Soap bars are back and better than ever as conscious consumerism brings back the bar but with a cool new twist
Soap. It’s been around since before sliced bread. It can literally be traced back to biblical times. Unfortunately, it’s not as squeaky clean as it used to be. The popular onset of plastic packaging in the 1960’s brought with it an era of silky, frothy concoctions that created a plastic bottle waste nightmare. Until recently, bar soap was on a steady decline in the suds industry. Thankfully, the tide is shifting. Research shows solid bar sales up over 22% in 2017. Thats no small fraction in an industry that generates over $3 billion in sales annually.
So… back to the basic bar?
Not exactly. As with most eco-focused growing consumer segments, Millenials are to blame (or thank in this case I suppose). Companies like Refill Revolution are changing the game when it comes to the stigma of soap. They offer trendy bars made from activated charcoal, Himalayan pink salt, tumeric and more. Also, unless you live under a rock, everyone knows someone who swears by Lush – a package free soap promoter who’s 2017 sales in the USA alone topped out at over half a billion dollars.
It’s evident this is a trend everyone’s going to want to get a slice of. Soap bars are becoming the popular kid. Everyone from large scale manufacturers to local farmers marketers and mom & pop Etsy suppliers are pimping bars. The ‘back to basics’ attitude of the millennial consumer is bringing with it a new wave of creativity. Its’ no wonder people of getting uber creative with their formula’s for scent, hydration, color and even texture. Check out this bean infused body massage bar from Lush.
Cool. So it’s time to make the switch?
Well, here’s the good news. Bars can cut down dramatically on our plastic waste (yey!). The bad news, it comes at a price. Many ’boutique bars’ will cost you north of $6 a pop for a couple ounces of the good stuff. Suds enthusiasts, however, say the bars last longer and boast a plethora of other benefits compared to their plasticky squeezable companion.
Still not ready to make the switch? Ok, if the new, beautiful, pink chickpea, lavender scented, eucalyptus hemp seed facial bar isn’t your thing yet, we get it. There are plenty of tried and true brands offering the good ol’ stuff like Dove.
Not quite there yet? Think of it from a practicality standpoint. Bars travel much better than suds – no ounce limit for the TSA on non-liquids and no risk for an explosive gooey mess in your new Away roller bag. Still not convinced? Think about this… Bar soaps are not only better for the environment, they are likely better for your skin. Most bottled liquid soap comes with a side of sulfates, parabins and a host of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Nobody can force you to make the switch but the bar is back and we aren’t sad about it. All in all it’s a trend we can definitely get behind. So what’s it gonna be? Bars or bottles? You decide.