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Sparkling clean

These colourful shampoo bars are putting the fun into plastic-free haircare
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Sparkling clean

This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Recyclable bathroom waste accounts for 30-40% of the UK’s total landfill waste.

The good news is that the vast majority of plastic packaging is becoming unnecessary thanks to innovations in plastic-free products for the hair and body.

Emma Evans left a career in the NHS to launch Rush Organics, a range of solid shampoo bars, in 2018. ‘My main motivation was the plastic pollution’, Emma tells us. ‘I wanted to find a way to help others reduce the amount of plastic they use. I’d heard of shampoo bars but after researching them, I didn’t like some of the ingredients companies were using.’

Emma set out to create her own range of organic haircare bars, to provide the sustainable and vegan alternative she felt the market was missing.

Plastic-free products

Demand for plastic-free products shows no sign of slowing, but products without plastic aren’t always free from other nasty and polluting ingredients, so always check the label.

‘The ingredients that we avoid are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), parabens and palm oil’, Emma tells us. ‘SLS is used as the foaming agent in many shampoos and soaps, but it is a skin irritant. Instead we use sodium cocoyl isethionate, a natural ingredient derived from coconut which is much gentler on your skin.’

Organic ingredients

Synthetic ingredients have been popular in mainstream products because they are cheap, and they deliver the results we have come to expect. Now there are more alternatives available, there’s no reason why big names in haircare and skincare shouldn’t make the switch.

Emma’s favourite plant-based ingredient is coconut oil, because it is so versatile and has lots of great properties. It conditions, moisturises, reduces dandruff, strengthens hair and protects skin from UV damage.

At Rush Organics there’s a focus on organic ingredients because, as Emma puts it, they’re important for us and the planet. ‘Organic ingredients can reduce the chances of hair loss, dandruff, allergies and irritation’, Emma explains, ‘and because no artificial pesticides or fertilisers are used in the growing process, they can support soil health and the local ecosystem as well.’

Sparkle and shine

The thing that really makes Rush Organics stand out is the fun factor: there are bars that look like they’re made from gold and bold colours that would brighten up any bathroom.

The bars contain vibrant natural colourants from vegetable powders, and many also contain biodegradable glitter for some extra sparkle. The dazzling hues are a far cry from the muted shades many have grown to expect from natural products, and add some fun to bath (or shower) time.

Each solid shampoo bar (£6.50) is equivalent to three bottles of shampoo, so each bar you buy saves plastic and, in most cases, money.

‘My advice to those who haven’t switched to shampoo bars yet is to just try them’, Emma tells us. ‘We have a variety of bars suitable for all hair types. They are easy to use and your hair – and planet – will thank you!’

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