Located amongst the gum-trees of Central Victoria, Urthly Organics is a small business producing handcraft soap, cleaning and skincare products made from sustainable ingredients and essential oils. All of Urthly Organic’s products are made with the environment in mind and are certified palm oil and derivative free.
We sat down with Julie, the founder of Urthly Organics, to chat about the early origins of the brand and how their incredible products are positively impacting the environment. Keep on reading to learn a bit more about Julie and her passion for creating plastic-free products that are made with local, fair trade, and ethically sourced ingredients.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started Urthly Organics?
It was late 1997 at the Yarra Glen Market in Victoria. I was browsing the stalls and stumbled across the book 'How to make your own aromatherapy soaps' by Elizabeth Wright. Since a young age, I had collected soap. I would grate up my Mother’s soap and mix it into balls, as well as create rose water by boiling up rose petals. However, I had always wondered how people made soap from scratch. Opening my purse, I found that I had the exact amount for the book, $7. That day in 1997, I found my passion.
In 1998, I turned my pastry cooking skills toward soap and the first batch was made (coconut oil soap with the addition of lavender flowers). By late 2002 I had my first market stall at St Andrews Market with 2 card tables. This became routine, waking up early every Saturday morning with 3 small children in tow.
After becoming a bit of a regular, I called my business ‘Soapbox Hill’. I expanded my markets and stocked a few shops in the process. Over time, the original name changed to Urthly Organics, I moved to Central Victoria, products came and went, and a strong fanbase was formed. All while still working out of my home.
In 2018, Urthly Organics was up for a rebrand and an opportunity to take our 20+ years of hard work to the whole nation. My 79-year-old Mother happened to take up painting at a similar time, which created a new family partnership. My Mum would create a work of art that was then turned into the product packaging. The rebrand created a new era for Urthly Organics. The team expanded, monthly donations to local organisations began, and Urthly Organics moved out of the home to East Bendigo.
Which brings us to now. Since 1997, we have come a long way. But some things have stayed the same such as sourcing local, fair trade, ethically sourced ingredients, natural colourants, and essential oils. It still brings great joy when someone orders a product we have made. This inspires us to continue evolving to better our products for the environment and customers.
We love the story of how Urthly Organics started, can you tell us a bit more about how your products are made?
All our products are made with the environment in mind and the impact we have on our earth, we are slowly trying to be plastic free on our packaging. We try and source our ingredients straight from the farmer where possible.
Why was creating sustainable, eco-friendly products important to you?
There is no planet B, we need to look after our environment, our earth is drowning in plastic and our forests are being cleared for palm oil and I didn’t want to be a part of that problem.
What do you believe has been Urthly Organics’ biggest success so far?
Our biggest success has been having our products certified palm free with Orangutan Alliance, their logo on our product tells the consumer instantly that our product really is free from oil palm and its derivatives. There is so much greenwashing out there.
What does the future hold for Urthly Organics?
Our future consists of becoming as plastic free as we possibly can, we hope we can source more palm free ingredients and we hope like us more businesses jump on the sustainability, palm free train.