MARKET TALES: NUEBAR
Continuing on with our Meet the maker series...
Conscious makers of non soap bars that are palm oil free, handmade, vegan, cruelty free, contain no SLS, SLES, parabens, silicones, petroleum by-products or artificial fragrances and are, of course, plastic free.
What is your creative process when it comes to designing and/or making your products?
We decided that I would take some time to have a play with trying to formulate a range. My Naturopathic background highly influenced my formulating in that it made me very clear about what I did NOT want in the product, as well as some of the botanicals I could use for specific functions. I spent ten months in formulation; researching, mixing things up in the kitchen, trialling things, teaching myself basic cosmetic chemistry and talking to cosmetic chemists just to make sure I wasn’t getting things dreadfully wrong! Ironically at the end of this whole process I did a short cosmetic chemistry course and was so pleased I did it AFTER I had done my formulating. By experimenting first, without constrictions, I was able to not feel confined by the traditional way of doing things.
What do you see as your brand’s most valuable point of difference?
I think the people behind any brand is the most important thing; the features are then attributes that come back to the founders.
So in a nutshell:
Being a Naturopath and bringing a fresh and holistic approach
Doing the formulations myself, I know every ingredient inside and out and why I have them there
Taking on the manufacturing ourselves. It’s the only way to ensure the integrity and quality of the product is to our vision
A big thing that differentiates our shampoo bars from others on the market is that they are not made using the soap making process or with sulfates.
Many of the shampoo bars on the market are made using the soap making process, and the trouble with this is that it is always alkaline (this is the very nature of the saponification process and cannot be avoided). Hair and alkalinity are not a good mix, hair is actually mildly acidic just like the skin and alkalinity makes the hair shaft swell and all the cuticles open out. This is actually highly stripping and harsh and also commonly results in soap scum getting caught in the hair cuticle. This is why with this kind of bar you can often end up with your hair feeling like straw and also ironically, feeling dirtier than before you washed it!
Nuebar uses a completely different process and is pH balanced to match the hair shaft, our bars lather but the wash is soft and gentle (because we don’t use sulfates either) and leaves the hair feeling super soft without stripping or residue. It makes our hair bars great for every kind of hair, including coloured and curly hair.
We are actually one of the few bars on the market that is “Curly Girl Method” approved, and our Normal and Dry/Damaged Shampoo bars were recently runners up in the Best Zero Waste Product category of an International beauty competition that spans across 39 countries and employs expert industry judges from London, New York and Sydney! Have to say I was pretty stoked about that! Our Dry/Mature Face Wash bar also was highly commended, again being pH balanced means the wash is so much less drying on the skin than a soap based wash.
What do you love most about being a small artisan business?
11 months in and the pace is intense and the work is varied. We do everything including hand making the product, fulfilment, new product development, social media, branding and website work all in house so no one day is ever the same as the next and it is a really stimulating (and challenging) environment to work in.
Where would you love to be in 5 years?
It is not so much where I personally want to be, but where I would like the world to be.
I would like to see our low packaging approach as mainstream across many industries, with plastic on the way out. A world where the environment and people take precedence over money and consumerism.
That is the world I would like to see in 5 years.