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K.T.
03-03-2010, 09:52 AM
Ballard Organics is a small company out of Seattle that makes natural, environmentally conscious soaps. Has anybody tried out their shaving soap? I saw it at my local co-op, and noticed that the cardboard display container was empty. Someone's been using it!

I believe their distribution is limited, but I think Whole Foods may carry it. It's possible that Whole Foods may carry it regionally, however, so it may not be available everywhere. Not sure.

My girlfriend is very sensitive to scents, so she perked up when she saw that Ballard Organics make a shaving soap; she's had good results using their foaming hand soap and likes it a lot.

If anyone here has any experience with it, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks!
K.T.

Jim
03-03-2010, 10:00 AM
Environmentally conscious soaps?

I looked,for the bar soap they use-
Bar Soap, Certified Organic
Saponified Organic Palm, Coconut, Olive and Castor Oils, Organic Cocoa Butter, Essential Oils, non-GMO Tocopherol


Palm oil farming is the greatest single threat to rain forest deforestation.

??

BentonClay
03-03-2010, 10:00 AM
I believe their distribution is limited
K.T.

I found a link to their online store:
http://www.ballardorganics.com/inc/sdetail/712 . Weirdly, shaving soap is in the drop-down menu under "scents".

BentonClay
03-03-2010, 10:02 AM
And, equally weirdly, you pay an extra $3.95 for the privilege of having it unboxed!

BentonClay
03-03-2010, 10:08 AM
Jim, I was thinking that too. I recently read an article claiming sustainable palm oil is virtually impossible. I would like to know how they feel they get around that. As far as I know it is impossible to have a good shaving soap without palm oil. Even tallow based soaps contain some form of stearic acid which is chiefly derived from palm. But why would they need palm oil for non shaving soaps?

I'm going to ask them and report back here.

I'm not saying palm oil is evil by the way. I just think it's misleading to claim that it is earth friendly. As a formulator of shaving soaps, I struggle with this issue though.

gollum83
03-03-2010, 10:25 AM
And, equally weirdly, you pay an extra $3.95 for the privilege of having it unboxed!

Now that is too funny! :lol::lol::lol:

Jim
03-03-2010, 11:13 AM
Jim, I was thinking that too. I recently read an article claiming sustainable palm oil is virtually impossible. I would like to know how they feel they get around that. As far as I know it is impossible to have a good shaving soap without palm oil. Even tallow based soaps contain some form of stearic acid which is chiefly derived from palm. But why would they need palm oil for non shaving soaps?

I'm going to ask them and report back here.

I'm not saying palm oil is evil by the way. I just think it's misleading to claim that it is earth friendly. As a formulator of shaving soaps, I struggle with this issue though.

Sounds like a plan-

BTW stearic acid is a building block as it were, it can be derived from animal as well as vegetable sources.

beginish
03-03-2010, 11:29 AM
Environmentally conscious soaps?

I looked,for the bar soap they use-
Bar Soap, Certified Organic
Saponified Organic Palm, Coconut, Olive and Castor Oils, Organic Cocoa Butter, Essential Oils, non-GMO Tocopherol


Palm oil farming is the greatest single threat to rain forest deforestation.

??


Setting aside the Palm Oil/Rainforest destruction question for a second, the Olive oil doesn't bode well for a good shaving lather.

BentonClay
03-03-2010, 12:07 PM
Sounds like a plan-

BTW stearic acid is a building block as it were, it can be derived from animal as well as vegetable sources.

Understood - it can be, but (according to my online searches) in practice it is in almost exclusively derived from palm oil and supplemented with other plant sources. If anyone could point me to a source of stearic acid derived from animals, or not from palm, I would be in your debt!

Jim
03-03-2010, 02:32 PM
Understood - it can be, but (according to my online searches) in practice it is in almost exclusively derived from palm oil and supplemented with other plant sources. If anyone could point me to a source of stearic acid derived from animals, or not from palm, I would be in your debt!

I may not be remembering correctly, I thought the issue with SA is the source cannot be really traced since its not designated at the manufacturing level with the source of the product. Wholesalers and distributors were caught playing fast and loose with the origins.
This was driven primarly by consumers who wanted vegan soap.

Perhaps Sue Or Jesse will stop by and weigh in.

SliceOfLife
03-03-2010, 02:44 PM
Tallow has a higher concentration of it, but for whatever reason (easier? cheaper? I don't know.) It is almost exclusively derived from Palm according to web sources. The highest concentrations seem to occur in Cocoa and Shea butter, but they are much more costly to produce than Palm.

Topgumby
03-03-2010, 08:08 PM
Hmmpphhh. As someone from the area, I associated Ballard with Lutefisk and crusty Norwegian fishermen, not organic soaps, but it's changing.

Also, it's pretty typical that they'd charge more for the boxless product...I swear, I could open up a business in Seattle that dealt in making clubs for whacking baby seals, but if I put a label on the product that read:

"Seattle Seal Shillelagh

Made of all natural ingredients, harvested in a socially conscience way.
No plastic bags were allowed within 100 feet of manufacture.
With every purchase we donate a percentage of the profits to help distribution of our newsletter, "Serving Seals" printed on recycled paper"

I'd get a gold medal from the local civic/environmental groups.

To each his own...but more money for no box?

Pricklycactus
03-03-2010, 11:09 PM
I know LUSH soaps are now palm free and it seems like they just used different plant oils to substitute the palm.

what I am more curious about is that Alkamaar and Trichomania are two very luxurious and creamy LUSH soaps with a coconutty scent. Just wondering if anyone would try to use it a shaving soap if its a decent substitute for the 3T brands.

BentonClay
03-31-2010, 03:22 PM
Jim, I was thinking that too. I recently read an article claiming sustainable palm oil is virtually impossible. I would like to know how they feel they get around that...I'm going to ask them and report back here.


Received the following reply from Ballard Organics today:
"Thank you for your question it made us realize we did not have this information on our website. We have posted a link to a statement from our palm oil supplier regarding their sustainable production practices. Go to the links page and it is the last link on the page Ciranda Inc. (Palm Oil information) Please let me know if you have more questions."

The link is to a Word document which essentially states that Ciranda sources its palm oil from Brazil (not Indonesia, where the rainforests are being stripped), that they use sustainable practices, practise reforestation, and are the only North American company to "sign on to Rainforest Action Network’s pledge to support a moratorium on the expansion of palm oil plantations into tropical forests."

Top marks to Ballard Organics on the corporate social responsibility front!

BallardOrganics
06-01-2010, 10:13 AM
Hi there, I'm Ben, owner of Ballard Organics. I just found this thread and wanted to address the box issue...we charge 25 cents less for unboxed soap. We encourage our customers to recycle and reuse, giving a discount for purchasing product without packaging is our way of encouraging customers to use less packaging.

I've created our formula for the shaving bar and shaving liquid line and would be glad to answer any questions.

Thanks!

BentonClay
06-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks for weighing in Ben! The drop-down box beside "Choose packaging" on your order page says "Unboxed (add $3.95)". Looking closely, I see this is actually the total price of the soap, but it is confusing. Maybe your web team could find a better way to highlight the discount... :)


Hi there, I'm Ben, owner of Ballard Organics. I just found this thread and wanted to address the box issue...we charge 25 cents less for unboxed soap. We encourage our customers to recycle and reuse, giving a discount for purchasing product without packaging is our way of encouraging customers to use less packaging.

I've created our formula for the shaving bar and shaving liquid line and would be glad to answer any questions.

Thanks!

BallardOrganics
06-04-2010, 03:16 PM
Hi Dave
I appreciate the feedback about the confusing options! I do the website myself...I'll throw some ideas around the office and see if we can come up with something better.
Ben