About the Ingredients
We pledge that we will actively work to ensure that none of the materials we use or the products we sell will contribute to deforestation.
Fabled Frog Soap is committed to providing customers with soap that is socially and environmentally responsible. Our goal is to do the least harm to critical amphibian ecosystems. We strive to use ingredients and packaging from producers who support communities and ecosystems. We donate 15% of our profits for the restoration and preservation of critical habitat. Each bar of soap is thoughtfully handcrafted using deforestation-free vegetable oils.
We choose to use whole products that have had the least amount of processing and do not have artificial ingredients added. If fair trade is available we will always choose to pay the producer a fair price for their efforts. The true cost of whole, fair trade products is higher than artificially manufactured chemical products. Taking a wholesome ingredient with incredible benefits and adding chemicals makes no sense, so we don’t. We try to offer the most wholesome products with the greatest benefit.
There is an abundance of controversy regarding the agricultural practices surrounding the production of soybean oil, tea, coffee, cocoa, fruits, palm oil, etc… We try to use only those agricultural crops that are produced using ecologically sound practices and support sustainability. Please visit the following website for more information on some crops and the practices that are currently being promoted – http://www.solidaridadnetwork.
Currently we do not have a sustainable source for the following:
Palm Oil – also known as Plantation Palm or Palm Kernel Oil
Palm oil’s high yields and high profitability are the main factors driving its growth. Deforestation is a result of that growth. Palm oil’s high yield and potential income from timber is what makes it so economically attractive. So growers are cutting down forests to expand palm plantations. (Fisher et al. 2011)
Despite new efforts at sustainability certification, oil palm development will likely remain unsustainable…. surveys of smallholder communities have found that the farmers often struggle to repay the loans issued regularly by large commercial operations. Buried under debt, the smallholders have essentially worked as indentured servants…. In addition, local governments have been accused of dishonestly obtaining the land from indigenous peoples. Lacking official land titles, local communities are frequently left with no option but to embrace oil palm farming. (Worldwatch Institute. 2009).
“In Borneo, species do not go extinct over a broad area as a result of one round of logging, or even two and possibly three,” says Junaidi Payne of WWF’s Sabah office. “The balance of species changes enormously, but even the specialist birds or orchids or epiphytes are still there if you look in little valleys and the wet areas. So you can log forests and still save that biodiversity. But the thing you can’t do is convert the whole thing to monoculture plantations,” such as oil palm. “Then of course you lose everything. It’s a biological desert.” (National Geographic, 2008)
Too many rain forests have been sacrificed for the production of palm oil. http://www.greenpeace.org/
We are also impacting native palms that are on the brink of extinction when we clear cut the forest for mono-cultures of one species of palm tree.
Madagascar’s palm vanishing
Eighty three percent of Madagascar’s palms are threatened with extinction, putting the livelihoods of local people at risk – according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Palms are an integral part of Madagascar’s biodiversity and all of the 192 species assessed are unique to the island. They provide essential resources to some of Madagascar’s poorest communities, such as materials for house construction and edible palm hearts. Habitat loss and palm heart harvesting are major threats putting these species at risk.
– Endangered Species International e-Newsletter, Oct. 19, 2012
Almond and Apricot Oil –
We will be discontinuing the use of almond and apricot oils due to the expense and limited supply of organic oils. The environmental impacts from non-organic options are far too great for us to consider using them. In a 2013 study that analyzed almond samples 94 pesticides were detected. http://www.eurl-pesticides.eu/docs/public/tmplt_article.asp?CntID=892&LabID=500&Lang=EN
In 2009 alone there was over 18 million pounds of pesticides applied to nearly 16 million acres of land in California, where the majority of the U.S. almond production occurs. In apricot production 169,912 pounds of pesticides were applied to 127,607 acres. That is over 1 pound per acre of pesticides that are harmful to the environment, including organophosphorus, substituted benzene, and petroleum derivatives. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Search_Use.jsp
How big an impact is that? How much land is 16 million acres? The Adirondack Park in New York is about 6 million acres. Yellowstone National Park is about 2.2 million acres. The Everglades in Florida are 1.5 million acres. The Grand Canyon is about 1.2 million acres. Glacier National Park is about 1 million acres. Denali National Park and Preserve is about 4.7 million acres. That is the total land area that would equal 16 million acres.
Rosewood Essential Oil –
Rosewood has been used for the production of musical instruments, furniture, and essential oil. The Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) has listed all of the species of rosewood as protected, with Brazilian rosewood listed as threatened. This species is also under pressure from the illegal trade of the wood.
Sandalwood Essential Oil –
The species of sandalwood that grows in India is becoming rare, and is threatened with extinction due to over harvesting, deforestation, disease, and the illegal trade of wood and essential oil. The efforts to protect the remaining sandalwood forests in India are failing. The ecosystems that support the sandalwood are under extreme pressure from grazing and fires. Other species of sandalwood grow from Malaysia to Australia and on the islands of the Pacific. There is debate as to whether or not the sustainability of sandalwood harvesting for the perfume and incense industries is possible.
For information on sustainable sandalwood please visit http://www.
sandalwoodfoundation.org/ International_Sandalwood_ Foundation/Home.html
Please Note – We have obtained a certified Fair Trade, Organic sandalwood essential oil from a U.S. supplier, but do not use it in any products since it is so precious. The sandalwood we offer in small quantities as a pure essential oil is not the species that is endangered.
Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil –
The essential oil of Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) from the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and Morocco is produced by steam distillation of the wood and sawdust. We do not use the essential oil from Africa and Morocco due to the decline in the species and its habitat, and the impact to other species that coexist with the Atlas Cedar. Algerian Fir is one of the cohabitants and is listed as Critically Endangered due to overgrazing and firewood collection.
Please visit the following sites for more information:
Cobalt Blue Glass –
We do not use “Cobalt Blue Glass” because of the mining that is required to provide the cobalt mineral used in making the glass. Production of cobalt is mainly a byproduct of copper mining. About 50% of the cobalt production occurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is a conflict zone that has a history of some of the worst offenses against humanity, including rape and torture of women and children. Also, UNESCO has listed five of the country’s national parks as World Heritage in Danger. http://whc.unesco.org/en/conservation-congo-basin/
“Approximately one half of the estimated global mine production of cobalt in 2010 was from the DRC; together, China, Russia, and Zambia provided another one quarter of the world’s production. China was the world’s leading producer of refined cobalt in 2010, using domestic ores from China and imported materials from the DRC.” (U.S. Geological Service http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3081/pdf/fs2011-3081.pdf)
We cannot know for certain where the cobalt comes from that is used in “Cobalt Blue Glass” so we choose not to use it.
More information –
Species that are under extreme pressure from over use, illegal trade and exploitation can be found in this article by Crop Watch – http://www.cropwatch.org
We try to do our research and use reliable sources for information. If there is anything that we should be concerned about in our product ingredients, we would love to hear from you. Please send us your stories to post.