Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
WHEN Roxy Eastland started trading in July 2022, she wanted a name that told people they could trust her soaps.
“I also wanted to show people that they can use the soaps to live a more ecological and ethical life,” says Roxy.
Based in Winterslow, she is the owner of Down To Earth Soaps and is on a mission to help people see soap’s often-overlooked, yet powerful benefits.
But making soaps takes a lot of time.
“I have a lot on my plate, with two kids, one 19-year-old daughter at college in Southampton and one 13-year-old home-educated son. My husband sometimes helps wrap soaps, too,”she goes on.
“Creating the soaps involves making them in set moulds, turning them out overnight as they set, and the next day, I slice them by hand as they are pre-cured.
“I have to wrap them by hand in wood pulp that looks like plastic but is home compostable, which is the highest grade of compostability. Even my inks and adhesives are home compostable, so the packaging is completely environmentally friendly.
How did Roxy get her business up and running?
“There is a lady who runs an online course just for soap makers, and over lockdown, she did her course for free.
“My mum, Sheila, also helped me financially. Wiltshire Council runs an organisation called Outset, which helps small businesses make business plans online. This was a good discovery.
“They ran a three-day online Zoom course and provided a consultant that I could refer to for regular updates. Outset helped me feel optimistic about the direction in which I was heading.”
Roxy makes soaps for most occasions and occupations.
“Mild As Milk is my bestseller. It contains goat’s milk, calamine and colloidal oatmeal. It is perfect for sensitive skin and even licensed for babies,” she says. “We also sell Workshop Soap to help get grease off your hands and Potting Shed Soap to help return the moisture to your skin that soil takes away.
“I love to make environmentally friendly essentials for myself, so I was excited about how to make soap. Self-sustainability is important to me, and I like the feeling that
I could make everything if I wanted to. I make my laundry detergent and toothpaste.”
For those wondering what Down to Earth soaps are like, receive a free sample if you join the company’s mailing list.