A Great Soapy Outcome

Fantastic news everyone!  Remember all of those wonderful comments on my post “Lather Up Folks!“, where some of you started a conversation about the damage that the clearing of Indonesian and Malaysian Rainforest for Palm Oil plantations is doing to the habitat of the Orangutan due to western demand for the product.  Well, I received an email yesterday from Yvonne Cowell, who owns Aussie Soap Supply.  I would just like to point out that, I have in no way, received any financial or material gain from Aussie Soap Supply at any time.  I simply want to thank her for a good deed and thought I would share it with all of my readers.

Here it the email, reproduced with Yvonne’s permission;

Hi Gavin and Kim,
Not quite sure where to start.  I have received quite a few enquiries from your Website – The Greening of Gavin.
I would like to say that I’ve had a look and am very impressed with what you’ve done here.  Thank you very much for referencing Aussie Soap Supply in your work.
I have read your blog, and think that you have done a marvellous job. I have added some information on your comments section for your followers.
I’d like to add a few comments for you – (just for your info) this is not on the comments posted.
*  You are quite right about Palm Oil.  Unfortunately its been used by soapmakers for years as it is a fantastic oil that aids in producing a harder bar of soap, along with other desirable qualities.
But, the use has serious consequences on our environment as you’ve explained.
In response and in an effort to do something myself for our planet – I would like to limit the use of this product myself (ie. NOT USE IT and deter other people).  I will also include a message to people informing them of the consequences of its use, on the product details. So everyone can make an informed decision before purchasing it.
Unfortunately there are many soap makers that do use it and are reluctant to change.  There are plenty of other Oils to use in its place that are a much better choice, in my opinion.
The Soap Calculator you’ve included on your blog – is the one I use and is the best in my opinion, as it basically tells you the qualities your finished soap will have and also the amount of Caustic to use. Other soap calculators tell you the amount of lye to use – but they don’t tell you the finished properties which is fantastic if you are not a chemist. (Like me)
I feel in the interest of our Planet and our Wildlife and in an effort to do something myself – I am going to change my kit to not contain this ingredient.  The new kit will contain Olive Oil and Coconut Oil and a new recipe to go with it.
It is so great that lots of people such as you and me actually “THINK” about the impact their footprint has on our environment.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing my business as your supplier for this activity and hopefully many more.
Talk soon,
Yvonne Cowell
Aussie Soap Supply – QLD
Well, sometimes talk is cheap, however not in Yvonne’s case.  She is a lady of action!  Have a look at the contents of the Cold Pressed Soap making kit now!  Don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom of the kit page, it is humbling.  I was so impressed that I sent off this reply.
Hi Yvonne,

I just checked out your site and I am humbled!

Thanks for the kind words and for linking to my soap making tutorial.

I have also noticed that you have beefed up the kit.  Kim just informed me that you have included the mould and caustic soda now.  That is probably the only complete CP soap making kit in Australia.  Great work.

Also, on behalf of the orangutans and other wildlife of Borneo and Sumatra, I thank you very much for making the decision to remove the palm oil out of your kit.  If there were more folks like you out there, no one would have to worry about the future of this wonderful ape.  No action is too small as far as I am concerned.

Warm regards,


It just goes to show that every small action (i.e. my blog post and decision to make soap) has a consequence, and no action is too small to make a difference.  Thank you so much Yvonne for caring enough to make a positive environmental change.  As I said, if more companies took simple actions like this, the world would be in much better shape.


  1. miss rebecca says

    Great work Gavin – I have been unsure if I should buy a kit since I knew it contained palm oil, but since they have removed it I am more than happy now to purchase the kit and try my hand at soap making!

    Both you and Kim should be VERY proud! It is not easy to make changes and to encourage business to make changes but you have done it!

    another great site you should have a look at it http://www.palmoilaction.org
    They have a range of emails and email addresses to send to companies about the use of palm oil. I have emailed them all and now awaiting responses!

    warmest regards,


  2. says

    Hmmmm, just noticed that “Aussie Soap Supply” and “Aussie Soap Supplies” are two different companies!! I use the latter so no wonder I was confused about their CP soap kits LOL.

  3. says

    Good work Gavin! I have not been recommending CP soap kits from ASS for that reason (although I buy stacks of other stuff from them), so it’s terrific that Yvonne has now changed the kit – heck I might even buy a couple for upcoming birthdays!

  4. says

    What a fantastic outcome! I’ve been getting my soapmaking supplies from Aussie Soap Supplies for over a year now & they have always had fantastic service, so I’m not too surprised that they have done this. BTW, your link to the kit didn’t work for me.

  5. says

    Well done Gavin and a big thanks to Yvonne! If we can all keep making these incremental steps, perhaps we really can change the world.

    I really agree with supporting businesses who do the right thing, so I will be buying a soap kit from Yvonne soon. Since I’m in the USA I might have it sent to my Mum in QLD. She’d get a real kick out of it I think.

    Thanks again!

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