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  • Writer's pictureSuitman

January 2017 - Alternative Consumption


Today I researched non-profit tax liabilities and concessions and discovered that ‘Cultural Organisations established for the encouragement of art’ are income tax exempt.

It is therefore important to specifically include these details in the constitution when it is being drafted. An example of what might be suitable is as follows:

SoAC is a cultural organisation, established to encourage sustainable ‘art-life’ praxis (embodied in the human capacity for creativity, which is expressed through doing), by providing information, art materials, demonstrations, events, and workshops. Whilst fostering personal development and community engagement, SoAC encourages artistic endeavour to address issues of sustainability, through an appreciation of the role of personal behaviour in ‘art-life’ praxis.


As well as learning about and making soap, I have also been working on other aspects of my everyday behaviours. This has been primarily focused on reducing plastics, which for me (conditioned to buying and eating processed and packaged convenience foods), is an ongoing challenge. I am doing this though by considering the kinds of packaging that foods are in before purchasing, so for example I by sugar that is packaged in paper, butter that’s wrapped in paper rather than margarine in a tub, and even tinned items instead of frozen because of plastic. I have also been trying to eliminate my habit of using cling wrap by using a container with a lid and am going to buy a razor set to stop using disposable razors. There is so much to address, but I’m taking a bit at a time, and am getting better at remembering to take bags with me when I go shopping. I’ve reduced so much waste that I can often just wrap a day’s worth of rubbish in newspaper to put in the bin rather than using a plastic bag a day.


My son has been visiting for a couple of weeks so I thought I’d show him how soap is made. This fourth batch will experiment using the colour of oils to influence the final colour. In this regard, I am hoping to get a reddish coloured soap by using a majority of Canola and Red Palm oil, which is a reddish colour. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much of the red oil as I thought and so I made up the difference using Sunflower, which is quite clear and therefore shouldn’t affect the colour. The recipe is as follows:

Canola / Red Palm 70%, Sunflower 15%, and Coconut 15%

For this batch I’m using a used a 1 litre UHT milk container as a mould


One of the principle benefits of getting others involved in a broad D.I.Y approach to personal care and home care items is the decentralisation of production to a more localised model. In so doing, individuals are able to recapture experience whilst reducing or eliminating disposable plastics used in packaging.

The mould bowed out on the sides, which creates some nice curvature but, will end up with irregular shapes and sizes. I have decided however that a degree of uniformity is required because it is a legal requirement to put the weight on the label if selling.


A friend is visiting from Melbourne so I got him to give me a hand with my next experiment which involves making two different coloured batches (soaps #5 & #6) which can be blended to make a third soap (a twin colour combination of #5 & #6). The recipe for batch #5 is as follows:

Sunflower Oil 800gms, Coconut Oil 124gms, Lye 126gms and Water 300gms

This should make a light coloured soap because of the amount of clear Sunflower oil being used. The recipe for Batch #6 is as follows:

Canola / Red Palm Oil 800gms, Coconut Oil 124gms, Lye 126gms and Water 300gms

This should make a dark orange coloured soap because of the amount of Canola and Red Palm oil being used.

I used a few 1 litre UHT cartons again. I found this to be the best size and shape so far out the various repurposed items used for moulding (1 litre milk, 2 litre juice, and 1 litre UHT). To assist in retaining the shape I used bricks for support.

The Sunflower soap came out white (which is a bonus for creating natural white) and the Canola / Red Palm came out deep orange. As planned, in addition to creating soap-loaves with individual colours, I combined them to create a white / orange mixture.

The Orange coloured soap before unmoulding

Combination coloured cut soaps plus blocks of white, orange and mixed colour.


I removed the soaps from their moulds and cut them into relatively even bars. The mixed colours resulted in interesting variations once individual bars were cut.


I have an idea to take SoAC to the people (at least in the early stages whilst there are no physical premises to operate from). This will be achieved by ‘Party Plan’ which will be supported by a catalogue delivery system. I spent the day working on operational considerations (see SoAC document).


I need five people to form an executive. At this stage it looks likely to be me, Jason, Simon, Zema, and Bryce. I will try to get another five people to become ‘founding members’, which could be Matt/Deniz (1), Noah, Nic, Sharna, and Jasmine.

It could be worth trying to get organised for some kind of SoAC promotion at Wollongong University during ‘O’ Week / and or Clubs Day with PSST.


Researched geographic expansion for future (to make sure to have the right structure to start with)

Organised starter kits – containing, cost, sale price etc… decided on basic, luxury, and super luxury


Research hardening soap with stearic acid and citric acid

Note: Use 0.5% of oil weight for stearic and 1% for citric

21/2/2017 – work on designing kits – Single-Soap Recipe Kits and Multi-Soap Starter Kits

- Research re-batching soaps that have not saponified (too cold)


Continue to develop kits

Get organised for soap day on Monday 23 Jan

+ Research

Dog shampoo recipe?


PSST Soap & Sign Day

SoAC Recipe #7Butter-Bar

Coconut Oil 30% 300g 10.71oz 30%

Castor Oil 10% 100ml 3.57oz 10%

Cocoa Butter 10% 100g 3.57oz 10%

Olive Oil 20% 200ml 7.14oz 20%

Rice Bran Oil 20% 200ml 7.14 20%

Sunflower Oil 10% 100ml 3.57oz 10%

Sodium Hydroxide 148gms 5.29oz

Minimum Water 345.5gms 12.34oz

The Butter-Bars in these moulds are heated and darkened whilst going through ‘gel phase’; see how they goe through a colour transformation

These Butter-Bars have been measured and cut into 10 bars (that are close to even size).

+ Forgot to go to Alternative Technology Association W’gong Branch - establishment meeting – too involved doing PSST stuff (soap & sign)


Worked on honing the beginner soap-making kits (so that they are profitable enough to support the discount and payment structure that is supporting operational viability)…

The Kits provide ingredients for the beginner soaps – Body-Bar; Butter-Bar; Luxury-Bar; and Super Luxury-Bar


Did more honing of the beginner kits and created a print version for members, along with costs for non-kit orders of raw materials – (Decided to replace Cocoa Butter in most recipes with Shea Butter (4 x profitability instead of 2x); use 300gms of Coconut Oil in all recipes (5x profitability); replace Avocado Oil with Sweet Almond Oil (4 x profitability instead of 2x).

Removed soap #7 from the moulds and cut into 10 soaps + took pictures


Learning about shelf-life of oils… something I hadn’t considered is becoming a serious issue requiring attention…

Sunflower oil only last about 3 months before it may go rancid… I may therefore remove it from my product list…

Ordered some ROE (Rosemary Oleoresin Extract) from Aussie Soap Supplies in Perth… used to extend the shelf life of oils at a usage rate of 0.02% - 0.08%...

Needs to be added while oil is as fresh as possible (won’t extend stuff that’s

nearly out-of-date much)… May write off the Sunflower oil… ROE gives a slight rosemary smell to whatever its been added to, but the smell does not last beyond the soap making process.

The soap I made 2 weeks ago using predominantly Sunflower Oil is already showing signs of DOS (Dreaded Orange Spot) and smelling a bit, which will inevitably get much worse…

This has made me realise the importance of good, fresh supplies as the oil I used in this batch must have been close to rancid before I even opened the bottle…

I am now putting more emphasis on storage, putting oils into a dark cupboard and butter in the fridge… I am constantly learning (I had never thought of soap ingredients as being perishable) … I had never had oil go off (I usually use olive oil which last 2 years).


Researching other ethical soap makers…. Lush… Checking out their marketing strategies + need to look at their ingredients if possible

Also research Shampoo Soap Bar


Finally moved oils into the bottom of the linen press to help preserve them longer…

Did more research on shelf life and saw Sunflower Oil should last a year…

Checked all the use by dates on the bottles and nothing is out of, or close to being out of date… sunflower should still be ok for another 6 months (1/2 way through shelf life)


Go get digital thermometer (Jaycar)

Research local cleaning product places – Henley-Clean-World at Fairy Meadow…

Spoke about previous method of container return for refund changed to disposable plastic

Purchased mixing bowls for workshops from op shops – Mission Australia and Salvos)


Research bottles / jars for oils etc. in kits. + pricing for purchase and use etc…

ROE arrived – need to get eyedropper

Research oil volume to weight conversions… varies depending on oil… need to get larger containers than volume… e.g. Coconut oil 100ml = 94.26gm so 100gm = 109.4ml

To allow for oil lining the bottle when emptied - allow for 110m

300gm of coconut oil = 330ml so get 350ml containers.

This means there is 10% more oil required from purchase to sale (ml to gm. -Conversion not accounted for in figures)… need to account for the extra 10% oil usage.

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