There are 7 different hår Shampoo Bars sold by Gruum, all advertised as 100% plastic-free, nasty chemical-free, cruelty-free, vegan friendly and made in the UK. However, I will only be inspecting their Nourishing shampoo bar which is advertised as being for all hair types. There are two ways one can acquire this product, either through a one-off purchase for £8 or through a subscribe and save option for £5. This seems like a bargain for all the good things it promises coupled with the promise that it lasts for up to 60 washes or twice as long as bottled shampoo.
This shampoo bar is sold by Gruum, a company that claims to create products that are “kind to you, your skin and our planet”. Based on my research, I would suggest that this is a much more sustainable alternative to industry-standard Shampoo. Firstly, the Shampoo Bar is made using many fewer ingredients than the industry standard. However, it is hard to tell whether some of the ingredients are used in their naturally occurring form or the synthetic lab-produced form. This product has also won awards for being zero waste and having plastic-free packaging. Unfortunately, there is not much transparency from the company leading to questions about the truth behind some of the claims they make on their website.
The hår Shampoo Bar - Norishing is listed as having only 5 ingredients which is significantly less than the average product on the market. Upon closer inspection, one of the ingredients listed is Sodium Coco Sulphate which is a term used by manufacturers to denote a blend of sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium caprylic sulfate, sulfate, sodium stearyl sulfate, sodium oleic sulfate, etc, this is clearly an industry way of listing fewer ingredients than the product contains. Despite this, none of the ingredients appear to be harmful to the individual of the planet. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which creates the foaming action in products like shampoo and toothpaste, is the most debated of these ingredients. From my research, I have discovered that it can either be derived from natural sources such as coconut or manufactured in a laboratory setting, nevertheless is it safe to use in personal care and beauty products. Another ingredient, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, can also be a naturally occurring organic compound or be synthetically made. I was unable to find clarification on whether the product uses synthetic or naturally occurring versions of these ingredients. If the company uses the synthetic versions then it goes against its philosophy of “Naturally better’.
The company also claims the product is free from artificial colours, parabens, SLES, alcohol and EDTA. This is not only better for the consumer but also the planet. However, other than the ingredient list which doesn't include these products, it is hard to corroborate this statement.
In regards to the packaging that this product comes in, it is plastic-free and completely recyclable. In addition, their postal packaging is made from cardboard and is also fully recyclable.
Based on the available information, this product appears to be a genuinely better alternative to the industry standard shampoo which comes in a plastic bottle and has a significantly more extensive ingredients list as well as a significantly worse impact on the planet.
From vegan friendly and cruelty-free to plastic-free, Gruum’s commitment to the planet is evident, but is it genuine? Judging by what I found, it appears to be but there is a serious lack of transparency.
Their hår Shampoo Bar was the Gold Winner of Best Zero Waste Beauty Product at the 2020 Global Green Beauty Awards. It was also the Bronze Winner in the Best Plastic Free Beauty product category. It seems that their commitment to the planet is more than a publicity stunt, and at least in regards to this product, they appear environmentally conscious.
Despite their claim of being cruelty-free, I was unable to find a certification for this.
The company claims that the majority of its products are made in the UK, most of which are made in Manchester. In specific, they say that every one of the hår Shampoo Bars is handmade in England with love. They do not specify any further than this, which once again raises a question about the truth behind their statements. However, if the products are genuinely made in England, then it can be inferred that the company is having to comply with regulations for safe working conditions and minimum wage laws.
hår Natural Coconut Shampoo Bar | Hair care supplies | grüum (gruum.com)
Our commitment to the planet - grüum (gruum.com)
2020 global green beauty awards (globalmakeupawards.com)
Sodium Coco Sulfate: Is It Natural? - Ida's Soap Box (chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - ChemicalSafetyFacts.org