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Chit Chat with “Karang Guni” Soap Maker - @mynakedbar

Going against socially accepted norms to ripple out a message.


The naked truth behind @mynakedbar


@mynakedbar is a green business that produces handcrafted cold process soap bars that are vegan, synthetics-free, made with simple goodness from our kitchen and nature. I named my soaps @mynakedbar to stay true to why I'm starting this in the first place. I wanted my soaps to not just be naked of synthetic ingredients, but naked of unnecessary packaging. Before you throw away your next milk and juice cartons, how about giving them a second life by donating them to us via the Upcircle app? Our soaps are shipped in upcycled milk and juice cartons contributed by the community.

Soaps in milk cartons

Why did @mynakedbar choose to package with upcycled materials?


Unlike most soap labels which are likely to have started for better skin health or from the joy of crafting, I started @mynakedbar to have a little voice for our planet.


I believe many people around me do care for our environment and are concerned about the #climatecrisis our planet is facing today, but the tolls of everyday life made the topic a low priority. They do not have enough intrinsic motivation to find out more or take the first step on their own. However, if it’s easy enough, they would be willing to participate. They just needed to start somewhere.


I swapped to a bar soap myself as there is nothing left to reuse, recycle or trash after the soap is done. So when I decided to make my soap as a platform for the outreach, I knew it was an opportunity to make more people sit up to the message.


Since I’m asking people to swap out of a single-use plastic shower gel bottle, I can’t possibly replace it with any packaging of a higher carbon footprint. After throwing out many options using new resources, I toyed with the idea of using a resource that is already existing and in ample supply, and that was when I had my lightbulb moment and how milk cartons became the packaging for our soap bars.


“Treasure Hoard” of milk cartons from contributors

The early days of our packaging – only one word… Awkward

What comments have you received for your packaging?

Would you walk down Orchard Road with this?

Fortunately, most people have been very supportive so far. Some people got a shock when they first ordered from us though. So to minimize buyers being taken by surprise, we try to talk about the packaging on our IG post quite often so more people are aware. Many of these buyers have gone on to become advocates for the brand or even carton contributors! Those who accept our packaging love them and have no qualms about carrying our packaging in public. We even have buyers telling us they still have the carton at home and are giving them 3rd or 4th lives!


Sometimes we do polls on Instagram asking if our new packaging innovations are ‘giftable’ and we do receive honest responses from some telling us they do not think so. We’ve also ever received suggestions to flip the cartons inside out, so the packaging looks better instead of showing the milk brands. On the other hand, we also have people telling us we should be paid for advertising the beverages!


What prompted you to partner with Upcircle.app?

As you can imagine I require a consistent supply of milk cartons which poses a challenge because we don’t drink that much milk at home. On top of the difficulty to find cartons, being able to find people who are willing to collect, clean, and batch them is not easy. As the cartons need to be rinsed immediately after use to minimize stains and smell, I can’t collect then wash them afterward. As a small crafter, I also do not have the bandwidth to take on the task of washing every carton by myself so I needed to find contributors who genuinely wanted to give second lives to their milk.


With the help of Upcircle and Package Pals, more like-minded friends became aware of our needs and I started receiving regular offers of consciously cleaned milk cartons. Please check out my project in the upcircle.app, read our contribution blog and join us to give second lives to more cartons. Big shoutout to those who have already contributed to my project!



Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Thank you to all buyers who accepted our packaging even when it’s not the prettiest. Help us ripple out the message to people around you that even if we don’t have big solutions, we can help by contributing less to the problem. After all, it’s our planet we are protecting.


Download the Upcircle app to source for packaging today!


For iPhone:

https://apps.apple.com/sg/app/upcircle/id1552730809

For Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.upcircle.upcircle

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