When creating soaps and other products, several ingredients must be chosen. This process raises many questions. What type of oil should we choose? What is the best supplier for our needs? Should we prioritize choosing a higher quality oil that costs more, or a lower quality oil that costs less? These are exactly the kind of decisions Marie-Eve has had to make since the very beginning of her business. She always tries to choose raw materials of the best quality possible, with producers who also respect an important environmental and social ethic. It is also important to choose suppliers who understand that resources are very precious and that it is important to use them sparingly.
The first ingredient in the vast majority of our products is an oil of an absolutely exceptional quality: olive oil. Our olive oil comes from the Stiroa plantation, located in Tunisia with a division in North America called Sheylus America Inc. The plantation employees cold press, package and ship the oil to our soap factory, always working with small suppliers and farmers. It even tastes absolutely delicious and pungent! Marie-Eve can say it without hesitation: she has never experienced such an incredible olive oil in her life. In addition, the people who work at the plantation are very friendly, kind and generous. Marie-Eve even had the chance to meet them during a visit to the plantation in Tunisia in 2019! It was an absolutely great, interesting and instructive experience! When choosing this olive oil a few years ago, an initial question arose: are we better off choosing an organic olive oil that is of lesser quality or choosing an excellent quality olive oil that is not organic, but still respects nature in its practices? After a long period of reflection, Marie-Eve chose the latter option, judging that it was the decision that offered the most benefits. The olive oil from the plantation arrives at the soap factory in gigantic 1000L tanks and is then transported directly to the production line through a system of pipes. There is therefore no unnecessary generation or transport of boilers, which is extremely important for us in relation to the various objectives of our green committee! Once the tanks are empty, they are sold and often reused to collect rainwater for gardening or cleaning cars.
A second essential ingredient in the creation of our products is coconut oil. When choosing an oil, it is important to determine the primary properties of the oil you wish to use. Coconut oil was chosen because it is very practical in the formulation of soaps. Indeed, it contains good nutrients to nourish the skin, face and hair. Also, coconut oil hardens and lathers the soap, but too much of it could dry out the soap. Our coconut oil comes from the Philippines. The main reason why our coconut oil does not come from Quebec is that coconut trees do not grow here! You have to understand that in Quebec, our natural growing season is very very short. Otherwise, seeded crops such as soy, corn and canola are available, but they are highly genetically modified (GMO). The decision was made a long time ago to buy organic coconut oil, because in the specifications of organic producers, they are obliged not to completely deforest the trees. Indeed, producers must be careful to protect as many trees as possible.
A third important ingredient in the development of our products is beeswax. This ingredient acts as a natural preservative, stabilizer and hardener for our soaps. An interesting fact to know about beeswax is that it is basically a waste product from the honey harvest. It was sad to lose this resource, as it contains honey, pollen and royal jelly, all ingredients with absolutely fantastic benefits! The bee gathers all the flowers and the flowers contain all the medicines! That's why beeswax is used to enhance our soaps. Our beeswax comes from Quebec, mostly from Intermiel and some other small local producers. Instead of beeswax, it would have been possible to use other waxes. Indeed, there are several types of vegetable waxes, such as soy wax or candelilla wax. However, a dilemma still exists in this situation: vegetable wax offers many benefits, but it often has to be exported to Quebec. It is by following our values that we chose beeswax, because it is very interesting to have a local product that is so wonderful, while being a product of the bee.
In the use of all our raw materials, both for the last three ingredients and for our local essential oils, we use them very sparingly. For example, to make one drop of essential oil, we sometimes have to distill a whole cup of flowers, so it takes a lot of resources! We are committed to protecting these resources by using them in the most responsible way possible.