Beauty

Ethical beauty: what does it take?

Saskia Lankshear is the creative force at ethical beauty brand Soaper Duper. Here, she reveals its eco-friendly and charitable credentials
Lucky If Sharp, Shutterstock

I never knew my job existed. When I applied to be a logistics assistant at a beauty company and didn’t get the job, I wrote to the founder, telling her she’d made a mistake! She phoned me and said, ‘It wasn’t right for you – you should be a product co-ordinator.’ I did that for four years, becoming a beauty buyer. Then I met Soaper Duper founder Marcia Kilgore, who gave me a job as a product developer.

Soaper Duper was always ahead of the game. Concern about plastics, recyclability and the naturality of what we put on our bodies was just the beginning. When we created the brand, in 2015, every element of the business had to address those issues. We knew it was the right thing to do.

Our packaging is eco-friendly, from the tubs of Smoothing Coconut & Shea Body Butter (300ml), to the tubes of Sudsy Sicilian Lemon Body Scrub (250ml). We are 100% recyclable and use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Our bottles are made from recycled milk bottles – sometimes the green tops get mixed in, which tints the plastic green.

Water hygiene is a big issue in many countries, and we wanted to use Soaper Duper as a platform to address this. So we’ve partnered with WaterAid to help transform millions of lives, improving access to water, toilets and hygiene around the globe.

I test everything. I’m often standing over a sink, checking that our latest products foam up enough! The team is close to every item: if we wouldn’t buy it ourselves, we don’t sell it.

We need to pay more attention to our bathroom bin. I teach my seven-year-old twins, Savanna and Felix, about recycling beauty and skincare packaging, too, as we should all be more environmentally conscious.