Wendygoesgreen – Cleaning in the Bag

We really have got ‘Cleaning in the Bag’ with our new products:

3 Shaker Bag Set which includes sodium bicarbonate, citric acid & soda crystals in reusable shaker bottles in a cute jute bag.

2 Shaker Bag Set with sodium bicarbonate and citric acid in reusable shaker bottles in a cute jute bag.

3 Spray Bag Set which includes a multi-surface cleaner, limescale remover and window & mirror cleaner in reusable mini-trigger spray bottles in a cute jute bag.

All you need for cleaning around the home and for use in the garden.

These products are compact, easy to store and use, are greener, simple and natural.

To purchase these products and to see what else we have visit http://www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk


Why Use Green or Ecological Detergents or Cosmetics?

Answer: To take better care of our skin and bodies and the environment. To be safer!

Detergents and cosmetics products can have over 30 synthetic chemicals in them. Some of which may not be safe. Some of which are fast to be absorbed through our skin and most of which are likely to be allergenic but all of which we come into daily contact with because they are in some many of the products we use.

Our skin is the largest organ we have and whilst we know much about the dangers to our heart & lungs and are regularly advised how to keep them healthy, apart from the dangers of exposure to the sun, we don’t hear that much about what other potential dangers there are to our skin.

Mainstream cosmetic and detergent manufacturing companies believe that many of the synthetic chemicals they use are safe based on their long-term use and safety records. However, many public interest organisations believe that further research is necessary.

Take parabens as an example. These are used for their bactericidal and fungicidal functions. They are found in shampoos, moisturisers, shower gels, toothpaste, antibacterial hand washes etc. The most common ones are: methyparaben E218, ethyparaben E214, propylparaben E216 & butylparaben. Have a look and see if they are in any of the products in your home.

Low concentrated levels of parabens have shown up in breast cancer tumours. They can mimic estrogen which is known to play a role in breast cancer. UK molecular biologist, Philippa Darbre reported ester bearing form of parabens found in tumours indicated they came from skin applications such as underarm deodorant, creams or body sprays. She said this could explain why 60% of all breast tumours are found in just one fifth of the breast, nearest the armpit.

There are no conclusive studies but the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Protection (SCCP) said in 2006 that available data on parabens did not enable a decisive response to the question of whether propyl, butyl & isobutyl parabens can be safely used in cosmetic products at individual concentrations of up to 0.4% which is the allowed limit in the EU.

Parabens are just one example. There are many other synthetic chemicals such as: propylene glycol, a petroleum derivative used for antimicrobial properties; methylisothiazolimone (MIT), used as a preservative and biocide controlling microbial growth. Both chemicals are described as having allergenic and irritant tendencies.

Also, we should be aware of surfactants which are widely used to achieve a better wash, a better clean, a softer finish. However, the way surfactants work means they affect the surface tension of what it comes into contact with. Some surfactants are made to keep soiled water from re-entering a surface so forms a barrier. Fabric conditioners do this and bubble baths. But the chemicals are then left on our clothing or skin, which can result in being absorbed into our bodies. Having a bath, hand or foot soak with the right products can be a great benefit to our bodies as the chemicals we want in our body for detox purposes or to redress mineral in-balance etc can readily enter through our skin. It does mean though that they are not being filter by the liver which medicines or orally digested products would be. The annual global production of surfactants was 13 million metric tonnes in 2008 which was expected to grow by 2.8% to 2012 and 3.5-4% thereafter.

So why do we use these products with so many synthetic chemicals in? It’s easy. Yes, just that. It is too easy to select our cosmetics and detergents on colour, price and packaging. There are labelling directives companies need to use but with such long chemical words, do we really know what they are? Natural chemicals also have long words although any company selling products with natural or organic ingredients usually highlight this.

Have a closer look when purchasing you next lot of products and take time to read the many warnings that appear on the labels. Limescale remover liquids and powders are an example. They also give a toxic warning. We are likely to be putting ourselves at increased risk as I doubt we follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, using bleach based products to clean our toilets etc requires a well ventilated room and protective clothing and eye protection. This guidance is more likely to be followed by good commercial cleaners but not householders even though we are warned.

There are more natural ways to keep ourselves and homes clean and so eliminating contact with these types of chemicals. However, it would be a lot easier if we had more readily available and cost effective green, ecological or organic products to select from.

I am trying to do something about that. Having discovered what was in the products my children used daily and the potential harm the chemicals in them presented, I started using natural ingredients for cleaning and eco personal care products. Some were expensive for my tight household budget, so I researched making my own. That was 18 months ago and I have now started producing a back2basics range of detergents based on methods of cleaning that are better for our health and for the environment. I have devised a way of cleaning based on using natural revived products that we used to have in our homes and that are still brilliantly effective today. They don’t need preservatives, as they wouldn’t be hanging around our cupboards for too long as they have multi uses, are in smaller containers with the option for refills. I have kept them simple in their production using only basic biodegradable ingredients and packaged them in a way that enhances the ‘life’ of each product while still being ecological. You could describe them as old-fashioned. Most people say something like…’ I remember my Gran using that’. I like to think of them as revived or new-fashioned using what has worked well in the past but with a present and future day concept to them.

We bring our children up to cross the road safely, ride their bikes safely, exercise and eat a healthy diet though we are putting potential harmful substances on their skin and into their bodies, daily, without a thought. Please just take a moment to consider using natural and basic ingredients that perform the role they need to but without the extras. The Easy Jet of the detergent world! No frills or additional expenses but gets the job done!

For more information visit http://www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk or email office@wendygoesgreen.co.uk or follow me on twitter:wendygoesgreen. Written by Wendy Thomson, MD of wendygoesgreen a green cleaning and wellbeing company based in Gloucestershire, UK.

Wendygoesgreen at Natural & Organic Trade Show 1-2 Apr 12

The Natural & Organic Trade Show in Olympia, London, was brilliant! It has given me such a boost that my natural cleaning products will do well when I launch them.  I have got two unique ideas for new well-being products that no other cosmetic company at the show is even thinking about. My cleaning range with a back2basics concept also has a USP and with good marketing is going to make customers and retailers think about being green in the most simplest of ways. My products and concepts of cleaning and looking after oursleves is about revival of what we already know works and keeping it simple. That way we will cut out many potential harmful contact with synthetic chemicals, keep our cost down while eliminating damage to our environment.  Wendy xx

Wendygoesgreen expands the business into ecological cleaning services


Sorry I have missed a month but sooooo much has happened and this is the first time I have had to reflect and look back at what has changed to the business since end of Feb 11. Lots……

Firstly, I have tried two different markets to sell my products. Great success the day before Mothering Sunday.. Must have sold the right things and we had a free wrapping service which quite a few of the young male customers took advantage of. I hope their Mums were happy. Well, I know one was as she visited our stall herself the next Saturday. She said how pleased she was with the gift her son bought her…..That market was in Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Unfortunately, we kept getting moved to different parts of the Mall each week and I felt that we weren’t getting the best placing for potential customers to see our adverts to work out what we were selling. Over the next 4 occasions, we didn’t sell as much as on that first day. My eldest daughter has helped me and we had a good time together, she was really good and kept a record of the sales in our note-book and even got confident enough to talk about the products to customers! However, the positive points were that more people got to find out what wendygoesgreen is about. I also started doing demonstrations on how to make your own eco cleaning fluid from bicarb and vinegar and made some sales of the home brand, back2bascis that I am developing. A neighbour and school mum friend are regular users now and I have had success selling some amounts of my other home cleaning product which is a glass & mirror cleaner. Even selling one to my business specialist poc at my business bank HSBC. I have popped in there a few times and asked their opinions of the products I’m working on. It’s great for market research as they can’t go anywhere from behind the desk….. but to succeed in making a sale as well makes me feel great. His feedback is that he would definitely recommend the product!

So, apart from doing market stall selling, I have worked on getting my products into other shops and at the start of Apr started selling my back2basics home cleaning products in the Valleys Project eco shop in the centre of Stroud, and had made at least 5 sales within the first week. Then two weeks later, I visited a local craft shop which had newly opened in Stonehouse and mentioned that I made my own beauty products and later that day most of my range were on sale in the ‘Craft Emporium’ 10 Queen’s Street.

I have spent a morning recently looking around a local tourist town, Tewkesbury, and have approached the Abbey shop to see of they can sell my products… I’m so excited that I have tried out new products in the bath bomb range and now bath melts. I particularly wish to use frankincense essential oil for the Abbey products!

For bath bombs I have adapted the basic product to include a caterpillar bath bomb, mini hearts, sticks & stones, rocks and camouflage for the boys and I’ve got a few more ideas up my sleeve but can’t make too many products and have too much stock just yet until I have the shops to sell them in.  Oh, I also have a gym within a local football club – Forest Green Rovers Football club selling them soon. I am working with a local beautician who will be setting up beauty treatments within the gym. So the business is expanding in this area as well as the ecological cleaning service that I offer.

Over Easter, my daughters helped me deliver leaflets about my cleaning services within a housing area we know and within a few days I got a call asking about the products I use for the ecological cleaning. She is now a regular client and I hope to get some more within the area over the next few months. At a network meeting a few weeks back, I had a local cleaning company interested in the cleaning products I make and hope to get together with them soon.  I am taking part in another business2business networking event on 9th Jun in Tewkesbury at Basepoint and hope this will lead to a few more prospects, leads and sales or contracts.  Sometimes I get up so early in the mornings to work on the business and after fitting in all the family events and needs can still be working late in the evening but I love it.

I need some extra money to inject into the business so that I can have an online shop and website and have someone taking over some of the development and production of products in the Summer. I also need to get the double garage built that I have planning permission for so that I can move some of the business stock and materials out of the main house. All the time I am keeping a steady eye on my cashflow and keep very good records on what’s going in and out… it’s easy to keep buying materials etc to make new products but I am trying to be strict and get some of the basic range being sold first and them adding to the range to keep customer’s interest. I am selling on a sale or return basis with a commission going to the shops. 

I have also been investigating what I need to do to get my cleaning fluids tested for anti bacterial properties etc. I have conducted a home test growing bacteria with the help of my daughter with quite good results. I feel that I am developing the business in the right ways but it all takes time. As long as each month my returns are increasing I will be happy but it is a balance selling directly at markets or through shops and trialling and testing my products. I still haven’t had any business cards produced but I feel like I’m at the right point now that I know what my business is about and so plan to get some card made up this week.  Oh… and I have also attended 3 x one hour long early evening seminars held at a local solicitors about business issues. These have been useful again for networking and market research about my products. Wednesdays are about my own free evening, but once I put my interests before my sons so he missed his football practice. Got to be done sometimes! On a Tuesday, I have started training to throw the javelin and discus, so I do things outside the business! I belong to Stroud & District Athletics club and they have coaches willing to teach you so I’ve had 2 sessions so far and might even have a go at the hammer! I’m not a massive build but have a bit of muscle! Running is my thing.. which I did a charity event for on 20th May running more than 20 miles over the day along the Thames Path as part of the Wycliffe Whippets running team. We also had cyclists and walkers so we covered the whole path. I certainly needed my health products that night and had a great soak in Epsom salts and Himalayan bath salts followed by rubbing rosemary essential oil into my legs.  Was strong enough to do a long walk and even a bike ride the next day and not stiff 48hrs later.

Anyway, enough for now. I just want to finish by listing the products I make and sell:

Luxury Epsom Salt Bath soaks in a range of scents 425g in a jute gift bottle bag for £7.99

Epsom Salt 300g tub & wooden scoop unscented for general purpose use £3.50

Epsom Salt single bath soak 100g £1.70

Epsom Salt 6x sachet Hand & foot soak £1.70 -great for tired feet and for getting out splinters or tired and dirty gardening hands!

Bath bomb single use 100g £1.90 different scents

Camouflage Bath bombs x 5 £1.70

Sticks & Stones Bath bomb £1.70

Caterpillar Bath bomb £1.90

Bath bomb rocks x 5 £1.70

Mini Hearts x 10 £1.70

Bath bomb shells x 6 different scents £1.70

Citric Acid 300g tub with scoop £3.50 – great as a natural descaler,

Citric Acid x 4 sachet descaler £1.70

Bicarb of soda 200g and 400g packets £2 and £3.50.

White vinegar 500ml £1.70

Back2Basics General purpose cleaner – peppermint & lemon, lavender, lemongrass, rose all with tea tree essential oil for added disinfectant properties. £1.70

Finally, the B2B glass and mirror cleaner £1.70. It makes cleaning glass effortless with no smears.

Please look out for these products and more when my website is up and running this summer! Thank you for your time and hope to hear your comments on what I’m doing or how I can improve!