At The Green Turtle, we carefully select suppliers who share the same values as us, and who produce fantastic eco-friendly items we know our customers will love. These are often small, UK based businesses with real people working hard behind the scenes to develop and lovingly handmake sustainable products.
This blog series spotlights our suppliers. Find out more about who they are, their sustainable products and what goes on behind the scenes!
The Black Cat Soap House
The Black Cat Soap House was one of The Green Turtle's very first suppliers. Haluk and Nicola run this family business from Kirriemuir, a quirky little town in Scotland. Kirriemuir has close links to Lorna at The Green Turtle's heart, with some of her ancestors originally hailing from the town!
We first bumped into Haluk selling their gorgeous products at a farmer's market, just as The Green Turtle was being set up, and couldn't wait to stock them.
Why are your products all natural, vegan and organic?
Because they are beautiful like this. Because they are beneficial to us and our skin and kinder to animals, people and the planet.
Why did you set up The Black Cat Soap House?
Having a son with severe eczema when he was a baby and toddler was when we saw first-hand the irritation that some ingredients in so called "natural" commercial products could cause. Listening to him cry as we put on the lotions recommended by the doctor led us to look for truly natural alternatives. It was my mother who first introduced us to Shea Butter and using it on our son's skin was when things started to get better.
That was 17 years ago now - long before we were vegan or had started making soaps and creams ourselves - but something we have never forgotten! And for that reason, Shea Butter plays an important part in our products.
We feel proud to be able to share what we've learnt and to offer you an alternative choice which is gentle and ethical.
Tell us a bit about yourselves
Haluk is the one with the magic hands! He makes all our products himself and when he's not weighing, mixing, pouring and cutting you'll find him selling his soaps at markets and events. You might also see me, Nicola, at markets too. I have another job but in my spare time I help out behind the scenes and do most of the social media posts, leaflets, website etc. Our boys help out too, mostly with loading and unloading the car on market days but also helping out on the stall, cutting soap, counting the newly delivered stock of soap dishes etc.
The whole family is involved with testing the products .... it's a tough job but someone has to do it!!
Your products are all vegan and cruelty-free. Tell us more!
We are totally against animal testing and none of our products or ingredients have been tested on animals.
We are vegan ourselves, so all our products and processes have always been 100% vegan and cruelty free. We are certified by PETA as Animal Test Free and Vegan and endorsed as Cruelty Free by Naturewatch Foundation.
Everything you will find in our products, except for the organic clays and pumice stone in some of our soaps, comes directly from plants and everything we use is there because it is beneficial in some way.
How are your products sustainable?
Our products are made predominantly from plant oils and butters and contain only natural ingredients and we never use artificial colours or fragrances, petro-chemicals, synthetic foaming agents and detergents, or preservatives which can damage the environment. Instead we use flowers, roots, herbs, spices, clays and pumice, and essential oils to create gorgeous colours, textures and scents.
We use organic ingredients where possible which reduces the risk of environmental pollution. Organic ingredients are grown without GMOs, synthetic fertilisers and herbicides on farms where wildlife and biodiversity is protected.
It is important to us that the sourcing of our ingredients does not contribute negatively to natural habitats, local communities and wildlife and we always try to support those who are producing crops and oils in a responsible way.
At the Black Cat Soap House, we have made a commitment to do things with sustainability in mind, to create as little waste as we can, to avoid plastic and to reduce and reuse as much as possible. As a family and as a business we're not waste free, unfortunately, but we are taking steps to do what we can. We believe that everything we do, however small it seems, does make a difference.
We sell most of our soaps and shampoo bars as “naked” slices at our events and online and we have a lower price for bars which are bought in this way. However, we understand that you may sometimes want to buy bars which are wrapped, particularly for gifts and so they are also available wrapped by Haluk in beautiful handmade paper with recycled paper label bands and also unwrapped but with recycled Kraft bands.