Local, handmade, minimal and sustainable these are the soap stars helping clean up our act. Hayley from NØRDEN catches up with Callum Walker of Lochwood and Helen Atherton of Dook.
Hayley Flanagan: Why soap?
Callum Walker: I chose soap as the soap bar has been making an encouraging comeback and I feel it’s time we purchased more eco-friendly plastic free products. The toiletries market is also notorious for using harmful methods and ingredients to produce and test its products and this motivated me to make something more natural and kind.
Helen Atherton: I’ve always loved to make things that are both beautiful and useful. I’ve dabbled with all sorts of different hobbies over the years but got hooked on soap making after I’d had kids. There’s something about the brief time you have in the shower, those few, rare peaceful moments when you can take a breath. I love the fact that my products enhance that experience – soap that cleans really well but also feels like a bit of a treat.
HF: Where are your products made?
CW: At the moment I run the project along with a friend David, and all our products are made in Edinburgh as I think it’s important to keep the locally-made market alive.
HA: I pour all Dook soaps individually, by hand. And, I run all the other aspects of the business myself. With increasing orders I now get help from my wonderful friend Jana who spends a couple of hours a week wrapping the soaps.
HF: Tell me about your ingredients and packaging?
CW: I pride myself in running a sustainable business. Using environmentally friendly and ethical products and methods are the greatest concerns. Lochwood soap bars are free of palm oil and animal cruelty, are vegan friendly and are wrapped in recycled paper packaging with biodegradable adhesive.
HA: Dook soaps are plastic free, cruelty-free, palm oil free, paraben free and vegan. All our packaging and shipping materials are exclusively made from recycled and recyclable materials.
HF: What has inspired or influenced your brand?
CW: The brand is influenced by minimalism and zero-waste, every project undertaken within Lochwood aims to produce something that will not leave behind any waste, none whatsoever.
HA: There are several amazing beauty brands on the market who are trying to do that little bit more than the average. I love Haeckel, a Margate-based beauty brand who’s experimental approach to formulation and packaging is a constant source of inspiration.
HF: What’s next for your brand?
CW: I hope that I am able to expand into different areas of environmental concern. Expanding the soap range is the most likely next step, however, exploring other areas of toiletries is possible, perhaps textiles too – who knows? I will aim to keep the minimalist aesthetic and complete eco-friendliness consistent, whatever direction it goes.
HA: Last year was really busy, especially in the run up to Christmas. I’m trying now to refine and run my business in a more streamlined way and I’m enjoying making contact with new stockists across the UK and beyond. Look out later this year for new products and accessories which will help people reduce their reliance on plastic in the bathroom.
LOCHWOOD produces all-natural, completely eco-friendly soap bars targeted at men. They follow a minimalist aesthetic and aim to eventually create an expansive all-natural, environmentally-friendly product range for men. Their current range features four soap bars; Charcoal and Tea Tree, Moroccan Clay and Ginger, Grapefruit and Black Pepper and Scotch Whisky.
DOOK based in Portobello, Edinburgh makes salt soap in small batches using organic ingredients, essential oils and natural earth based colours. Each batch is mixed and poured by hand creating a distinctive, high-quality hand and body soap. Their soaps are made with Himalayan salt, coconut oil and shea butter which create a firm, long-lasting bar and a uniquely rich, luxurious lather.
And for Scandi suds, NØRDEN stocks: MONK & ANNA SOAP 100% natural soap, handmade by the lovely Margot in Haren, and L:A BRUKET – natural and organic skincare made on the west coast of Sweden with a simple philosophy: innovation driven by nature, not chemicals.
all available from
NØRDEN | 82 High St, North Berwick | NORDEN.ONLINE