As part of our founder interview series, we speak with founders Sue Campbell to learn more about why she set out to create the perfect zero-waste solid shampoo bar.
What inspired you to leave your corporate job and create KIND2?
Three things: A growing awareness of plastic pollution from seeing it first hand, watching the movie Alabtross and frustration that the large companies which dominate the production of consumer goods didn’t appear to be changing anything. So I thought “well, perhaps I should create a business that does make a difference.”
How does solid soap-free shampoo compare to using traditional shampoo?
Using a solid shampoo is a different experience to start with, so you need to be open to that – but it can actually make your hair feel softer and shinier because of the oils it contains. Traditional liquid shampoo is 80% water, so you may not need to work it into a lather – with a solid product, just wet your hair and then work it in, give yourself a head massage at the same time. KIND2 solid shampoo is made from natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any synthetic fragrance or colour either, plus it’s concentrated and should last twice as long as a bottle.
KIND2 is free of sulphates, parabens and silicones. Why should we avoid these, and what other nasties should we look out for?
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (you might know it as SLS) is a common ingredient in shampoo and personal care products. It’s cheap and creates lots of foam, but it can be harsh on scalp, hair and skin – causing irritation and actually stimulating your hair to produce more oil. SLS can also fade your colour. Parabens are preservatives, used to prevent growth of mould, fungus or bacteria and products containing water do need some kind of preservative. Parabens have been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Silcones are sometimes used in hair products to create shine, but they do this by coating your strands, so they build up and can over time leave your hair dry or brittle. Synthetic fragrances (parfum on the label) is something that we also think it wise to avoid as they are an irritant for many people, also best to avoid mica, a mineral colourant, because the supply chain is high risk for slavery.
What are your top tips for going plastic-free?
Do a “plastic audit” and work out where most of your plastic waste comes from. Is it fresh food, ready meals, snacks, drinks, cleaning or beauty/ personal care products? It’s easier to make changes when you know where you are starting from. Changes that can make a difference include: planning ahead for your meals, shopping seasonally at local markets, streamlining your beauty routine and using more natural cleaning products (you’d be amazed how many uses there are for white vinegar around the house).
Solid shampoo is great for travel. As an avid traveller, where would love head to next?
I don’t travel as much as I used to … mostly because of the carbon impact of flying. That said, now being back in the UK, I’d like to explore some of the Baltic countries – in summer.
Before buying something new, what are the main things that you consider?
- Do I have something already that would work just as well?
- Is it available secondhand/ reconditioned/ upcycled?
- And if new is the best option, where and by who is it made (are they ethical, paying fair wages etc)
How do you think we can we encourage sustainable behaviour change in society?
Leading by example - in our own purchases and behaviours and talking/ asking questions about the credentials of brands. As consumers, many of us underestimate the power of our spending. Brands will only make things if people buy them, if we stop or challenge, companies will be forced to change.
What has been the biggest surprise for you since launching KIND2?
How much people like foam. Sulphate free shampoos typically don’t foam a lot, and in fact, foam is not always an indicator of how well a product cleans. I think part of it is that we have been influenced by large advertisers, so it’s created an expectation that foam = clean. That said, we have taken this on board and will launch another shampoo bar later in the year that does produce more bubbles.
‘Ethical Fashion’ can be particularly extremely vague. What does it mean to you?
Brands being accountable and transparent in all aspects of their supply chain – people, raw materials and environment.
How would you like to see KIND2 grow in the future?
This year is all about growing our distribution. We want to make it easier for people to hear about us and experience our products – spreading the word about plastic free haircare wider. We’ve also got some new products planned for launch this year, so watch this space.