What Makes My Handmade Soap So Special?

I hate packaging!

So when I first started making and selling my soaps back in 2013 I wanted them to be as packaging free as possible.

Rainbow Soap Freshly Cut

However, I’ve seen first hand that unwrapped soap in shops looks wonderful when it’s first made and put on display and it makes a real focal point.

But it doesn’t matter how careful you are, as the weeks go on unwrapped soap shrinks, warps and gets covered in fibres, hair, dust and nail marks from being handled. I’ve even seen a bar of soap with teeth marks in it – don’t ask!

After all the hard work and gorgeous organic ingredients that I put into my soaps I decided that they needed protecting, to keep them clean, dry and in the best possible condition for you, my lovely customers.

I mean, if you’re kind enough to buy my soaps in the first place I would hate for them to be in a less than perfect condition when you came to use them!

So I made the decision to wrap them. But in true Maldon Soap style the packaging HAD to be practical whilst being as natural and planet friendly as the soap within. It also needed to be compostable.

How did I wrap my soaps back in 2013?

Initially I wrapped them in recycled or repurposed paper and scoured charity shops for pretty fabrics and ribbons to give each type of soap a unique identity. I then hand made beaded embellishments for each soap – I clearly had a lot of time on my hands back then! Oh, and I hand cut and hand wrote every single label! It took bleedin’ hours! 😂

That was fine when I only made a handful of soaps at a time but it wasn’t sustainable long term.  Not only did it take me hours to do but, as I got more outlets and had to transport the soap, I realised they wouldn’t stack and looked tatty very quickly.

My bath bombs, fizzbubbs and some of the glycerine soaps were wrapped in natural compostable cellophane made from woodpulp and that hasn’t changed. I’ve never used plastic cellophane to wrap my soaps and I never will.

Carrot and almond face soap with seed paper embellishment

At one point I wrapped the soap in seed paper relevent to the soap type but it cost me a small fortune! This particular paper grew carrots!

What next?

It took me about a year to find the sustainable, compostable, handmade Himalayan Lokta paper that I now use to wrap my soaps in.

Initially I used it just for decoration but now I use it to wrap the whole soap and as a band to contain all the necessary information that soaps legally need in order to sell them to the public.

Each band is hand cut on a guillotine and the soaps are hand wrapped. I used to do them all but found I was working 18 hour days and was knackered so now, thankfully, Lauren wraps them all and she makes a brilliant job of it!

What is Himalayan Lokta paper?

Nepali crafts people have been producing handmade lokta paper for more than a thousand years in the Himalayas.

Nepali handmade lokta paper is tree free, environmentally friendly and fully sustainable. It’s harvested and produced naturally. The bark of lokta bushes is harvested by hand without destroying the plant. After harvesting, the Lokta bush naturally regenerates, reaching full maturity again in six to seven years.

In conclusion

My soaps are luxury items. They are gifts in themselves. Their wrapping is pretty enough that you could just give a bar to someone as it is and for it to look like a present, without the need for more wrapping paper or packaging.

I want to give each person opening a soap bar a sense of occasion, as blissful as slipping open the wrapper on a bar of expensive chocolate (tho obviously not as tasty!)

Having done so much research and experimented with many different styles of wrapping over the years I think I’ve got it just right now.

I love the way they look and I hope you do too!

To see all my soaps on the website just click this link

Lots of love
Sue xxx


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