Ah, stock levels. What a wonderfully evocative subject! 🙂
Joking aside though, we thought it would be helpful to explain why it can sometimes seem like “everything is out of stock,” or why you can’t add everything you’d like to your Custom Box, and some simple solutions.
Truly natural soap takes time
We make 16 core varieties of soap and release special limited edition varieties to match the seasons throughout the year.
We try our very best to ensure that the majority of our range is always in stock, but sometimes we have an unexpected demand for a particular variety/varieties, and these soaps therefore sell out.
Natural soap takes 4-6 weeks to cure (be ready to use) after it is made, and while we monitor our stock levels on a daily basis and adjust our making schedule accordingly, sometimes we are caught out. Because of the long cure time, we cannot magic up more bars and just have to wait to let nature do its thing.*
We also REFUSE to interfere with the natural curing process and, for example, ‘force-cure’ our soaps with the use of energy-guzzling dehumidifiers as this is not only bad for the environment but, we believe, leads to a far inferior product.
We are proud to make the most natural soap bars we can, and this not only includes the ingredients we put in the soap, but also the way in which we both make and package the bars – (aside from not force-curing our soaps, we also use our own energy-efficient twist on the cold-process soap making method, and in fact make our bars using our own unique ‘extra cold’ technique where the majority of the oils are rarely heated).
In all aspects of what we do, we try our best to let nature do its thing, minimally interfere with her beautiful bounty, and make as little impact as possible on her world. Ours is an artisanal product made entirely by hand with no shortcuts,** and much like fine wine or cheese needs time for the true quality to develop.
‘Everything’ isn’t actually sold out
We love and are excited by our soaps and want you to be too!, so have therefore created a wide variety of soaps and sets to help you explore the extensive range.
Some of these sets contain 8 different varieties of soap and if just ONE of those varieties is currently sold out then the ENTIRE box will show as out of stock.
Don’t worry – there’s an easy solution for this, our Custom Sets! On this page you can easily create a very similar set to one that is currently showing as out of stock by copying what is in the set you were after and simply swapping the out of stock soap for another.
If you’re not sure which soap would be a good substitute then the filters on the left-hand side of the Bar page can help. Here you can see eg. what other soaps have a ‘fresh’ scent, or which other ones are ‘scrubby,’ or exfoliating.
Why isn’t everything available in the Custom Sets?
When we only have a few bars left of a certain variety then these will no longer appear in the Custom Sets.
This is because customers frequently buy a custom set filled with just one variety, and if the website lead you to believe you could buy custom combinations that were actually sold out, this would be pretty frustrating.
(It is also to do with complicated mathematical things likes multiple people creating multiple custom boxes simultaneously on the website, and also trying to make items stay in your cart for as long as possible so if you click away from the website by mistake, you don’t have to start your shop all over again).
Compared to most websites, ours is pretty darn flexible, and we allow you to do pretty much whatever you choose with our range. We are ALL about customisation and trying our very best to give you exactly what you want, but there are some (in reality actually quite minimal) limits to the practical and technical applications of this approach.
Why won’t the website email me when my soap is back in stock?
You are always very welcome to call or email us to find out when a particular soap (or accessory) will be back in stock and we will respond promptly.
We have opted NOT to have this option on the website as standard as we believe it will actually lead to more frustration, as we have seen it happen.
Our business is not like most because of the long curing time of our product and the vast level of customisation we offer.
It is not really enough to know that the Rose Geranium soap will be back in stock in 2 weeks time if you are also intending to buy this along with a Seaweed Spa soap and you do not realise that this will be sold out by the time the Rose Geranium is back.
In these instances it is best to get in touch so we can give you accurate information about everything you’re hoping to buy, or, to avoid disappointment, you can always make up a similar Custom Set now and know for certain that you will get most of the soaps you love.
The filters on the left-hand side of the main Bar page are very helpful when looking for alternatives as they show other similar scents, textures and alternative vegan options; or you can always get in touch with us for help.
1) If the variety you’re after isn’t available in a Custom set, it may well still be available individually on the main Bar page, and will remain available until every last bar is sold.
To get the best value, you could create a Custom Set with everything you’d like except that variety, and then add one of two single bars of that variety to cart individually. This may well also get you over the free shipping threshold!
2) The variety you’re after may actually be IN STOCK! Websites can work in mysterious ways on different computers, and it is therefore always worth quickly refreshing your browser before buying to make sure you are seeing a true reflection of the latest stock levels.
3) We may well have a few Saver Set boxes left that are pretty close to what you’re after and INCLUDE the soap variety that is sold out on the custom boxes, so its worth having a check what is currently in stock on this page.
Note: this also applies to any ‘pre-defined’ set on our site (ie any set EXCEPT the custom boxes). You can see all of these pre-defined sets on our Gifts page.
We hope this guide helps you better understand how our website works and the choices we’ve made. If you have any feedback or questions, we’re all ears.
*Yup soap making really does teach patience! Something we’re not very good at in our modern fast-paced world. When we first started making soap we found it excruciatingly painful to wait a whole 4 weeks, MINIMUM, to try the soaps we’d made. As the years go on though, we’ve mellowed somewhat and the wonderful, seemingly alchemical soap-making process, has put us more in touch with the beautiful cycles of the natural world. Slow soap is, we believe, great soap.
**Did you know that unlike most other ‘natural’ soap companies, we have never used even ‘nature-identical’ ingredients in our soaps? For example, when we want to colour a soap we look to the plant world and never a lab. So-called ‘natural’ micas NEVER find their way into our bars (these are shown in ingredient listings with numbers such as ‘ci77019′). Our soaps are coloured with seaweeds, plants and herbs, and we also take the time to extract beautiful colours and plant essences through old-fashioned, time-consuming, real-plant slow infusions.