Kleensoaps is a small soap company located in Kent (just south of London) that believes in taking a natural and planet-kind approach to skincare. The inspiration for the brand came to Jutta Klee, the founder of Kleensoaps, when she could not find a soap-on-a-rope that suited a seemingly simple requirement; affordable and sustainable with natural ingredients.
Here we chat with Jutta about Kleensoaps in more detail..
Can you tell us why and when you started Kleensoaps?
I have been working as a beauty and portrait photographer since I arrived in London from Germany, aged 21. On a regular assignment for WRAPLONDON I had the privilege to meet the most inspiring young women. Makers, chefs, writers, shopkeepers – all entrepreneurs. Working with these women and hearing their stories convinced me that life is all about being the person who does it, taking the risk to set up their own business. This was the fertile ground for the idea of Kleensoaps to grow.
In spring 2019, I was trying to find a soap on a rope that suited a seemingly simple requirement; affordable and sustainable, with natural ingredients. Struggling to find one, I realised that this was the gap in the market I had been looking for. I booked myself on a soap-making course and was instantly hooked.
It’s always been about the rope! There are some great natural soap companies out there, but my experience with soap going mushy in wet dishes – and chasing a bar around the bathtub one too many times – convinced me that I had to make soap on a rope cool again. My mission is to spread the word about soap on a rope to a generation that’s actively looking for sustainable ways to reduce their use of plastic.
How important is sustainability to you? What kind of measures do you take to be a more sustainable brand?
Kleensoaps is all about providing a luxurious vegan alternative to plastic bottled shower gels. According to a 2009 Swiss study, the carbon footprint of liquid soaps is 25% greater per wash than bar soaps; liquid soap also requires 5 times more energy to create, and 20 times more energy to package into a plastic bottle in comparison to its humble competitor; the bar.
All Kleensoaps packaging is recyclable, and our labels are crafted from recycled coffee cups made in the UK. Our ropes are manufactured in Europe from recycled cotton thread. As Kleensoaps is growing, I am very conscious of also cutting down on hidden plastics in the supply chain, working with companies that avoid plastic packaging.
Can you take us through some of the benefits of the ingredients you use in your products and how important they are for our wellbeing and health?
The beauty of solid soap bars is that they have no need for added preservatives and are made with almost all edible ingredients. Lye gets mixed with plant based oils and butters in the process of saponification, this turns it into glycerin, so you are just left with all of the natural skin-loving ingredients of our soaps. I make them with no animal products, no palm oil, no parabens, no synthetic colour or fragrance.
Only telling you what isn’t in Kleensoaps is not going to do our soaps justice though. My star ingredient is the organic unrefined shea butter that leaves the skin plum and moisturised, and of course the essential oils which give the soaps their aromatherapeutic qualities. It is such a gift from nature that the essential oils in our soaps have the power to uplift or calm your mind, just by taking a shower.
What is your favourite product? What would you recommend to a stranger or someone who doesn’t know your brand ..yet?
Tall Dark & Handsome is our bestseller, and my favourite too. Equally beloved by dads, uncles, and husbands for the exfoliating coffee grounds, and cheeky name as by eco-conscious people in their 20s; I just love the way the coffee brings so much stimulation, with the nourishing oils and butters leaving your skin rejuvenated.
I always recommend customers to buy a pair, one smooth and purifying, another exfoliating and invigorating. A favourite combination of mine is Good Vibrations, a gentle lemongrass and pink clay soap, teaming up beautifully with Foot Loose, the exfoliating pumice soap made with poppy seeds and Himalayan rock salt.
For more information and to view all products please visit Kleensoaps website:
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This article first appeared in ESTILA bookazine Vol 14/2022. Find more inspirational brand stories. Buy it here.
From innovative social retail, disruptive beauty brands to natural luxe interiors and maximalist art, this edition is a must-read for any creative.
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