@branchbasics by @corahilts
An Interview with Branch Basics on the Importance of Non-Toxic Cleaning
We talk to Branch Basics, a non-toxic cleaning product line founded by three women with a mission to cut harmful chemicals out of their and their family’s lives! Branch Basics use their understanding of science and the body to create a line of products that do not negatively affect the skin, endocrine, hormonal, microbiome or any bodily system for that matter! Not to mention, the environment too which is highly vulnerable to our use of chemicals in everything we do.
“Our mission is to help others toss the toxins and to create a healthy home. We never set out to sell soap. Our products have become the vehicle for our mission and we want everyone to experience the power of pure.”
Allison Evans, Co-Founder of Branch Basics
First of all, can you tell us a bit about the impetus to start Branch Basics and how you first discovered that conventional cleaning products were not what you wanted to be using personally?
We started BB after Kelly and I overcame health issues (ranging from PCOS and pain to body odor and menstrual cramps!) by removing toxic chemicals from our diets and homes. Marilee, who is an environmental health consultant and trained in using food as medicine, explained to us that these products were keeping our bodies from healing, and once we felt the power of their removal, we were sold and wanted to tell the world about how simple and transformational living a clean lifestyle can be!
What were some of the facts that you found out about ingredients in conventional cleaning products you feel are important for others to know about?
First of all, the ingredients aren’t legally required to be listed on cleaning products in the US, and even if they are, most are unregulated. Even the terms “natural” and “nontoxic” are able to be put on bottles that contain unnatural and toxic ingredients. Also, almost all ingredients that are fragrant contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, which can wreak havoc on our delicate hormonal system. Not to mention, the heavy disinfectants and sanitizers which contain ingredients that can kill good bacteria, disrupting our body’s microbiome and negatively impacting our immune system.
What are some of the physical symptoms a lot of us might experience from some of the chemicals found in the above?
Some of the most common physical symptoms many might experience when using conventional cleaning products with harsh chemicals are allergies, asthma, eczema and other skin irritation, migraines and headaches.
So what was the vision for Branch Basics as you went about creating your own alternative?
Our mission is to help others toss the toxins and to create a healthy home. We never set out to sell soap. Our products have become the vehicle for our mission and we want everyone to experience the power of pure.
What were some of the parameters you set for yourselves in terms of making the product as healthy and eco-friendly as possible?
Through Marilee’s learnings from working with chemically sensitive people for over 30 years, we had the knowledge of which ingredients were harmful to human health. This built a foundation to create products that are safe and eco-friendly.
Your concentrate is absolutely amazing – can you tell us more about what is in it?
The concentrate has only seven ingredients ( Purified Water, Decyl Glucoside, Organic Chamomile Flower Extract, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Phytate). They are plant and mineral based and biodegradable. We found that chamomile naturally preserves the product and the glucosides act as the surfactants to breakdown the dirt, grime and germs.
“Sustainability to us at Branch means going back to the basics, simplifying and reducing, reusing and recycling. We created our one concentrate mode not only to make cleaning simple, but with sustainability in mind. The one concentrate eliminates 13 single-use bottles.”
Allison Evans, Co-Founder of Branch Basics
Have you found that your natural cleaning methods are as effective as conventional?
Yes, and BETTER! People are always amazed at how well our non-toxic products work. The Concentrate cuts through grease and grime like nothing you have ever seen before. The Oxygen Boost is AMAZING for burnt pots and pans, as well as smelly workout clothes and baby spit ups.
We know you guys are Made Safe certified – can you tell us a bit about this and why it was so important to you to achieve?
Made Safe is the most stringent certification available. They vet each specific ingredient, not just from a general standpoint, but they investigate the actual manufacturer of every ingredient in a product according to toxicity, sustainability, bioaccumulation potential, persistence, and environmental concerns. We knew we wanted this certification to show the safety of our ingredients from a third-party source.
Branch Basics is made with plant and mineral based ingredients – what’s a favourite ingredient we may not know works for cleaning that you guys have chosen?
Chamomile! We did not realize that the chamomile would be such a powerful preservative. Also the sodium percarbonate in the Oxygen Boost is awesome at deodorizing, whitening and brightening!
Can you tell us a bit about your “Toss The Toxins” course and why you created this? It sounds like something we all might need!
Our Toss The Toxins course is an accumulation of knowledge from Marilee’s 30+ years of experience working with the chemically sensitive. After Kelly and I spent the summer after college at Marilee’s to heal ourselves from our own health issues, we knew that the rest of the world needed to experience this power of pure as well. We made the course a 12+ video series walking you through the home to remove harmful chemicals. The course is set up so that you can #TossTheToxins at your own pace.
Finally, what does sustainability look like to you guys at Branch Basics?
Sustainability to us at Branch means going back to the basics, simplifying and reducing, reusing and recycling. We created our one concentrate mode not only to make cleaning simple, but with sustainability in mind. The one concentrate eliminates 13 single-use bottles. We also do not ship water in our other bottles to reduce our carbon footprint.