The Makers | A mix of traditional processes and modern thinking
At reste we get every excited when we meet like-minded individuals. Someone who mixes traditional processes with modern thinking; who prefers natural ingredients and who insists on everything being ethically sourced and cruelty free. So when we stumbled across Chris Lafferty and his skincare brand Washed Out Soap Co it was a match made in heaven.
This is no ordinary soap: no synthetic preservatives, foaming agents or stabilisers, just beautiful handcrafted bars using a blend of natural ingredients and fine oils.
“We create our soaps using the cold-process method, a centuries-old technique, the basic principles of which are believed to have been in use as far back as 2800 BC, the first soapers being Babylonians and Ancient Greeks. The basic principle is based on blending a carefully selected range of fine oils with an alkali. The soap is the end result of this process, “ explains Chris.
In contrast to its ancient origins, modern soapers have been able to fine tune the basic principles, transforming the once muddled procedure into a specialist craft.
“All of our soaps are made by hand in small batches. Each bar is cut and finished by hand, then left to cure for a minimum of five weeks. The bars are then stamped and packaged before being sent out. No machines, no robots, just a human or two and some acquired skill.”
After several months of planning and developing, Chris launched the business in January 2015 with his goal to enrich people's routines and rituals on a daily basis. Every single item has been developed, crafted, prepared and packaged with care and attention. Each product is vegan friendly as standard; using only plant-based oils and waxes, and never using palm oil. Nourishing coconut oil, cocoa butter and olive oil is used as the base for each of the soaps; different formulas feature different and specifically selected ingredients but the base is always these three simple oils.
The Salt of The Earth bar is completely free of fragrance for the benefit of sensitive skin and allergy sufferers. It is enriched with Himalayan sea salt and kaolin clay to give a gentle, luxurious wash leaving the skin feeling soft, nourished and conditioned.
But The Washed Out Soap Co isn't limited to good soap, it also boasts a range of body butters.
"Our Body Butter formulas are tailored to balance and repair tired and damaged skin. Each formula has been workshopped to meet specific demands, and again contain only natural, plant-based ingredients," says Chris.
The Barista Body Butter is a deep and intense treatment for problematic dry areas and it's great for stimulating and improving the skin's general health and natural defences with added arabica coffee beans. Use sparingly as a replacement for general moisturisers or more liberally for deeper overnight treatments. This super product can also be used as a nourishing leave-in styling product or as an intensive hair conditioning mask, or beard oil.
So has Chris realised his goal when he started the company?
"At The a Washed Out Soap Co we don't sell thousands of bars of soap a week but I am confident that each product we supply contributes to a positive improvement for the user."
And after trying every product in the range we have to agree with him.
(Apologies, these products are no longer available)