About Us (by which I mean it's all about me!)
Kia ora, welcome
I’m Clare and the Block Dock is my invention. This is what drove its creation.
I've had a long-held desire to ‘do my own thing’ combined with an internal drive to ‘use my skills and opportunities with good intent’. I knew for a long time these would someday come together in an ‘aha moment’ and a few months ago they did with the Block Dock - spurred on by my personal desire to commit once and for all to use bars for everything I can, and stop with all those single use plastic bottles.
I am a many-years-in imperfect minimalist committed to low consumption life. For me this is best described as Voluntary Simplicity. I acknowledge the privilege wrapped up in the ‘voluntary’. I wasn’t always this way, quite the opposite - and too work busy to change anything in my life. Then things changed abruptly though not unsurprisingly, and I took this as a window of opportunity to be free (on the inside I’m wired nomadically).
I sold up, gave almost everything I owned away, bought a one-way ticket and went on an open-ended, un-planned-out worldwide adventure. I'll tell you what - that feeling of owning almost nothing, it’s the Best Ever! Feeling freedom that viscerally is incredible. Even now, settled again, I think back and feel its residual joy – and declutter regularly in a bid to revive it. It really cements the importance of knowing everything I own now must be something I use, love and treasure and I try to act in accordance with this. I’m not fully hard-line because for me that is counterproductive. No mason jar or bare mattress here.
I would say that I have two guiding principles these days, I’d like to share them with you. They’re fundamentally what drove the creation of the Block Dock and how I go about sharing it with you. Here’s goes, this is my ethos:We should do what we can to safeguard our planet and contribute to the remediation of past wrongs and avoidance of future ones (ours and others). Yes, this takes personal action, willingness to change, and usually money. But what doesn’t these days? The Block Dock is my contribution to winning the war against single-use plastics by making it easy and rewarding for you to switch from bottles to bars. It does this by addressing what I believe is the biggest barrier to behavioural change: fear of the sub-par performance of traditional soap dishes. I sense your memories of disgust just reading that! We all know it, we’ve all suffered it and most of you either still do or are stuck buying more and more plastic bottles and refill pouches. However eco the product inside them, their packaging still makes waste. (Recycling? That’s really just delayed waste or in many cases goes straight to landfill anyway.) With the Block Dock your days of slimy soap, mushy goop, scummy dishes = GONE! With bars, most choices have very little and home compostable packaging. It’s not hard to see which is the better option.
We should spend our money wisely on experiences and things that matter, and with businesses and people who make and do good-for-the-planet-and-her-many-populations things. And I don’t mean the lone shiny good thing they tout to hide a myriad of bad deeds. I mean truly good, A-Z. You know how to spot them I’m sure - and a google can help. Big hint, those massive conglomerates that between them own almost everything on the shelves in your supermarket? It’s not them.
And watch out for the eco brands under labels that mask their parent company origin. Buying those is still supporting ill-will. Just pick the brands that are fully about the making a difference. We must reward good behaviours to get more of them. And fact is, they are competing against companies with more money and better marketing and sharper pricing through volume. If we want the good companies to stick around and succeed, we need to be brand loyal to them.
Sometimes this means you spend more, but often you don’t. The bottom line is this. When we spend our money on anything we are being the demand side of ‘supply and demand’. That means we’re encouraging supply. If demand is low, sellers will try to seduce us with sales, giveaways, BS marketing – we have to resist this. If they are not doing good in the world - just say NO. Even when it’s hard. Because that’s the real decision criteria that matters - not how well they’ve seduced us or how easily we compromise personal values. The reason to be steadfast about this is because it’s the only way we (the demanders) can get them to change. Money talks. Clearly, they’re not acting for the love of our planet – if they thought that way there’d be no need for this conversation at all.
You can probably tell I feel pretty passionate about this.
I get that it's not a simple straight line, stuff happens, none of us are perfect (certainly not me!) and there's a whole lot of bait-and-switch marketing thuggery out there to contend with. But I do think it matters to do what we reasonably can and that we typically underestimate the power we yield with each dollar. We need to reclaim that power, every day in every spending decision (without being super hardline with ourselves - trust me, that's counterproductive). Some people say that this behaviour is too small compared to addressing the big issues of fossil fuel extraction etc, but I think they underestimate what we can collectively influence and the importance of valuing and ecouraging individual action.
Often the big actions are stonewalled by politics, personality and masses of misguided money. But you and me? We get to choose what we do. We can do the best we reasonably can in each circumstance.
The good news is that there are lots of companies who do put the planet and her populations first, so it’s pretty easy to make the good choices and see through or avoid (at least much of) the greenwashing.
In my corner of the battle for good over evil, there are now lots of great bar makers online and at local markets which makes choosing and using bars simple. Pretty much everything you use or desire is waiting for you in bar form. It really is a step change in our personal care options, led in many ways by our very own Ethique in New Zealand.
And now my Block Dock is here to ensure that all your bars will dry fast and last and give you all-round better bar performance. Whatever its purpose, size, shape or maker, I've got you covered with the Block Dock. This is the last soap dish you'll ever need. This is the final time you'll need to even think about soap storage. Its mundanity is why we've all accepted lifetimes of sub-par, sodden-yet-also-scummy soap and soap dish performance (or we gave up and were seduced by the bottle). I've made that whole problem disappear! And I've designed it to be buy once, use forever - not just because its superlative performance will quickly see you cherish it, but also because it is made in material that will last longer than you or me (yet is recyclable should it somehow enter the waste stream). It's manufactured in New Zealand because that's good for our economy and carbon footprint.
We all know it's time to kick single-use plastics for touch, that they're not good for our planet and populations. With the Block Dock making the switch from bottles to bars is rewarding and easy - because great bars are widely accessible AND NOW awful soap dishes are history!
Who would have thought, thousands of years since soap’s invention, the perfect way to store it would be created in a tiny town at the bottom of the world and, though deliberate choice, made in New Zealand?
I feel pretty good about that. I hope you do too.
Want to chat? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org