Monday, 11 November 2019

The BARON SHOWER BAR by Geoff Thornton

One of the biggest problems for many companies at the moment is trying to reconcile environmental impact with customer expectations. The issue of exactly how a product is manufactured goes hand in hand with the packaging that it ends up wearing, and it’s the latter that is often the biggest problem. In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic that the world uses, many companies have started to offer alternatives for our everyday essentials and the latest is Baron. They’ve taken the humble bar of soap, they’ve given it a slick new design, but they haven’t charged the earth. Welcome to the Baron Shower Bar.

I’ve written about soap many times before because I’ve always found it to be so wonderfully evocative of my childhood. I was born in the seventies and shower gel didn’t really arrive until the eighties, so the act of tearing the wrapper off a pristine scented bar was always a treat. As the popularity of liquid soaps increased so did our plastic footprint with empty bottles being flung far and wide. We're now being encouraged to start ditching the packaging and it’s this eco-friendly approach that has helped to fuel the re-emergence of the classic bar of soap.

Geoff Thornton had spent sixteen years working in the hospitality industry opening, and managing, bars and restaurants. Whilst it was an immensely successful period in his life, he realised that it was a heavy workload and so decided to step back slightly and launch Baron. It came from a understanding that we all had to take a more personal responsibility for the packaging that we were choosing. He also discovered that traditional products and manufacturing processes were the way forward in an over commercialised and overproduced retail landscape. The Baron Shower Bar promised to uncomplicate the bathing ritual.

Baron launched with a wonderful explanation of how they came to be, “As with a lot of things nowadays, we looked back and found the perfect solution for going forwards.” Geoff could already see that the soap market was dramatically increasing but the quality was very variable. Some bars splintered, some became soft, and so he searched for the perfect manufacturing partner to produce a bar that lathered, cleaned, and kept its shape. His travels took him to the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France and a local company that still produced soap in the traditional triple-milled way for maximum scent and stability.

Baron are determined to return the soap bar from the hand basin, which is where I've always used mine, to the shower with a collection of six fantastic scents. Aloe, Argan, Charcoal, Olive, Oud, and Verbena are all formulated with a blend of shea butter and sustainable palm oil, and they really are a fantastic alternative to the many shower gels out there. I'll admit that it took me a few days to get used to the slight difference in texture but I am now a total convert to its wonderfully engulfing lather. They’ve also produced a cute travel bag for your soap which means one less holdup at security if you’re flying with hand luggage.

The Baron Shower Bar is priced at £3.50 for 100g, with the pouch priced at £4, and is available from baronshower.com. [Samples provided by Geoff Thornton]

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