I am so honored to be celebrating Earth Day with a feature on mōksa organics. The first thing you need to know about mōksa organics is they are so much more than soap! Allow me to delight your senses and inform your mind.
I have to admit it's really kind of hard to find a starting point. Founder Melanie Martin has created such a rich melange of goodness with mōksa that one wonders whether a feature about the brand should begin with the products or the philosophy and non-profits they hold dear to the heart. Melanie exudes so much passion and energy about her company one can actually feel it warming the heart and soul through everything she seems to touch.
Melanie and Haskell, her husband, Owners/Founders of mōksa organics, sum it up this way:
"We make soap. But not just any soap. Because regular soap is plain ol' boring. We've created a clean revolution."
There's no bulk packaging, wasted materials or lists of ingredients a mile long or that contribute to environmental hazards here. Their products contain ingredients you recognize as pure, simple, natural. They are certified organic. They also use fair-trade whenever possible. Melanie is quick to point out that their products never include palm oils. Why? Commercial harvesting of palms for their oil is the leading cause of ecosystem's loss of habitat and deforestation. mōksa organics' ingredients are chosen with the least amount of environmental impact. Their packaging is tree free. They use post consumer waste, recycled materials and no virgin plastics.
mōksa organics has received federally recognized certification as a carbon neutral company. All of their offsets are used locally to purchase trees for Alachua Conservation Fund. mōksa's mission is to be an active part of solutions for a sustainable future. Let me reiterate, when they say they intend to play an "active" part, they mean it. When I first contacted Melanie she was dashing off to a local Sierra Club meeting (she's a board member), where they were busily planning for a campaign launch about Bottled Water awareness.
|Melanie at the lake behind her house|
"Our products allow us to do what we love and it allows us to work with progressive people and groups that help minimize our (society's) impact on nature and our eco-system. Our mission focuses on habitat preservation and conservation...soap helps us accomplish that. That's why we call it soapy love."
Allow me to introduce you to some of mōksa's gorgeous products. Let me set the scene for these by telling you when I opened the package of soaps, my office filled with the delicious scents of essential oils, as if it had been transformed into my own little mini spa. The chemical reaction between us (soaps and me) had ignited. It was destiny ... I was falling in love ... quickly.
A blend of wintergreen and woodsy aromas for that Bohemian experience. Check out this ingredient list (and note the shortness): Organic oils of olive, coconut, soybean, castor, hemp, babassu, shea butter; blend of pure essentail oils; organic rosemary extract.
It's named after the beautiful Bohemian Forest, which has a beautiful, diverse eco-system (all mōksa soaps are named after a cool spot on the planet). The environmental advocacy group that it's dedicated to: Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). Based in India, ATREE does much in the field of research, outreach and conservation. Melanie says, "They are one of those hard working organizations that few people know about and they fly under the radar. They have a huge emphasis on EDUCATION. They need support."
A blend of sweet orange, clove, vanilla and English tea blends will transport you without moving from your shower to the green fields and quaint villages of Britian. Abbey Road body bar is the perfect remedy for fighting off the blue meanies or just getting the grit of the man off your back! No environmental significance, other than "peace and love" that is associated with the musicians that frequent Abbey Road Studios.
It's dedicated to Aaranyak, another small organization Melanie says flies under the radar and is in need of support for its wonderful contributions. Aaranyak's mission is to foster conservation of biodiversity in Northeast India through research, environmental education, capacity building and advocacy for legal and policy reform to usher a new era of ecological security.
One small whiff of the perfectly balanced blend of lavender and vanilla and you're headed straight to France. Sometimes you've just got to keep it pure and simple. Take a break from your daily routine, slow down, and enjoy the simplest of organic pleasures.
Named after the lavender fields in Avignon, France, this soap is dedicated to The Sierra Club: Suwannee-St. Johns Group. This is an organization very close to Melanie's heart. Hear her passion as she elaborates here:
"I'd like to try and explain. The Sierra Club has a very well known national name. What people don't know is that communities around the country have LOCAL chapters within the Sierra Club. This is HUGE! We (mōksa) believe in local first and foremost. Local is the base where change happens. These local chapters around the 50 states are comprised of Board Members that lobby, attend state meetings at capital headquarters, and are an environmental voice for their community with regards to city and county laws, development, preservation of state parks, etc. I proudly serve on the Executive Committee here in Florida. Our group covers 15 counties and our members have done so much to protect and preserve Florida's local and state environmental gems."The theme Melanie most wants to convey is that Sierra Club functions as a whole because of all the hard work of thousands of local groups around the country. Local Sierra Club chapters need support. Hence, the dedication and proceed/profit dedication to the organization she hold near and dear to her heart through sales of Lavender Avignon.
But Are They Any Good?
All this looks and sounds great, right, but what of the products themselves ... are they lovely to use?
I'm not sure I can fully express in a blog post just how incredibly gorgeous these products are. These are substantial, big bars of soap, not slivers of product. They are 6.5 oz in weight and much more in essence. The bars provide a rich, luxuriously creamy lather. They all smell divine. You know how generally you'll smell a few bars of soap on display somewhere and be able to come up with a favorite from the line? Yeah, you can't do that with these - they're all amazing. The blends of the essential oils in each bar are spot on ... not too much of one or the other to overpower the senses. It may sound cliche', but using these bars truly does lend the experience of washing in nature.
I mentioned to Melanie that my face never felt cleaner than after using her soap (I tried Abbey Road first). I had a healthy glow to my skin I haven't seen since I was in my 20's - shocking! I hesitate to even call the bars soap as that conjures up thoughts of something drying to skin. There is nothing in mōksa soap bars that are drying to skin. I'm telling you, I can't wait to jump out of bed in the morning to wash my face. When a bar of soap can do that for a mood (especially for a mood of one who is in NO way a morning person), that's saying something.
L-R: hand before body butter, mōksa organics Lavender Bergamot Body Butter, hand with body butter
Don't think mōksa's soaps are their only product worth salivating over. I had the good fortume to also try their body butter in Lavender Bergamot. Omgosh!! The consistency is a firm yet somehow whipped texture of deliciousness. Ya know, lab produced, synthetic, amalgamations of chemically infused products just cannot give you these same results: simple, pure, healthy.
Well, clearly you see I am completely enamored with mōksa organics and its founder, Melanie. But really, who wouldn't be? Honest, pure, back-to-nature (literally) goodness handcrafted from a place of integrity and heart. It's just a winning combination all around.
mōksa soaps retail for $6.50 a bar and body butters for $14 a jar. You may also seek out their body oils, bath salts, t-shirts and totes (they are "revolutionary" he he!). Please do yourself a favor and check out mōksa organics online; your skin and conscience will thank you! Products by mōksa organics are also available online at nimli.com, bellafloria.com and other boutique retailers. Enjoy! xo