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Gaarna joins the board of Eco-entrepreneur association

Suomen Ekoyrittäjät

The activities and goals of Eco-Entrepreneurs are in line with Gaarna’s values and eco-ethical principles. As a member of the Board of Finnish Eco-Entrepreneurs, Gaarna is committed to the principles of the association (the principles are listed below on the Finnish Eco-Entrepreneurs website on 13 September 2020). Gaarna’s founder, Sini Kervinen, is the vice-president of the association.

  • Necessity – A product or service does not create demand artificially, but responds to an existing need, even aiming to reduce overall consumption. At its best, it replaces a harmful product or service.
  • Production – Raw materials from endangered animal or plant species are not used in production. Production does not use animal testing and avoids pollution and the use of non-renewable resources.
  • Energy – The manufacture, use and disposal of the product use as little energy as possible. Energy is produced in a way that supports sustainable development.
  • Transportation – Transportation seeks to avoid wasting energy. Production takes place as close as possible to the consumer and the product is transported in the least polluting way possible.
  • Materials – The product uses the least environmentally harmful substances and production methods and prefers renewable materials.
  • Packaging – The products do not generate unnecessary waste due to, for example, excessive packaging or short packaging life.
  • Proximity to the user – The dimensions of the product are human; small is beautiful. The product is repairable and repairs can be made yourself. The product is safe for the user.
  • Recycling – After the end of its life, product material can be recycled or disposed of without harm. The product itself uses recycled material.
  • Time of use – The product is durable and does not depend on fashion variations. No unnecessary disposables.
  • Criteria for social responsibility:
    – Consultation of all company employees in company decision-making and goal setting.
    – Fair treatment and welfare of employees.
    – Creating opportunities for minorities.
    – Fostering human values such as creativity, productivity, self-respect, responsibility and equality.
    – Promoting sustainable development in society, where possible both in one’s own operating environment and internationally. For example, fair trade with developing countries.
    – Truthful communication to stakeholders and the public.
    – The company values thrift in its operations.

The purpose of the Finnish Eco-Entrepreneurs Association is to promote environmentally responsible small and medium-sized businesses. The members of the association are committed to the eco-ethical principles of responsible business in their operations.

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Where did it all started?

Gaarna - Miten kaikki sai alkunsa?

“For us at Gaarna, being ecological is more than just production methods and ecological materials,” says Sini Kervinen, the company’s founder and entrepreneur.

But where exactly did Gaarna’s story begin?

“I’ve always been interested in the pure and natural alternatives to replace the artificial and industrial products.

Even as a child, my favorite game was to play chemist and a merchant. I made endlessly different mixtures of bath water and available shower products while sitting in a warm bath. I only agreed to come away when both the finger and toe heads were as wrinkle as the raisin. In my merchant play I just couldn’t get enough of organizing beautiful buttons that I had captured and collected in a jar like treasures. I sold them to family members for play money, torn from paper.

As I grew older, I became interested in natural herbs. I studied different plants and their properties. I collected them and dried them for tea, or dyed wool yarn with them. I read the literature on natural foods and studied the effects of harmful chemicals.

Gaarna - Merituuli pyykinpesujauhe ja etikkahuuhde
Photographer: Niina Pietilä

The birth of my first child, almost 10 years ago, made me even more interested in the ingredients in detergents. I wanted to live and be so that my own child would get only the best of everything. For both, as food and for skin. I also paid more attention to my own consumption habits and started recycling those that were still left behind.

Nature has always been close to my heart. Even though I was already doing a lot, it still felt like it wasn’t enough.

I got excited when a friend told me she had been making her own laundry detergent for a long time by grating Marseille soap and melting it in the water. I wanted to try it too. I also got a bottle of the detergent from her for to try it out. I washed my laundry with this gift detergent. I was actually quite good. I got fresh and clean laundry with detergent, that was so much better alternative to nature than the detergents I had used before!

I definitely wanted to make this kind of detergent myself too! However, I did not wanted to use industrially made, imported soaps. If one were to do it ourselves, then it would be done properly from the beginning. I found out and started making different soap products myself. I made both laundry soap and shampoo pieces. However, olive oil-based soap preparations did not clean the laundry, nor did the hair. I wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I knew I was on the trail of something important.

Gaarna - Luonnonmukaisesti ja rakkaudella
Photographer: Niina Pietilä

I studied more and did experiments over and over again with different recipes and different ingredients. On a few occasions I already gave up, but then tried again until I finally found perfectly cleansing vegetable oil-based recipes for both laundry detergent and shampoo.

The feeling was amazing when I realized I had created something really meaningful. I had created the way to wash laundry, body and hair safely without chemicals and environmental impact, ”says Kervinen.

We humans use huge amounts of detergents a month. And why not use – cleanliness and hygiene are important.

Most industrial detergents use a lot of substances that are not good for the environment. Various industrial combinations can be poorly degradable and bad for nature. The product information of laundry detergent does not have to indicate all the ingredients, which can make it difficult for the consumer to know what the detergent will eventually contain.

The detergent choices we make are of great importance. And not only for the environment but also for ourselves and our loved ones. By paying attention to what you wash yourself and your laundry with, you can do significant environmental actions over the years. At the same time, you remove huge amounts of completely useless chemicals from your daily life.

Gaarna - Luontoa kunnioittavat pesuaineet
Photographer: Niina Pietilä

Gaarna’s work was thus driven by his own interest and inspiration, which led to concrete innovation. However, Gaarna also sells products to consumers.

Gaarna’s journey was thus driven by Sini’s own interest and inspiration, which led to concrete innovation. However, Gaarna also sells products to consumers.

“The more people use Gaarna’s eco-detergents, the greater the environmental impact is. That is one of the main drivers, that inspires me to develop even more products. Environmental impact, that Gaarna and those who have chosen to use Gaarna’s eco-detergents, are creating together is inspirational. I am grateful of every single order we receive. Each order symbolizes those people, who just like me, wants to make a positive difference. Every subscriber and every time products are used is a step towards a more chemical-free tomorrow.

Thanks are also due to the partners and manufacturers who are an important part of the journey. Thanks for the joint journey also belongs to anyone who cares.

Thank you for caring <3”

You can follow Gaarna’s story and journey on Instagram and facebook under the name @Gaarna.fi.

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Vegetable oils in nature cosmetics

Natural Cosmetics means skin care products and cosmetics based on the fact that all the materials used cause minimal harm to nature and man. Genuine materials are the basis for making, and no chemicals or other non-natural ingredients are used.

Vegetable oils are the basic ingredients of many delightful products. Listed below are some of the best features of skin care:

Sunflower oil: nourishes, revitalizes, strengthens, deepens and softens rough skin.

Rapeseed oil: relieves itching and is suitable for sensitive, dry or irritated skin and skin infections.

Rape seed oil: moisturizes, nourishes and softens dry skin.

Jojoba oil: binds moisture, normalizes sebum secretion and is suitable for grasses, acne and rashes.

Olive oil: softens and cares, also suitable for dry and sensitive skin, as well as for hair and scaly scalp.

Coconut oil: Protects and cares, suitable for aging, irritated, sensitive and sun-burned skin.

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Sauna soap

The Finnish sauna brings to mind the scent of tar. What would be a more delightful sauna soap than the combination of nettle and tar with its treating properties and relaxing scents.

The tar comes out of the wood by heating and the tar burning has been known for thousands of years, and historians say its roots date back to ancient Egypt, where it protected ships and roofs.

If tar, liquor and sauna do not help, then the disease is deadly.

However, the health effects of the above three have been mainly external from the outset. An appropriately warmed sauna increases metabolism and relaxes muscles, alcohol and tar have had a more prominent position due to their bacterial killing effects, externally used.

The health effects of tar itself are low. However, the fragrance is wonderful and the traditional and reasonably used make it a delightful addition to the sauna soup. Sauna is an important part of Finnish life and there are both mental and physical troubles.

There is a lot of iron and vitamin C in the nettle, as well as vitamins A, B, E and K. Clay and salt give mild peeling and rich skin-rich minerals to the soap. The Himalayan Rose Salt contains up to 85 minerals needed for the body, and the rich green clay is rich in vitamins and minerals. The clay also gives the soap a degree of rougher composition and, together with the nettle, a nice natural color.

Nettle tar sauna soap instruction:
– 7.5dl of olive oil
– 90 g of lye
– 300 ml of water
– 50 g of Himalayan rose salt
– 30g of dried nettle
– 1/2 dl 100% tar
– 1 tablespoon of green clay

Add the nettle powder to the water and simmer until the water is green. Strain the nettle crush from the water completely with a sieve and leave the mixture to cool.

When the nettle water is about 37 degrees Celsius, add the liy in to the water.

Pay close attention to the order and remember that liquor is a corrosive substance. If it splashes on your skin, use vinegar to neutralize the effect. So remember the good protective equipment. When the lye begins to react with water, it is caused by the unpleasant vapor that does not heal. Soap making outdoors, or in a well-ventilated kitchen is desirable.

Stir until the lye is dissolved and the mixture is transparent. Heat the oil in another kettle to about 37 degrees. Pour the olive oil into the liy-water.  Continue mixing until the mixture is thick.

Add tar, clay and salt to the mixture. Take a moment to stir. Pour soap into molds and let solidify.

Undo the soap from the molds to dry after about 36 hours. If necessary, cut into soap and place in the appropriate pieces and place in a cardboard box. Close the cardboard box and store it in a dark and dry place for 4-6 weeks.

Soap is now ready. No more than a sauna to heat and enjoy <3

Ps. This soap is also a delightful gift or gift.

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Nettle-peppermint soap

Self made soap is one of the most wonderful things on earth. Composition, fragrance, nourishment and feeling after use – pure love. Aaaah.

When you add natural ingredients that contain minerals and vitamins to the soap, the end result is luxury. High-quality, precisely appealing ingredients make soap an art.

The nose has a lot of iron and vitamin C, and A, B, E and K vitamins. In history, people have used it in a variety of ways to cure various ailments. In particular, the nettle is renowned for its disinfectant and renal function. Noodle also has an anti-inflammatory effect. By drying at low temperatures, the nettle retains its best characteristics. The dried nettle is also no longer burning.

Fresh ethereal peppermint oil also contains several health benefits and together with the nettle, these are the right duo. Peppermint helps both physical and mental well-being. Physically, it improves immune defense and speeds up healing. Mentally it has been helpful to even burn out. Peppermint scent enhances concentration, brightens thoughts and makes decision making easier.

The Himalayan Rose Salt contains up to 84 important minerals and otherwise makes the mild soap a delicate peel. The beautiful pink color also gives a sweet tint to the soap.

Nettle-Peppermint Soap instructions:
– 7.5 dl of olive oil
– 90 g of lye
– 300 ml of water
– 50 g of Himalayan rose salt
– 30g of dried nettle
– 5ml essential peppermint oil

Add the nettle powder to the water and simmer until the water is green. Strain the nettle crush from the water completely with a sieve and leave the mixture to cool. Save the crushes for later.

When the nettle water is about 37 degrees, carefully dip the liy into the water.

Pay close attention to the adding order and remember that the lye is a corrosive substance. If it splashes on your skin, use vinegar to neutralize the effect. So remember the good protective equipment. When the lye begins to react with water, it is caused by the unpleasant vapor that does not heal. Soap making outdoors, or in a well-ventilated kitchen is desirable.

Stir until the lye is dissolved and the mixture is transparent. Heat the oil in another kettle to about 37 degrees. Pour the olive oil into the liy-water. Continue mixing until the mixture is thick.

Add peppermint oil, salt and nettle crush to the mixture. Stir in the soap in molds and let it solidify. Remove the soap from the molds to dry after about 36 hours. Place the soaps in a cardboard box. Close the cardboard box and store it in a dark and dry place for 4-6 weeks.

Soap is now ready. You can wash it with this lovely whole body, including your hair, or use it as a hand soap.