First hand experiences and a belief in the need for natural, vegan and cruelty-free products lead Gavin Erlam and Matthew Wareing to create Lavandi Body and Nature. This is our story.
Gavin is a keen sailor and scuba diver, and Matthew has spent over a decade in administration working towards the fight against cancer.
Meeting up with friends for a Sunday lunch, the conversation turned to Gavin's last sailing holiday. He spoke about the only thing that had really stuck with him on this trip: the amount of plastic debris in all the ports he had moored up in. The conversation moved on to single use plastics and the need to stop using them before it is too late. Soaps, shampoos and cosmetics seemed to be an area that most people bought single use or non-recyclable plastic. At this point, Matthew chipped in about the number of harmful chemicals there are in some soaps, shampoos and cosmetics. The pair decided that instead of waiting for someone to do something, they would... and so Lavandi Body and Nature was born.
At Lavandi everything starts with 'But what if we could' and ends with 'Luxury should not cost the earth'.
It started with a question, ‘but what if we could…’, and ended with a product range that’s all natural, Vegan, and cruelty free. But we’re not finished yet. This is our process.
When Matthew set out to create soap, he was determined that the 14-18 chemical additives used in some soaps would not find their way into Lavandi's products. This also included any Palm Oil or derivatives of Palm Oil. Which is why at Lavandi, we make all of our products using a combination of natural Oils and Butters, and Essential Oils and zero harmful chemicals to just enhance the product such as SLS SLSa or SLES.
At Lavandi, we have seen the need for change and have created a range of recipes that are all-natural. Our soaps are made with a carefully curated combination of oils and butters, and our promise is that they are all completely free of harmful chemicals.
Our products are free of the palm oil that’s often found in soap and body products. The production of this ingredient has not only halved the population of orangutans, but is one of the main reasons for the destruction of the rainforest. At Lavandi, we vow to keep this ingredient out of our recipes.
Trying and Testing
On average, six variations of our list of ingredients are made. Once ready to use, we firstly test them on ourselves - you must believe in your products - and from there they are sent out to 17 testers. When all the feedback is in, we either decide on one variation or go back to the list and start again.
Production and Packaging
At Lavandi, we make Soap and Shampoo bars by a method called 'Cold Process' - which is strange as we use heat - to melt hard butters and fats. All Fats and Butters have a temperature at which they burn and all the benefits of those Oils and Fats are lost; This is especially important with Coconut Milk as this is easily burnt. We spent nearly two years developing our blends and at what temperature we should work at.
When it comes to the packaging, Gavin was certain that there would be Zero Plastic involved. After months of research and several false starts, he managed not only to get Zero Plastic but also non-bleached card, plant-based inks and aluminium jars with eco labels.
Now that the product and the packaging meets with the ethics of Matthew and Gavin's fundamental rules, they go into production. All products are hand packed so that the quality of each item is checked individually.