month, Singapore will save 49.32 million plastic bottles in a year.
Mr Chiang Jung Yuan, Founder of Yuan Workshop, says: “Bar soap is the eco-friendlier option because you don’t need containers for transporting and storing, thereby significantly reducing the amount of single-use plastic bottles waste generated from the bathroom.”
Blue Hope Soap Set to raise funds for the “River of Plastic”
To celebrate Earth Day this year, Yuan Skincare & Soap launches a Blue Hope Soap Set, comprising three eco-friendly handmade soaps, suitable for use on the hair, face and body respectively.
For every set sold, $10 will be donated to the Blue Hope Fund, to support water sustainability efforts at the polluted Mekong River, also known as the “River of Plastic”, running through Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and China.
According to a study by a research team at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, and published in Environmental Science and Technology Journal in November 2017, Mekong River was one of the 10 rivers that collectively carried between 88-95% of plastics into the world’s oceans.
The research recommended that as approximately 2 billion people from emerging countries live along the rivers’ basins, emergency measures to stop plastic pollution are necessary.
In a bid to clear up the Mekong River, Blue Hope’s Vietnamese beneficiary, Green River, will use donations from the Blue Hope Fund to develop a remote-controlled overwater garbage collector named Water Surface Cleaning Autobot 1.0.
(Photo Credit: Green River Vietnam)
Ms. Bui My Nhat, Project Manager of Green River, says: “WSCA 1.0 is the first step for Green River to bring water-based waste picking technology to life and aid future generations solve the problem of waste on the water.”
Cold-processed bar soaps are beneficial for the skin too
Back in Singapore, industry players observe increased interest towards bar soaps, and there are other reasons fuelling its rise in popularity.
According to local home-grown brand Soaprise, which conducts interactive soap-making workshops to communicate the value of bar soaps, the number of monthly participants has increased approximately 50% year-on-year.
In the Melt & Pour Soap Making Workshop, participants get hands-on experience of making beautiful bar soaps through learning techniques of swirling, layering and embedding flowers.
(Photo Credit: Soaprise)
Founder of Soaprise, Ms Wu Wai Teng, says: “Most participants attend with the simple intention to have fun with their loved ones, but they are usually intrigued after discovering deeper meanings behind bar soaps - they aren’t just environmentally-friendly, but can be made suitable for sensitive skin too.”
Ms Wu explains, when bar soaps are crafted using the cold process method - a more complex method not easily accessible in a workshop setting - a mixture of oil, lye and water is heated to around 40 degree celsius and left in room temperature to condense for at least 4 weeks, producing a final soap that contains a high percentage of glycerin and is hydrating to the skin.
About Blue Hope Soap Set
For every set sold, $10 will be donated to the Blue Hope Fund to support regional water sustainability efforts.
(Top-Bottom: Lemon Cooling Soap, Liquorice Hair Soap, Yellow Sage Sensitive Soap)
- For the Body: Lemon (柠檬) Cooling Soap is packed with the goodness of vitamin C and effective in balancing oily skin, tightening pores and lightening pigmentation. The lemon ingredient is 100% natural, extracted from fresh lemons in Yuan Skincare’s soap factory, exemplifying the brand’s strong belief in artisanal craftsmanship.
- For the Hair: Unknown to most people, bar soaps can be used to cleanse the hair too. Formulated with multiple natural herbs, the Liquorice (甘草) Hair Soap is effective in neutralizing excess oil from the hair and scalp, as well as boosting the scalp’s cell circulation and promoting hair growth.
- For the Face: Encapsulating the merits of mugwort and patchouli, the Yellow Sage (马樱丹)Sensitive Soap is suitable for sensitive skin, and effective in relieving itch, eczema and psoriasis. Contains 100% natural herbs grown in Yuan Farm in Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan.
About Yuan Skincare & Soap
Clean natural herbs-based luxury. Yuan Skincare & Soap 阿原肥皂 is a renowned Taiwanese brand offering a wide range of handmade soaps, haircare products and award-winning skincare products, crafted using natural and eco-friendly ingredients, to restore your skin and hair through the power of oriental herbs.