• Traders
  • Sustainability

Getting to Know Emma Cook

Published 9 December 2021

Emma Cook established a chemical free soap empire

From journalism to plant based soaps

Emma Cook established The Australian Natural Soap Company to cater to a demand for soap products with no colouring, artificial fragrances, 100% palm oil free and accredited cruelty-free and vegan.

What inspired you to set up your business?

I couldn’t understand why chemicals and detergents were being used in place of pure plant oils, so I started making my own handmade soap by experimenting with all sorts of natural plant oils, including an array of beautifully fragranced essential oils.

Our soaps quickly became popular among our family and friends, who kept saying to us that they didn’t know soap could feel so good. The movement toward natural soap has been steadily increasing in Australia as people begin realising just how many chemical nasties are lurking in supermarket soap and search for a more natural alternative.

We don’t use chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate or other artificial frothing agents. We don’t use palm oil tallow, artificial fragrances or dyes. Each item on our website lists the natural oils contained in the soap so the customer knows exactly what they are buying.

What year did you start trading at the Market?

In 2014 I opened a pop-up stall in the SO:ME Space at the Market. The stall was such a success that we were offered a permanent stall, which has been inundated with new and repeat customers.

My best-selling products are the shaving soaps, pet soap, beard soap, exfoliating soaps and no-poo soap for hair, which uses natural substitutes as part of the movement to ditching the shampoo. Those who use it claim their hair becomes thicker, fuller and cleaner.

Did you have a different job before setting up your business?

Previously I was a journalist with SBS Television, and also worked in communications as a speech writer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Describe your products, what makes them unique?

We have over 60 products includes soap classics, fresh today soaps, novel soaps, liquid soaps, facial cleansers, a men’s range, a pet’s range and a laundry range.

Australia is blessed with some of the world’s best natural oils and we should be proud of the quality of our natural ingredients. I’m chuffed my top-notch products are reducing the amount of detergents and chemicals being used in Aussie bathrooms and laundries.

The Australian Natural Soap Company packaging is recycled, and has a natural look and feel. Soap is sold in 100g, 500g and 1kg cakes cut to size – and yes people do buy soap in 1kg cakes!

What do you like doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I love spending time with my husband and daughter. We love the great outdoors so will try and get out of the city whenever we can and explore the great outdoors.

Do you have a favourite recipe we can share with our customers?

Lentil and Vegetable Bolognese. I love this dish because it is so easy to make and so nutritious. Perfect for when I get home late from a big day at work.


The Australian Natural Soap Company is located at Stall 88A, Aisle B. 

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