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FAQs

Products

Are all your products vegan?

Yes, all of our products (and the two of us!) are 100% vegan and cruelty free.

 

Are all your products palm-oil-free?

Yes, we do not use any form of palm oil in our products. If you want to read more about it check out our blog post on palm oil here.

 

Do you manufacture everything you sell?

All of our products are handmade by us in our workshop in Cambridge (UK). Our soaps and shampoos are produced using the traditional cold process method, as this allows for a greater preservation of the oil properties. This methods consist of mixing an Acid (vegetable oils) with a Base, meaning a lye solution (Sodium Hydroxide and distilled water). These two elements react to produce a salt, which is the soap! Cold process soaps need to rest 4-6 weeks in order for the remaining water to evaporate.

 

What is the difference between the saponified shampoo bars and the 2in1 solid shampoos?

Saponified shampoo bars are produced using the traditional cold process method, using fully natural ingredients, to create a bar that is similar to a soap bar, with moisturising properties that make it great for your hair. Natural shampoo bars have an alkaline PH of 8, which makes them milder than other equivalent products, but given its slightly alkaline PH, it will need the use of an acid rinse to balance out the PH of your scalp after washing your hair.

On the other hand, 2in1 solid shampoos follow a different production method based on the use of two gentle, natural-derived surfactants, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. 2in1 solid shampoos have a balanced PH of 5.5, making them extremely gentle on your scalp. For this reason, they will not need an acid rinse.

 

Do I need a conditioner after using your shampoo bars? 

No, conditioner is not needed after using either of our shampoo bars! When using our natural shampoo bars, we highly suggest to use an Acid rinse (which helps rebalance the PH and leaves the hair detangled and shiny).

If after a few weeks of using our natural shampoo bars, you were to find that your hair need some conditioning properties we suggest making a hair mask with natural oils/butter to apply on your damp hair prior to showering, alternatively you can use our organic face+hair Bliss Beauty Oil (which is what I, Bianca, use).

For more information on using natural shampoo bar check out our free guide!

 

Will you ever make a conditioner bar?

This is definitely one of the questions we receive most often haha. But no, we won't make a conditioner bar as we didn’t very much like the use of conditioner bars, and for this reason all of our shampoos will not need a conditioner.

Our natural shampoo bars contain ~5% of unsaponified oils in addition to the naturally occurring vegetable glycerin (a byproduct of the saponification process), which both act as moisturising agents, while our 2in1 solid shampoo contains conditioning ingredients, so that you won’t need to buy both a shampoo and a conditioner!

We have also created  a multipurpose face&hair moisturiser, the Bliss Beauty Oil, which can be used after the shower on damp hair!

 

How do I make an acid rinse?

We have a full guide with all the information on how to make and use an acid rinse here!

 

My hair get greasy after using a natural shampoo bar, what should I do? 

If you were using a product with synthetic ingredients before switching to 100% natural shampoo bars you will probably go through a transition phase, during which your hair will get greasy more quickly.

Shampoos which contain synthetic ingredients create a barrier on the hair (which helps make the hair look shiny). Because natural shampoos do not leave this barrier, the hair in a first stage could feel the need to over-produce sebum. The transition period usually lasts 2-3 weeks during which more frequent washing should be avoided.

While it can be tricky to avoid washing the hair more often, it is important to resist otherwise your hair will get used to the new washing schedule.

Not everyone goes through a transition phase and this depends a lot both on the hair type, the water hardness and the type of products used before moving to a shampoo bar!

Once the transition phase is over you will find that your hair is lighter and softer, and thanks to the Acid Rinse they will also remain shiny!

For more information on using natural shampoo bar check out our free guide!

 

Why aren't the products 100% organic?

We thought a lot about whether making our products organic or not, and we came to the conclusion that, at the moment, this is not economically feasible. In fact, if we made all of our products 100% organic the price would be much higher.

Nonetheless, whenever the price difference is small, we do choose organic options, and that is why several of our products have a part of organic ingredients. As consuming organic products is important to us, we intend to start a line of organic soap and shampoo bars once we grow a little bit and we can do it in a more affordable way.

In any case, we do intend to keep the non-organic line as we believe that zero waste should always be accessible!

 

What is the difference between a handmade and a commercial soap?

During the saponification process, glycerine is produced. In industrial soaps, glycerine is normally extracted and sold or used in other cosmetic products. Handmade soaps do instead contain naturally occurring glycerine and therefore are a lot more hydrating.

Also, a lot of commercial soaps use synthetic fragrances and ingredients which can be harmful both to the body and the environment.

 

Can your soap bars be used as shaving soap?

Yes, most of our soap bars (Aloe Vera Soap, Shea Butter Soap and Red Clay Soap) create a very soft lather which allows them to be used as shaving soap. Alternatively, you can also use any of our shampoo bars!

You can create the lather with your hands or use a shaving brush to create even more bubbles, both ways work amazingly!

 

Can I use your products while pregnant?

If pregnant or nursing we suggest contacting your doctor and ask information about what products are safe for you to use as some essential oils are not considered safe to use while pregnant.

 

How do I take care of the soap and shampoo bars to make them last longer?

It is very important, after using soap and shampoo bars, to ensure that they dry very well. Soap and shampoo bars should be kept on a draining soap rack, and in a dry environment.

 

Is the packaging compostable?

All of our boxes are 100% compostable, but recycling would be a better option as it extends the life of the material!

Unfortunately, we were not able to find a provider of compostable sticky labels that accepts small orders, therefore our deodorant, balms and beauty oil labels use a synthetic glue, and hence, are not compostable. However, they are printed on unbleached paper!

 

Are the deodorants antiperspirant? 

No, they are not antiperspirant. Our deodorants will prevent bad smells due to their antibacterial power, but will not prevent sweat. Sweating is a natural body activity used to expel toxins, for this reason, it is not suggested to prevent it through the use of antiperspirants.

 

Can I return the deodorant/balm tin to be reused?

If you live in Cambridge or are willing to cover the shipping costs we accept returns on our deodorant and balm tins in exchange of a cumulative £0.50 discount code on your next order. Just let us know if you wish to have separate discounts or a cumulative one and provide an email address where to send the discount code.

Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot afford to cover the costs of the shipping, as the deodorant tins cost us only £0.31 and we are a very small business. We do hope to be able to provide this service if we ever become large enough.

 

How do I use your Lotion bars?

To use our lotion bars, simply rub the bar on your damp skin after showering, and then massage the oils with our hands to spread them around! Make sure not to use a lot of it, the bar is made only of candelillla wax and 100% natural oils, so a little goes a long way!

 

Shipping

Where do you ship?

We ship to all of Europe. Please note that non-EU countries may require you to pay custom duties.

We have decided not to ship outside of Europe as we don't feel comfortable with the high emissions deriving from such long-distance freight. That said, if you live in a country where you don't have access to zero waste options we are more than happy to make an exception and ship to you, just contact us before ordering to arrange it!

Complete list of the countries we ship to:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City

If you want to check our Shipping Policy and prices you can find it here!

 

Why don't you ship outside of Europe?

We have decided not to ship outside of Europe due to the air miles and consequent carbon emissions that wold be involved in doing so. We feel that we should encourage people to buy locally, both to support the small producers that live in their area and to reduce the carbon footprint of their shopping.

If you live in a non-European country that doesn't have access to this type of products though, we'd be happy to make an exception for you! We don't want our "rule" about shipping and emissions to make it even harder to find zero waste products for people that can't find them locally!

 

My order has not arrived, what should I do?

Royal Mail delivery times are indicative, and are normally not guaranteed (unless the guaranteed delivery option was chosen during check-out). However, if you order has not arrived by the standard shipping time, do let us know! We will only be able to refund or resend your order after the order will be declared lost by Royal Mail. This is after 15 working days for domestic orders, and after 25 working days for international orders.

Please note that we recently have been experiencing delays for orders shipped to Italy and Portugal, and we highly advise the use of a tracked shipping method when ordering from these countries!

We are always looking for more efficient and effective shipping option, so hopefully in the future we will be able to improve this.

 

Is your shipping also plastic-free?

All of our products and shipping packaging are 100% plastic-free, recyclable and often recycled.

Because we also reuse all of the shipping packagings we receive, you may sometimes receive a package that contains plastic. However, as we know that some people don’t like receiving plastic in their mail, you will find an option during check-out asking whether you are okay with us using reused packaging materials. We ask our suppliers to ship 100% plastic-free, but this isn't always possible.

 

Are the shipping costs calculated automatically?

Yes, the shipping costs are calculated automatically at the check-out based on the total weight of your order.

 

Why does the shipping price change with the weight?

We applied the shipping prices and rules of Royal Mail. We wanted the price paid for the shipping to be as fair as possible and to never make you pay more than what we actually pay.

 

What to do if my international order exceeds 2kg?

In order for you're ordering fro outside the UK and your order exceeds 2kg, please send us an email at hello@zerowastepath.co.uk with the list of products you intend to order. Unfortunately with Royal Mail we can't ship international orders over 2kg so for these orders we use a courier.

 

The company

Are your products safe?

All of our products have been assessed for safety in compliance with Annex I, EC Regulation 1223/2009 (EU Law).

Even though we are a small business, this doesn't mean that we don't do everything legally! We are a registered business here in the UK, and all of our products are registered in the EU Cosmetic Product Notification Portal.

In addition, all of our labels are in compliance with EU legal requirements, meaning:

- Ingredients are listed using INCI names

- Name of the product

- Address of the company

- Batch number

- PAO (period after opening)/BBE (best before end) information

 

What is the difference between you and a standard company?

The main difference between us and other companies is that not only we package and ship completely plastic-free and reuse all the packagings we receive, but we also put an extra effort in reducing waste (and in particular plastic) in the production stage. We share all the information about the waste we produce as a company in the  section of our website and on our social media accounts.

Also, we will spend our profits in environmentally conscious ways as we try to be zero waste and sustainable also in our everyday lives, in addition to being both vegan.

 

Are you committed to be palm-oil-free? Why?

Yes, when we started making our products we decided to commit to being 100% palm-oil-free. While Palm oil can be very useful in soapmaking, as it lowers the costs and gives extra hardness, we decided to exclude it completely in our recipes, substituting it with larger amounts of shea and cocoa butter.

To read more about the reasons behind this choice check out our dedicated blog post!

 

But why didn't you choose to use Sustainable Palm Oil like other companies did?

Even if we believe in the seriousness of some of these certifications, we do think that the over-consumption of one specific ingredient is never really sustainable. And the consumption of palm oil/sustainable palm oil is still very high among companies.

In addition while it can be hard to eliminate completely palm oil from some products, it's fairly easy to avoid it in cosmetic products, and we believe that eliminating it where it's not needed will allow for a more balanced demand, that will be able to be fulfilled by those that produce it sustainably.

Read more about our view on Palm Oil here!