We interviewed Emma and Jess, the lovely ladies behind the sustainable Somerset soap brand, Hog & Tallow.
What was the inspiration behind the brand?
It all started over 6 years ago when we started our own small holding to keep us supplied with our own high welfare meat and eggs. We kept pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, turkeys…you name it, and we were keen to do our own butchery & curing. Wanting to use every part of our animals, the main surplus we had was fat. We did a bit of research for recipes and ‘soap’ came up.
Being quite crafty, myself and Jess had a go and not only loved the process but realised it made amazing soap. We took the idea of using a waste produce further and researched other suitable soapy ingredients we could source from around us and being keen growers, we started incorporating herbs and botanicals.
Friends and family loved the soaps too and it wasn’t long before we were off to our first farmers market.
What are your three core company values?
Waste not want not. We use the waste & by-produce from local small businesses such as beer, milk, spent beer malt, beef tallow & cider to make something beautiful. All packaging is plastic free, recycled & reused.
Fat of the land. Using local, natural fats & oils to keep our carbon footprint small.
Wild skincare. Using only natural, locally grown & foraged botanicals that feed your skin the natural way. Never any chemicals or nasties.
What makes you unique?
I think our ingredients make us unique. It’s unusual to find a traditional soap maker championing tallow fat (although it’s in lots of big brand soaps if you look at the ingredients), especially surrounded by popular vegan soaps. We don’t want it to be a gimmick; Tallow is incredibly good for our skin, it’s a waste product and the tallow we source is from our own cattle or local farms and small holdings.
I think it’s our love of using the land and countryside around us to source our ingredients and really focussing on the journey the ingredients have had to travel to get into our soap. We want to limit those miles and create a truly local soap. We also use local businesses by-produce and waste to continue our sustainable values.
Why is sustainability important to you and what sustainable practices does the brand employ?
Sustainably is at the heart of everything we do. From our choice of local ingredients and our simple, recycled packaging to our use of waste and by-produce. There is always something to improve and this year we are really focussing on our essential oil sourcing.
Tell us three fun facts about yourselves.
Jess is a National Trust Head Gardener.
Emma is a book nerd.
We both loving climbing!