This article first appeared in our Ethical Shopping issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 30 October 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Over the last few months we’ve all had to find strength in the face of adversity, in our business, family and personal lives – and often all three at the same time.
This approach isn’t new to Tastic Range founder Alice Bardwell – in fact, it has underpinned her business from the start, and keeps her moving forward with hope and positivity.
Alice finalised her Pit-Tastic! range of completely natural, plastic-free deodorant bars after suffering a stroke. She found the act of slowly melting butters and waxes extremely therapeutic, and felt that the process played a crucial role in her physical and psychological recovery.
‘Working with our hands creates completely new neural pathways in our brains that could not be made in a less physically active environment’, Alice explains. ‘With the formulations I could take my time, focus on something positive and keep going.’
This response is typical for Alice, and has proved a guiding philosophy in business. She works in a sector that’s increasingly crowded with companies looking to cash in on the consumer demand for plastic-free products. In this context small companies can easily fall beneath the wheels of bigger businesses selling copycat products at lower prices.
Alice draws strength and inspiration from kindred spirits with a positive outlook, who transform challenging circumstances with creativity, determination and optimism.
‘I love Brew Dog’, Alice reveals, ‘because it’s a leading example of what I feel is an ethical, craft company. When a supermarket chain made a replica can of the company’s IPA beer, within a week Brew Dog had come back with a can in the supermarket’s colours, which it proceeded to sell in one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains – with trees planted when purchased! I found that so inspiring.’
In addition to causing a stir in the natural health world, Alice is determined to do what she can to support mental health. She understands the
importance of connection and wants to bring people together to experience the benefits she felt when formulating Pit-Tastic!
Some time ago Alice decided to create a space for conversation and support, where people could come together, stir the Pit-Tastic! ingredients and enjoy the therapeutic gifts Alice experienced during her own recovery.
Alice had got as far as finding a location for this open support space; one of the most crushing results of lockdown has been losing the space and facing the possibility she may never get it back.
‘During the first two weeks of lockdown my brain went into full meltdown’, Alice remembers. ‘Grants were not available to begin with, all of my booked market slots were slowly cancelling before my eyes. It was a rather large shock to the system.’
Not one to sit back as a victim of circumstance, Alice responded by revamping her website; she created a window to the world that allowed her to ship products (once the post offices were open). ‘My website has been a huge success and means we can still get products and our message out there – no matter what the restrictions’, she tells us.
Alice is now looking beyond solid deodorant bars, and is currently elbow-deep in research and development for new solid, natural and 100% biodegradable products for the body.
The next fragrance for Tastic Range solid bars is Sandalwood and Orris, which sounds delicious and is perfect in the run-up to Christmas. A special gift set is also ready to share with friends and family who might want to try the switch to natural and plastic-free products – all while supporting ethical business and mental health.