Read the latest Article on The History of Alum and Its Many Uses in Re-enactor Magazine Issue 49. The article begins on page 23. It covers prehistoric uses; early medicinal uses; an alum dying recipe mordanting the sheep before it is shorn (!); the history of alum importing into Britain; industrial alum production; alum piracy; more recent British historical uses, lots of mentions of craft uses.
The magazine is free, so if you like history, do subscribe to it.
How we won the NMTF National Green Award against stiff competition!
”The UK’s greenest market traders are blazing a trail for innovative eco-friendly products. Sally Mittuch, who won the coveted title of the UK’s greenest trader, founded her business, Natural Spa Supplies Ltd, after washing her hair in clay while on honeymoon in Morocco in 2007…
With her background in archaeology and anthropology it dawned on her that people had always washed in clay, yet their clay washing left no trace.
Sally decided to focus a business on the most anciently used washing and cleaning products…”
To read more, you can click on the article and use the ‘Ctrl and +’ key to enlarge the article to read it more easily! The ‘Ctrl and -‘ key undoes the action.
We’re in the newspapers for the dark green emphasis in our business!
On 10.01.13 the feature appeared in the Eastern Daily Press, pg 45.
We had originally met the journalist, Emma Knights and her photographer while in Medieval Costume while at the Medieval Christmas Fair at Dragon Hall in Norwich. She came over recently with her photographer Denise Bradley and asked all sorts of interesting questions!
We are very impressed with how much ground is covered in Emma’s article. It is detailed and above all accurate.
Permaculture – Inspiration for Sustainable Living (the free online magazine of the Permaculture Organisation) invited Natural Spa Supplies to submit an article about sustainable living.
I chose to discuss our two plant based soaps, and make a clear distinction between water based and plant oil based soaps and what they will or won’t clean. There is also a historical angle to understand more about cleaning in the past. I hope that you enjoy reading it and that it gives you a new perspective. A short history of soap in the Pre-Petroleum Age & how to make your own biodegradable plant soaps.
Don’t forget to ask us about how you can use plant based soaps for your most challenging cleaning task – there is a comment and question box at the end of the article.
Hurray! We have won the Greenest Trader Award 2012 with the National Market Trader Federation – we belong to the Historic Branch of the NMTF for our participation in the historical events. Staged by the National Market Traders Federation, the competition aims to raise awareness of how markets and traders are helping to protect the environment. Read more here.
On March 1st 2012 we were commended at the award ceremony for the Eco Small Business Award held at Norwich City Hall. Our entry was for our 100% British Hemp Oil Soap which has over 1200 uses, from cleaning, shaving, washing and even udder wash. Read our award entry here. It biodegrades in the soil in a day, and although it is incredible tough on grime, it is genuinely kind to the hands and nails. We enjoyed attending the award event and meeting other local green businesses. Although our customers generously tell us how pleased they our with our efforts, and we are always very grateful to hear from them, it is lovely to get a bit of official recognition! The mayor looked very ‘bling’ with his gold medallion and had a lovely smile. He shook my hand, maybe next year I’ll get a kiss! We met some other eco businesses from Norwich as well. It was great!
Sally has written a blog about simplifying washing & body care routines on the Talent Management Blog ‘If your bathroom cabinet is full of beauty products, your make up bag won’t close or your luggage is weighed down with toiletries, then read on as Sally Mittuch, founder of Natural Spa Supplies Ltd, draws on her background in archaeology to reveal how few personal care products you actually need… ‘
We have also published in historical publications. We have an article on The History of Alum Use in Britain in the Havoc Hare, the Magazine of the Colonel Edward Montagus Regiment of Foote (April 2011) and Parliament Scout magazines (next edition). Never heard of them? – Well, you can’t be a Civil War reenactor then! The article covered the British history of alum use. While doing the research for this article I came across what has to be the strangest use of alum from a 12th century Welsh medical manual – it was supposed to allow a man (not sure about women!) to hold fire or hot iron rods in his hand without harm. I had better not mention the other ingredients here!
A long time ago I was contacted by the Editor of Kindred Spirit Magazine to do an article. Hmmm, a very long time ago. I said I would do one, and then got busier and busier. In June the editor found us on Pendle Moor and reminded me about the article. You would never know who was more surprized at this encounter … the editor or me! So I did eventually knuckle down and produce the article (or else where else might this editor appear!) and it was published in the Jan/Feb 2010 magazine, issue 108. The article is called Wild and Raw and it is pretty well the definitive short guide to washing with the unprocessed and raw resources of nature. The magazine is full of articles about alternative health and spiritual development. It is packed with fascinating articles. Their website is http://www.kindredspirit.co.uk/index.php
Last year I was contacted by the Ethical Consumer Magazine to answer interview questions for their shampoo best value and ethical guide. Ethical Consumer is an ethical consumer guide. The questions were very incisive and I enjoyed discussing the ethical dimensions of using rhassoul clay or soapnuts for washing the hair very much. We gained a very high ethicscore rating and achieved the good value rating. This magazine is very informative and the research standard is very high indeed. It is a subscription magazine, but you can sign up for a free trial copy.The article on shampoos is in issue EC124 May/June 2010. If you like to stay highly informed, I am sure that you will like it. http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/
After having camped next to Steve, editor of the Bushcraft Magazine, at the Wilderness Gathering, we were invited to submit an article, ‘Wash Like a Nomad’ of relevance to bushcrafters and naturalists. Also in this issue (vol 5, No. 5, Autumn 2009) are articles on preparing a freshly caught fish, orienting by the stars, how to make a pot hanger to suspend a pot over a fire, making bush wines … and lots more. This is a great magazine! Here is a link to their website: www.bushcraft-magazine.co.uk
Follow our latest challenge as Journalists Test out our Lowest Carbon Footprint Strip Washing System. Up to only 30 years ago, strip washing was the primary washing method, now this has been replaced by daily shower. Strip washing is a way of washing the body using a sink of water, or even just a bucket or bowlfull. The key parts are always washed daily – face, under arms etc. and gradually over the course of a week, every part of the body, feet, legs, back, arms, torso will have its turn. It is a great way to reduce the amount of hot water consumed compared to shower and bating on a daily basis. Will our challengers be able to master strip washing and how much hot water will they save?
Read about our first challenge, the Go Prehistoric Clay Challenge where journalists were invited to wash their hair, face and body in rhassoul clay for one week! Yes, that’s no soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, facial cleanser – just clay!
Read about the Eureka moment-the conception of Natural Spa Supplies Ltd. Did we choose the clay or did it choose us?