Zero-Waste Advocate Kate Mercurio Starts with Soap
Having grown fed up with watching her children play among plastic rubbish on Hong Kong beaches, New Zealand-born Kate Mercurio decided to tackle the issue head on – one bar of soap at a time.
“People are waking up to the problem of all the excess waste we create,” Mercurio says. “A lot of people start with food, but don’t know what to do in beauty.”
The 39-year-old cosmetics entrepreneur and low-waste advocate launched Eko Savon last summer. As well as producing a range of skincare products, she runs a series of workshops in which participants learn to make their own soap, lotion, serum, shampoo, conditioner and domestic cleaners using methods that are cheap and have a low environmental impact.
“I looked at my bathroom and I had so many plastic bottles: shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers. It’s really difficult to find hair or body-care products that aren’t packaged in plastic. So I did a bit of research and started making my own soap and then expanded into other products,” Mercurio says.
As well as cutting down on waste, she adds, making your own cosmetics allows you to control what ingredients you put on your skin. “Marketing has led us to believe that only experts can formulate things for us and we need something for each part of our body, but a lot of these products we’re making – like the balms – are multi-purpose. This is something everyone can do with basic ingredients.”
Mercurio has lived in Hong Kong for the past 11 years.
Original article by Lauren James, South China Morning Post, February 25, 2019.
Photo by Edmond So.