Porze’s probably the recycled coffee body scrubs and soaps brand, that has put more effort into researching every detail and ingredient for the sake of your skin and animals’ welfare. You get to choose between salt, sugar plus a range of oils and other ingredients to fully adapt to your body type. The ultimate aim: nourishing, oil-balancing and exfoliating. And also for the first time, we don’t have to feel guilty about coffee, as Porze’s range is made out of recycled coffee grounds. It’s natural goodness packed with antioxidants helping acne, cellulite, stretch marks and stimulating blood flow. Furthermore, you will be helping animal welfare by giving back throughout a range of organisations and reducing the pile of 3 million kilos of coffee grounds to landfill. YAY to Porze!
Today we talk to Sanchia Tolomei, the founder behind Porze. She explains all the benefits of coffee on our skin, and we dig deep in the formula to create recycled coffee body scrubs and soaps. A partnership was born between Porze’s naturally processed scrubs and a local cafe in Perth – which it’s a great example on how we can support each other to create beautiful businesses, as well as learning from nature on how to make the best out of waste!
Made to order, no preservatives or artificial fragrances. All you need to know about scrubs and coffee grounds rescue on this amazing interview with the founder of Porze! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Hi Sanchia, what is your background and why did you decide to start Porze?
I have a corporate background. I worked in human resources, training and organisational development for 15 years or so before becoming a management consultant. I have gained some valuable and useful skills along the way, many of which were needed (and challenged) when I started my own business.
I can’t remember a time when animals weren’t part of my life. My family always had pets of some sort (I grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands) and we had hedgehogs, tortoises, lizards, gerbils and, at one stage, a polecat, along with the more usual dog and cat.
I gave up eating red meat in 1989 because I just didn’t want to eat animals anymore and I think adopting our first dog and regularly visiting the RSPCA to find him a companion (both are now 13) really cemented my love for animals.
I think, once you start looking at animals differently when you see them as loving, innocent, beautiful creatures, instead of food or stock, there’s no going back. I think once you open your eyes, you can’t close them again (that sounds like a line from the Matrix movies doesn’t it?!). The fact that they are treated so badly in so many ways, to such a huge extent, breaks my heart and I always felt that I was helpless to make a difference.
The idea for Porze started when I realised that I couldn’t sit back and despair at how badly animals are treated anymore, that I actually had to DO something to help.
After some research and a lot of soul searching, I decided that I was going to make kick-ass products that people would love, that were cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, and that actually used recycled ingredients which would otherwise contribute to landfill.
That’s why, in April 2018, I created Porze.
What is the range of products you hand-make?
At the moment, we make coffee body scrubs and coffee scrub soaps.
The scrubs are made to order with almond or grapeseed oil and raw sugar or salt depending upon your preference and your skin’s changing needs. Raw sugar is a mild exfoliant that can help hydrate your skin so is ideal for super-sensitive or dry skin. Salt helps to cleanse pores, balance oil production and prevent bacteria that can initiate breakouts and acne.
Both grapeseed and sweet almond oil quickly and easily absorb into your skin and are suitable for all skin types. However, sweet almond is great for soothing, nourishing and softening dry and dull skin while grapeseed oil is most often used by people with sensitive and/or acne-prone or oily skin.
Our soaps also contain essential oils (like the scrubs) and coffee grounds and are milder on the skin than the scrubs. Some people find the bar a lot more convenient for daily use and will use the scrubs once a week or so.
The body scrubs are made out of recycled coffee grounds. What are the benefits of coffee on our body?
In its ground form, coffee is a great natural exfoliator that buffs away dry, dead skin cells and encourages skin rejuvenation.
It’s packed with antioxidants. Applying coffee directly to your skin may help decrease the appearance of sun spots, redness, and fine lines, and will brighten your skin and give you a refreshed look. Also, coffee has the same PH as your skin, so it won’t leave you feeling dry or oily.
When a coffee scrub is applied in a circular, massage motion, the caffeine and motion together stimulate blood flow, which can help diminish things like cellulite, stretch marks, and acne. And, when you jump in a hot shower, the steam opens up your pores, which allows the caffeine to be absorbed more easily.
What is the secret behind recycling coffee grounds?
Patience! The scrubs are anhydrous (which means they don’t contain any water) so the grounds have to be completely dry before they can be used.
When we first started we got a few things wrong during the drying process and the coffee grounds developed mould. Those batches were quickly thrown on the garden (coffee grounds are fantastic for the plants and is a great ingredient in fertiliser). It took a lot of trial and error to get the process just right. I know many people think you can just throw them in the oven and dry them that way, but we are a social enterprise and it goes against the grain to use that much electricity – we want to be part of the solution, we don’t want to add to the problem!
Where do you source these rescued coffee grounds from?
Antz Inya Pantz Café (and coffee roasters) are one of the most environmentally friendly cafes in Perth – they actually have 3 cafes and they sell THE best coffee.
They source their coffee beans from all over the world, with a focus on small farms and organically grown produce. The beans that come from individual farmers, small farms, and social cooperatives are grown in bio-diverse landscapes where people care about the land and its people. Antz ensures that a fair price is paid for the beans so that the communities can keep doing the good deeds and producing the good stuff.
A couple of their beans are also part of special projects. The India Tiger Mountain bean is purchased in partnership with the 21st Century Tiger Project. They donate proceeds from the sales of the beans to a conservation partnership between the Global Tiger Patrol and the Royal Zoological Society of London. The ‘Project One to One’ beans is purchased in a special farmer direct relationship. Antz purchases one farm’s entire crop for the season. The farms in this project are incredibly small, and the partnership cuts out the middle-man so all the funds go to the growers themselves.
I made contact with Antz and met Craig (the owner) and Benn (the Café Development & e-Commerce Director) over a delicious soy latte. They take their used grounds (over 250kg a week) out to an area behind their cafes every day for anyone to collect and use for free. They very kindly offered to collect my grounds in a separate container (so they stay completely hygienic) which I then collect. They also stock a selection of Porze products in their cafes – we are absolutely thrilled to be working with them.
What other plant-based ingredients do you use for the products, and also important, what ingredients don’t you use that we may find in other body scrub brands?
It is really important to us that we only include ingredients that are actually needed or that actually work. We don’t include shimmers or colours or artificial fragrances.
We also don’t include preservatives, which is another reason why we make the scrubs to order – the shelf life of the oils is around 12-18 months, so we don’t want the products sitting on shelves for an extended period.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that other body scrub brands promote the fact that they use fresh beans, which means that they are grinding beans for the sole purpose of making their products. A report by Planet Ark found that in Sydney alone, 100 million cups of coffee are sold each year, producing 3,000 tonnes (or 3 million kilos) of coffee grounds – 93% of which end up in the landfill. I would much rather rescue these grounds and turn them into products that add to the growing pile.
We also don’t put coconut oil in our scrubs (we have a small amount in our soaps), because there is some controversy around coconut oil. Apparently, in areas such as Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, pig-tailed macaques are specifically bred and trained – often with punishment – to harvest coconuts. Because of their climbing abilities, the monkeys are capable of harvesting several hundred more coconuts a day than a human can. This goes completely against what we stand for, so we decided to skip using bulk amounts of coconut oil until such time as we can ensure it is ethically sourced.
The other issue is that coconut oil solidifies in cold weather and, combined with the coffee grounds, may clog your pipes (we read quite a few examples of this happening in our initial research). The way around this is to run hot water through the pipes for a few minutes after you’ve used it just to make sure it’s washed away – which is not exactly environmentally conscious. We’re still pondering this one.
Our soaps have quite a long list of ingredients that are all plant-based (although they may not sound it). I wrote a blog explaining what each of our ingredients is and why we include them in our soaps. We’re always looking for ways to keep simplifying the ingredients.
How to use coffee body scrubs? Any tips to make the most out of Porze’s range?
It’s a good idea to use the scrub in the shower so the coffee grounds will easily wash down the drain – wet grounds are not something that will sweep up easily.
To use the scrub, you just need to dampen your skin under a running shower and then turn the shower off. Rub the scrub in circular motions, massaging the oils over your entire body. You may want to focus on problem areas and don’t forget your hands and feet. Leave the scrub on your skin for up to 5 minutes before rinsing off under running water. If you can only leave it on for a minute or so, you will still notice a difference to your skin.
You should use more, smaller amounts when putting the scrub onto your skin. If you grab too much at once, you may lose a lot of your scrub on the shower floor.
Make sure your skin is damp. Using the scrub on dry skin may be too harsh – especially if you have sensitive skin.
Scrubs do not rinse out of hair easily so try to keep your hair out of the way.
If you are particularly vigorous your skin may become red from all the scrubbing—especially if you have fair skin. You may want to give your skin time to calm if you are going out or pamper yourself in the evening when you can just relax afterwards.
There is nothing better than a back rub/scratch/scrub, especially as it is an area we don’t often pay much attention to. If you have a significant other, trade back scrubs. It’s not only fun, it feels really energising both during and after. If you are showering solo, reach your back by putting the scrub on a shower back scrubber. It works like a charm.
As many of the essential and carrier oils are quite rich, using the scrubs on your face may lead to breakouts, particularly if you have sensitive skin. You may want to patch test a small area first. Quite a few people have told me they use the scrub on their face and they absolutely love it. My husband uses it on his face and body and it works beautifully.
What about Porze’s soaps, what makes them so special?
SO many people love the soaps. They are a really generous size (160g) and last for ages. The thing that makes them special is the coffee grounds (surprise, surprise). They turn the soap into a mild exfoliator and you feel extra clean during and after using it. You can also order extra-scrubby soap if you like a little more exfoliation.
In addition, the soaps are free from palm-oil, parabens, SLS & SLES, DPG, PG, phthalates, formaldehyde, PEGs, tallow, and gluten. In addition, the ingredients come from non-GMO plants. The lack of SLS and SLES makes them ok for eczema sufferers and I have had great feedback about the soaps from some parents who find it hard to find soaps that their children (not babies or toddlers), can use for that exact reason.
What packaging do you use for Porze’s products?
I really struggled when it came to selecting packaging, I had no idea how hard it would be to find what I wanted. I researched a number of coffee scrub brands and they either package their products in large plastic stand-up pouches (even the paper pouches are plastic lined) or plastic tubs. I really didn’t want to use plastic, and I wanted the packaging to be attractive and either reusable or at least recyclable.
Glass was perfect, but I was worried about sending glass in the mail while keeping customers’ shipping costs down (glass is not only heavy, it would require a lot of padding).
I had read a lot of complaints from people about coffee scrub in stand-up pouches. Pouches that are paper on the outside turn soggy in the shower and large pouches require you to stick your hand in to scoop the scrub out – which can be tricky and will introduce water into the pouch. Too much water will cause overall damage to the product.
So, I settled on 4 mini stand-up pouches which, combined, use a similar amount of plastic as the large pouches (I am actively looking for an alternative). This means that you only have to take one mini pouch into the shower at any time and can easily pour the product into your hand. The pouch will last for 2 scrubs but is small enough that it’s not unsightly in your shower. It’s also very convenient for travel as you can take one or two small pouches with you.
All the rest of the packaging is either recyclable or reusable. The ingredients and instructions for the scrubs are printed on cardboard held onto the cardboard packaging with rubber bands (which have a million uses around the home). I don’t use stickers on the cardboard just in case it interferes with your ability to put it in the recycling (due to the glue).
We may look at some glass packaging for the products we sell with our stockists in the near future, as we don’t have to worry about the shipping side of things.
Do you give back to any organisation?
We do! In fact, that’s the whole reason we created Porze: to give back.
We give a significant portion of our profits to some of the many magnificent organisations that work directly to advocate, rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals that are mistreated, exploited and unwanted – so that they can continue their great work.
We nominate these organisations (they are listed on our website) and will change them every 2 years to make sure we can spread the love around and everyone receives some help.
Could you estimate the impact Porze has made for animal rescue thanks to those good people who decide to purchase your products?
At this stage, we have made a very small impact and have been able to donate about AUD$1000 to our nominated (and other) organisations.
My dream is to be able to donate such a significant amount to these organisations that they can tell me exactly how our funds have directly impacted their work. Actually, my dream is to be able to visit them and see for myself how we have helped – but that’s more of a 5-year plan goal.
Imagine if one day, I can take groups of Porze customers to visit these places and see the impact for themselves? That would truly make my life complete.
Finally, where can we find Porze’s scrubs and soaps? Shops, online, worldwide…?
I wish we were worldwide, but we’re not quite there yet! We have an online store on our website where you can purchase products or read our blog. Our Instagram and Facebook will also link you to our online shop. At this stage, we ship within Australia for a flat fee. We are working out the logistics for shipping further afield. We won’t be looking into countries that require animal testing on foreign products for obvious reasons.
In Perth, we are stocked by Carlie at My Hairy Lady Hairdressing and Stacey at A Little Wax Shop. Both Carlie and Stacey tried the body scrub for the first time and loved it so much they offered to stock them! Also, Antz Inya Pantz Cafes stock a selection of both the soaps and scrubs. Our newest stockist is MADHub Co, a pop-up store which only stocks social enterprise products. They are a social enterprise themselves, donating their profits to various social causes. They have the largest selection of our soaps and scrubs. Belinda and Matt are the lovely people who run the store.
Did you know there was so much stuff to learn behind coffee scrubs? Share your ideas and questions with us!