We’ve partnered with soap maker Amanda Richards of Paper Crane Soaps using ingredients from our farm, and other farmers in Hawaii, to handcraft soaps. Our selection of soaps include farm honey, 100% Kona coffee latté, mamaki mint tea, hibiscus orange (seasonal), and lavender peppermint (seasonal). We interviewed Amanda to get to know the woman behind our soaps.
How did you get into soap making?
I've been making soap on and off since I was in my early 20's. After college, later on, I went back to school to become a licensed esthetician and I used my schooling to help with making soap and skincare products in my new profession. When my family relocated to Hawaii I became a full-time soap maker and enjoy growing my own botanicals for use in Paper Crane Soaps.
Why did you choose the sustainable palm oil as preferred to other brands?
Palm oil creates great lather and hardness to a bar, both of which are desirable qualities in a soap. However, the process of harvesting palm oil creates environmental damage and habitat loss in many parts of the world. It's important to me to use ethically sourced ingredients as part of Paper Crane Soaps mission to feel good, smell good and do good. The packaging we use is soybean-based which can be composted, so all parts of our products are environmentally sound.
What is your favorite Kona Coffee & Tea beverage?
I love the latte, no sweetener or flavoring - just on its own. The strong taste of the espresso with the creaminess of the foam makes my morning!
How long have you lived in Hawaii and what is your favorite part of living here?
I've been here for almost 4 years. I came from Arizona. While I miss the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, I love the way the island has allowed me to slow down. I spend more time being in the moment enjoying my friends and family, the beauty of the island and savoring a latté instead of rushing to the next thing.
What do you look most forward to when you envision the future?
I am most looking forward to watching my children grow up happy & healthy on this beautiful island.
What’s in the soap?
The following is a helpful glossary of terms for products used in the manufacture of our custom hand-made soaps by Paper Crane Soaps LLC. Amanda is dedicated to using humane and sustainable products in all the soaps she makes. Here is a description of the products she chooses.
Colloidal Oatmeal - a colloid is a sustained suspension of one medium within another. In the case of colloidal oatmeal, oats are ground extremely fine so that when you add them to a liquid they stay suspended within the liquid and do not solidify or settle. Oats have long been believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and antioxidant properties frequently sought after in modern, holistic health and beauty products.
RSPO Palm Oil - RSPO stands for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Palm Oil is very popular and sought after product in the health and beauty industry. The high demand has prompted growers in primarily impoverished areas to clear cut and burn down the local forest and green lands. Not only does this decrease the carbon capturing and sequestering abilities inherent in the old-growth trees, but it also threatens local wildlife and can upend the already fragile eco- and infra-structure of the areas where the growing of Palm Oil plants is being introduced.
The RSPO along with the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) has helped establish guidelines and parameters that can help consumers and producers locate and support sustainable farming practices within the Palm Oil growing communities.
Phalate Free Fragrance - Phalates or plasticizers make plastics more pliable and bendable. Think BPA in the old Nalgene bottles. While some are said to be worse than others, it is widely agreed that the less exposure to humans (especially infants) the better. Phalate Free Fragrances are verified to contain no Phalates.
Sodium Hydroxide - Used in many industries today including soaps and detergents, Sodium Hydroxide (commonly known as Lye) is an essential base used to neutralize acids and increase alkalinity in soap making. Sodium Hydroxide is mixed with a liquid and combined with oils causing a chemical reaction called saponification. It is the saponification that gives the soap its hardness. We asked Amanda “Why is it used in soap?”
“Sodium Hydroxide is required to make soap. Technically, you cannot call soap, soap without it. It basically cooks or kicks off a chemical reaction so the butter & oils can saponify and become soap. Then it must cure for 4-6 weeks to let the water evaporate out of it and it becomes a hard bar of soap.” Amanda Richards, Paper Crane Soap
Titanium Dioxide - In the cosmetic and skincare field Titanium Dioxide is primarily used as a pigment or a thickener. It is also a popular ingredient in sunscreens. Combined with Zinc Oxide it creates a sunscreen that is considered less harmful to the coral reef habitats.
We asked Amanda “What is it used for in the soap?”
“Titanium Dioxide is used for pigment purposes. Just like with sunscreen how it can leave a white residue on the skin in soap is used to make the soap batter white. Oils used in soapmaking are typically yellow to brown so using TD allows for a crisp white pigment. In soap, however, it does not leave a white residue on the skin.”
Mahalo to Mike Cubbage for interviewing Amanda Richards.
CONTRIBUTOR: AMANDA RICHARDS
FAVORITE LOCAL PRODUCT: I love the vanilla from the Hawaiian Vanilla Co. in Pa'auilo.
OTHER HANDMADE PRODUCTS: Shampoo Bar, Foaming Tub Tea, and a Slipper Refresh Spray
Our motto at Paper Crane Soaps is “Feel good, smell good, do good.” We want people to feel good about the products they use. We source ingredients from the Hawaiian Islands and that help support local farmers. In addition to smelling good, customers are helping a small business make a living as well!