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Naiad Blog

Filtering by Category: Commentary

We're Going Greener!

Erin Pikor

Single-use plastic is being banned everywhere and I’m thrilled about it! You might be hearing about plastics invading all corners of the earth from the Pyrenees mountains to Antarctica. The EU recently banned Single-use plastics, California has banned plastic bags statewide, as well as Hawai’i and is leading the way on plastic straw regulations, and other states are watching.

our  artisan soaps  come in an eco-friendly, re-usable muslin bag!

our artisan soaps come in an eco-friendly, re-usable muslin bag!

I’ve always been a nature lover and I try to made eco-friendly a priority when making buying decisions. Being a bath and body product based business we use a lot of plastic but our goal is to get plastic out of the equation wherever possible. I do believe an eco-friendly product should be housed in eco-friendly packaging. That isn’t always the reality for body products because no ones wants broken glass in the shower! 

In May, I met with Cindy Lin, Former US EPA Southwest Regional Coordinator, and Co-Founder and CEO of Hove Social Good Intelligence, Inc. She had a wealth of information but nothing that fit within my budget at the moment. I learned a lot about sustainable packaging though, and have all of the information I need once it’s possible to make sweeping packaging changes! I decided that to start within my budget I would tackle the unsustainable shipping supplies first. Here are all of the transitions we’re making:

Biodegradable packing peanuts vs. styrofoam

  • Made from renewable starch like corn

  • Biodegradable. It literally “shrinky dinks” in water and can be thrown in the compost pile so it won’t clog landfills or the bellies of sea creatures.

  • People and pet safe just in case you accidentally ingest one. If they were orange they’d look just like Cheesy Poofs!

  • Anti-static so they won’t stick to everything.

Biodegradable Packing Tape vs traditional self stick packing tape.

  • Renewable and Biodegradable. The cellulose and natural rubber adhesive are plant based.

Corrugated Cushion and mailers vs Bubble wrap and bubble mailers

  • Made from biodegradable paper.

  • Usually made from part or all recycled paper so renewable plus plant some more trees.

Do you have any ideas to help us go more Green? Comment below!

our first plastic free shipment!

our first plastic free shipment!

Getting Back to the Art of Soap

Erin Pikor

naiad_monstera_soap.JPG

Inspired by Nature

Monstera Deliciosa soap, molded from a hand carved clay sculpture.

When I started Naiad Soap Arts in 2007 I used soap as a new medium to express my creativity, designing complicated compositions in soap and experimenting with new techniques. Over the years the product line and vision has evolved and most of the creativity goes into formulating or packaging, but I’ve been wanting to reincorporate that creativity and design into my process! This is the first in a series of soaps inspired by my love of nature - Monstera Deliciosa Soap

Final molded Monstera Delicious soaps. now available  here .

Final molded Monstera Delicious soaps. now available here.

I’ve always loved gardening and tinkering with the care and propagation of plants, but like all hobbies I get obsessed with, I’m beginning to have more than I can manage! The bulk of my free time currently is growing and propagating plants, trying to procure new plants, researching how to keep them pest free and happy, and when that isn’t satisfying enough I’ll paint or photograph “plant portraits”. I blame instagram for showing me all that I can have, and human nature for greedily wanting more. On watering inspection day it takes between 2-4 hours to water, prune, de-bug, and dote on my over 50 house plants, and probably 20 more succulent arrangements that I have outside, plus the herb and vegetable garden (which is pretty lacking this year due to afore mentioned house plants).

Just one shelf, in one corner , covered in plants.

Just one shelf, in one corner , covered in plants.

The darling of house plants, the Monstera Deliciosa, had eluded me every time I looked for one at my local home improvement and garden stores, and the price to buy a clipping online as always beyond my comfort zone. To satiate my longing, I created the Monstera Delicious Soap! There’s something intoxicating about the strategically tattered, green glossy leaves which nature has so carefully crafted to allow air to pass through without damaging the leaves, and the fenestrations (natures windows) to allow light to pass through and nourish leaves below. It’s pretty amazing engineering in my opinion - good job nature!

From left clockwise: stencil, soap carving, and first attempt at a clay sculpture.

From left clockwise: stencil, soap carving, and first attempt at a clay sculpture.

First I drew the stencil and tried carving it in a block of soap - that didn’t work so well! The second version which I used to create the mold is made from bakeable clay that I carved and sanded smooth. There were many rounds of sanding and molding, testing, then more sanding, molding and testing. Here is a quick overview of the molding process:

To learn how to make your own custom molds you can purchase my handout through the Nova Studio!

It was hard to get that deep vibrant green color without over saturating the soap so I compromised and did a plain white version and a “variegated” version - green gold and white are one of my favorite color palettes! White is just clean, simple and shows off the shape really well.

My new Monstera Deliciosa plant - I finally found you!

My new Monstera Deliciosa plant - I finally found you!