A Kildare woman is bringing plastic-free shampoo to Ireland’s hotels

We all know that those tiny bottles of shampoo in hotel rooms results in a lot of plastic packaging. One entrepreneurial woman has introduced an alternative to one of Ireland’s top hotels. Janni Sjostrand, originally from Sweden but now living in Ireland, makes shampoo, soap and lotion bars in her Kildare workshop. The bars contain only natural, chemical free ingredients, and come in a biodegradable wrapping that is almost entirely compostable. From September, The Kingsley Hotel in Cork is going to be providing guests with Janni Bars, Irish-made shampoo bars made without any plastic packaging.

Inspiration:

After researching the ingredients of traditional shampoos, Janni Sjostrand came to a pivotal realization: “If I’m not going to eat it, I shouldn’t be putting it on my skin.” Inspired by that maxim, Janni, a horse breeder and show jumper by profession, began making shampoo bars for her horses and dogs in an attempt to minimize her environmental impact.
“The horse industry is one that’s quite heavy on the environment,” said Janni. “You’re driving a lot and pulling heavy trailers. You’re buying a lot of fancy gear and tack. I wanted to go
plastic-free to try to make improvements in that sector.” Investigating the nastier side of beauty led her to some chemical compounds that made her wary, and not just for the sake of her horses. Convinced that she could eliminate shampoo and soap plastics and make a cleaner product for humans, too, Janni founded Janni Bars. Produced with nourishing ingredients in her Kildare workshop and farm, Janni has created a
range of plastic-free beauty products. Her shampoo, soap and lotion bars contain only natural, chemical-free ingredients and are packaged in biodegradable wrapping which is compostable.

The end result:

She works with oils and minerals that add suppleness and depth to hair and skin, without parabens, palm oil, preservatives or silicone. To achieve that, Janni had to quietly revolutionize
the way consumers understand shampoo. “The moment you add water to a conventional shampoo you have to add a preservative, and for shampoos, there are no natural ones,” Janni says.

By creating shampoo in the form of a bar, Janni eliminates the need for a plastic, glass or metal container which all require some degree of recycling; Janni’s packaging is completely compostable. The concept of shampoo in a bar instead of a liquid may be unfamiliar to many consumers, but large-scale distribution companies are taking notice. Janni has recently signed a distribution agreement with Hugh Jordan, Ireland’s largest independent catering supplies company. The hospitality industry is ripe for a change in the amount of disposable products and plastics it consumes, and many hotels are looking for a greener alternative to the guest room beauty bar.
“After our first meeting, the representative from Hugh Jordan said, ‘I’ve been looking for this product for twelve months,’” said Janni. “Hotels create a lot of waste with the small plastic bottles, and politicians have recently said that single-use plastic in hotels rooms needs to be banned.”
With the power of a distribution partner behind her, Janni has already secured orders from top-tier hotels like The Kingsley Hotel in Cork where Janni Bars will grace guest rooms starting in September. Her hotel range is inspired by the Irish countryside with ingredients like sea salt, peat and stout.

As a small business owner, the interest in Janni Bars from Ireland’s hotels is encouraging, but it’s still the potential for a positive environmental impact that most excites her.
“It’s amazing now as I walk down the beauty aisle of the food shop and see the rows and rows of plastic. I’m relieved to know that I don’t have to bring any of that home and
dispose of it,” Janni says. Janni Bars are available for purchase at jannibars.com.

Interview by Kelli Cleary.