2022 has been a year where achievements win over challenges at Bath House.
Thank you to everyone for celebrating our 25th anniversary year throughout 2022, whether you’re a regular Bath House customer or someone who recently discovered our fragrances and skincare. It’s lovely to know we have such an enthusiastic and supportive community.
With the rush and excitement of Christmas over, we hope our scents and natural products are now being used and enjoyed up and down the land and so now finally we have time to reflect on the challenges of the past year and look back, considering not only the accomplishments of our efforts, but also some of the challenges. It’s been a year where our team has worked tirelessly to produce great products and maintain our service to our customers, whilst sticking to our eco-friendly values.
Running a business always presents its challenges. Running a manufacturing and retail business brings even more problems. Therefore, challenges have indeed been a running theme of this year, particularly with our supply chain. This has at times occasionally caused us significant and ongoing disruptions and stress and has been affected by almost every aspect of the components and ingredients we use and has certainly been exacerbated by the impact of Brexit.
Working with only natural ingredients rather than those synthetically created is a very specialised process. Supplies of such wonderful ingredients often come from a single source, a farm or particular country or region of the world where they are grown. So if such an ingredient gets stuck in customs for several weeks, using an alternative is simply not an option for us. So there has been much requesting and cajoling of suppliers by our manufacturing and making department, and they have worked their usual miracles to ensure a steady supply of all we need to make our fabulous products, keeping the shelves stocked up all year round.
We still have, unfortunately had a few delays which unavoidably affected the launch of some new products and we are now looking forward to launching them in spring 2023. Namely, the much anticipated Greenhouse hand wash and hand lotion, and later on in 2023, the Climbing Trees body wash and body lotion.
Over the past twelve months, the price of ingredients, components and other costs have also continued to rise significantly and so as not to further affect the general mood of caution among customers, we decided to only increase the price of our eau de parfums and colognes which was unfortunately truly necessary in order to maintain the high and consistent quality of these fragrances. We also made a promise to our customers not to do the same for our skincare collections before Christmas. We have kept true to our word but may still review prices next year – hopefully just a few tweaks here and there.
Amid these kinds of challenges, there were many positive highlights for Bath House ‘Artisans of Natural Beauty’ in 2022. Below are some of our key achievements, as well as our plans for 2023 and beyond.
Working towards accreditation and awards.
B-Corp As a mindful and socially responsible business, we are working towards becoming a certified B Corporation, putting ‘People and Planet before Profit’. The rigorous B Corporation certification process uses credible, comprehensive, transparent and independent standards of social and environmental performance. This is a process we have been working towards throughout 2022 and hopefully we will be certified in the near future.
Leaping Bunny We also hope to gain the Leaping Bunny certificate for our products. This certificate is a stamp of approval that states we do what we say when it comes to our products. Leaping Bunny accreditation is the only internationally recognised symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it. We’re meticulously working through each of our 198 unique formulations to get them approved, for seeking accreditation in 2023. This has been an enormous undertaking because we have such a large quantity of products which has required long hours of research and paperwork.
Bath House will also be announcing soon that we have won a significant award, highlighting sustainability and the positive environmental impacts our business is making, placing Bath House alongside other important and renowned brands known for sharing a sustainable vision and ethos for a business which is better for the environment, for the climate and for people. Watch out on our social media for this exciting announcement.
We have set ourselves internal targets to help us make a difference within the community and the environment.
Charity Donations We are looking to partner up in 2023 with local, as well as international charities that focus on wellbeing and the environment. During 2022 we have continued to donate product to many small individual charities and for fundraisers. We support Morecambe Winter Garden Preservation Trust, donating £1 for every purchase of our Winter Gardens candle and room diffuser. Our ‘Green Friday’ initiative raised £1600 which we gave to the Woodland Trust, approximately equivalent to planting or restoring 410 trees, a little wood for the future created over a weekend. We shall continue to share more details of future charity collaborations in 2023. We are also hoping to collaborate with charities next year which will enable staff who would like to, to become involved too. They can then participate in actively helping people to get outdoors, improving body, soul and mind.
Living Wage We always endeavour to align Bath House with organisations that share our social ethos. In 2022 we joined the Living Wage Foundation, opting to pay the Real Living Wage, which is voluntarily paid by the employer so that wages meet everyone’s needs. There are at present 11,000 businesses who have signed up to the Real Living Wage including Lush, Aviva, Nationwide and Everton. This year we were featured in their Christmas guide.
Ingredients always matter.
Since the brand’s beginnings, we’ve always created products that nurture and protect the skin’s barrier using the best natural, Eco-Certified approved ingredients. This year we have continued to research and use ingredients for formulations that are good for people and the planet, such as using the sulfate-free, naturally derived surfactant Iselux LQ – this allows the formulation to be made with no heating or cooling during the making process. In 2022, we have used this to make our new Slate body wash, which saves energy and therefore helps to create a lower carbon footprint.
Another new ingredient now used in our Faith Is body lotion is the Babassu Oil, an oil extracted from the nuts of the Babassu palm. It has similar properties to palm oil (something we do not use for environmental reasons) and is also similar to coconut oil, which is another alternative ingredient we use. Babassu nuts are collected when the ripe nuts fall to the forest floor so they provide a natural, harvestable crop providing jobs for the locals and helps preserve and protect the rainforest canopy. This is just one example of how and why we take the time to source truly eco-certified ingredients for all our product formulations.
We are sure that by creating innovative products, focussing and educating on the importance of sustainable ingredients, with a low environmental impact, that in time more customers and more companies will follow our example.
Minimal, refillable and recyclable packaging.
Almost all our products are now housed in infinitely reusable glass, aluminium bottles and jars so they can have a longer lifecycle. We have finally sourced an ‘easy to recycle’, durable refill pouch in late 2022 for our refills, which can be recycled within the normal household recycling and they are much stronger. This will help customers to recycle more efficiently and regularly, encouraging them to continue to refill their used bottles with our products. You will see these pouches filter into our stores and online in early 2023.
We sold 4680 refill pouches in 2022 and we aim to achieve a goal to double that in 2023. We must thank all our customers who are supporting this refill practice by purchasing our refills and by reusing the existing bottles. They are making a huge contribution to the annual reduction of plastic waste. In 2022, 87% of all our products were not filled into plastic containers, and the only plastic we use is for the refill pouches and pumps.
For 2023, we will continue to work hard to reduce this further. We will also continue to champion the use of aluminium screw lids for body washes, so that customers don’t have to purchase the plastic pump (which cannot currently be recycled) and encourage customers who do purchase a pump to learn to reuse it rather than throw it into landfill. In 2023, we are hoping to bring out a fully recyclable pump for our hand washes and lotions therefore no pumps will go into landfill.
Taking transparency one step further.
With growing consumer demand for products that are less harmful to the environment, it can be hard to tell what’s genuine and what’s greenwashing. To help our customers when purchasing, we offer on our website transparent information within each product page. Here we explain clearly the claims we make, with the emphasis on our refilling and how to recycle when necessary, the full ingredients listing and how natural the formation is. We are transparent about our claims.
And finally, of course in both looking back and forwards at this time of year, we have to thank all of our customers for their continued support which makes it all worthwhile. We have had some wonderful feedback and stories shared, we love seeing you in our stores and are delighted to hear from you on Facebook and Instagram.
We hope you will be with us every step of the way in 2023 as we continue our journey together.
Best wishes and have a good new year.
Abigail, Gareth, Glyn, Pauline and Nigel (Bath House founders)