Fabula Botanicals staff are celebrating with family over Christmas and New Year and trying to get some time on our local beach and walks (for a change). While we still be around and working a little bit, please accept our apologies if we take a little bit longer to respond to or process your enquiry or order from Christmas Eve until 10th January.
Where I have actually run out of an item, you will see those products have an ENQUIRE button. If your favourite Fabula product is unavailable right now, just click on the ENQUIRE button and let me know what you'd like and I'll come back to you with an ETA.
We mainly use Fastway/Aramex Courier Satchels to get your goodies to you asap and to keep delivery costs as low as possible. Fastway promises a Standard delivery service of next working day to the majority of destinations, however Rural may take an extra 2-3 days. The cost for urban delivery is $9.00 and for Rural $15.50.
If you order over $199 of product in one order then we will ship it to you FOR FREE!
It seems that you can find a bad news story about any product if you look hard enough and probably because of this, many soap and body care makers as well as cosmetics manufacturers will gloss around the outside of this question. I commit to tell you honestly and in plain english what is in each of my products. All of the ingredients that I use are either natural from the tree, flower, plant or earth unless that is accepted to contain more impurities or toxins than a ‘nature-equivalent’ alternative – in which case I will use that.
I list all of my ingredients on the website and you will not find anything added that is not listed.
My own skin sensitivity means that I will not use anything that I am worried about. My family and friends are also my test subjects.
It is possible that some people can find natural products irritating. If you find that one of my products causes you any issues then I’d like to hear from you. For example – I am allergic to both oats and goats milk powder even though both of these are widely accepted as ingredients that calm sensitive skin and which work perfectly for the majority of my delighted customers (my husband makes this product for me so I don’t have to touch it).
The best advice I can give you is to test any new product that you buy from anyone on a small patch of your own skin and if you have an allergic reaction – do not use it.
Palm Oil makes soaps hard and longer lasting. I believe in sustainable Palm Oil so all of my soaps contain just that. I buy it from a soap making supplier in Auckland who sources from a member of the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil). The RSPO was started in 2003 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and partners. Growers must meet 8 main principles and criteria to be members.
There are alternatives to Palm Oil (some of them are actually cheaper) and I have started investigating them to see how they perform. But my main concern is that replacing palm oil with some other types of vegetable oil would mean that much larger amounts of land would need to be used, since palm trees produce 4-10 times more oil than other crops per unit of cultivated land. This would result in serious environmental damage, with the risk that more forests would need to be converted into agricultural land.
When I started making soap – I chose RSPO certified suppliers because the people who are growing and producing using sustainable practices need our support. If everyone stops buying from them, then only the dodgy operators will be left and the deforestation and animal displacements will be worse.
I believe that everyone needs to make their own call based on their beliefs about what is right and what is best.
If you'd like more information on the RSPO you can go to http://www.rspo.org/consumers/about-sustainable-palm-oil
Sodium Hydroxide is also called Caustic Soda or Lye and yes in its original state it is toxic and you can clear your drains with it, however you cannot make soap without it (or potassium hydroxide which is used for liquid soaps) – HOWEVER THIS IS NOT BAD NEWS – PLEASE READ ON.
Lye is an integral ingredient in cold process soap making. It’s not listed as an ingredient as it doesn’t actually exist once the saponification process is completed. I mix Olive Oil and Sodium Hydroxide and this makes a new compound called Sodium Oleate. This is non toxic. There is actually no hydroxide remaining in the final product – it has been consumed in the soap making process and converted to Glycerin.
So how exactly does it work? If you studied high school chemistry, you may remember that when you mix a base with an acid, you form a neutral. This is exactly what happens in the soap making reaction. The base (lye) mixes with the acid (oil or fat) to form a neutral (the soap).
The main benefit of homemade lye soap, and the reason people love it so much, is actually because of its soothing properties, courtesy of the glycerin that forms during the oil and lye reaction. Glycerin is removed from most commercial soaps and sold as a byproduct because of corporate concerns to pass last quarter's profits. Most homemade soap makers are more concerned about producing a superior product... so we keep the glycerin in the soap.
Micas – No
My colours come from the type of clay, herbs and spices that I add (eg turmeric). This is why the colours are such natural tones and shades. Super bright coloured soaps are impossible to achieve with natural clays - they are either attained with a mica, or a synthetic colourant.
Mica is a fine mineral powder coated with a metal oxide such as titanium dioxide, iron oxide or zirconium dioxide. Various colours are obtained according to the thickness of the cladding layers.
Oxides – No
Oxides are either pigments mined from the earth, or are man made ‘nature-equivalent’. This is a strange term which sounds like you wouldn’t want it near you, but which appears to mean that the man made ones actually exist because the natural alternative has too high a level of toxins (like arsenic, mercury, lead and selenium) to be safe for cosmetic use. Oxides used in cosmetics have been made in a lab since the 1970s in order to reduce the level of these toxins to a level deemed safe by the FDA.