Black Cat Soap House – Committed to Circularity and SustainabilityNeil Hardie
A driving principle behind their family run, vegan business, The Black Cat Soap House from Kirriemuir try to live kindly towards people, animals and the planet. They are committed to creating as little waste as possible, avoiding plastic, and to reducing and reusing whatever they can.
They sell most of their bars as “naked” slices and reduce the price for products purchased this way. They do offer wrapped bars; wrapped in handmade/fair trade paper with recycled paper bands. Their creams and oils are sold in glass jars and they’ll take back empties to clean, sanitise and reuse; they give customers money off their next purchase for every jar returned! They use ingredients which are produced in a sustainable way and always choose organic and fair trade where possible.
Their information leaflets, order slips and soap bands are all printed on recycled paper.
Most orders are posted in packaging which has been collected from family, friends, and suppliers, and reused; fastened with paper tape. They encourage local customers to return the packaging and waste paper is shredded and used for padding. They upcycle used gift boxes by decorating them with handmade paper and cut offs; when filled with our products they make unique gift sets and are perfect for reuse themselves!
Other activities include saving and drying coffee grounds and using them in their Chocolate Orange soap. They produce in small batches which ensures freshness and that we rarely have surplus going to waste. Occasionally, if the product is not up to the high standard that they expect then they use them themselves, share with family and friends, sell as “seconds” or give them away. Soap rejects are grated up and used for the laundry and household cleaning.
Black Cat Soap House are trying to do everything that they can and believe that everything, however small it seems, makes a difference. Sustainable Kirriemuir and Circular Tayside are here to help our local businesses make a smooth and supported transition to operating in a circular manner. One example of this is the Circular business canvas that Circular Tayside worked through with Black Cat Soap House in early 2021. The process allowed for other resource use and waste to be identified, which led to reducing Black Cat Soap House’s waste and CO2 emissions even further. We hope that with this ongoing support, Kirriemuir will become a model town for a circular economy in the near future.