Viva La Body makes sustainable products using truly natural ingredients. Their products are certified palm oil free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Their packaging is compostable, plastic free, and biodegradable. They are located in Australia.
“Natural” and “sustainable” aren’t just words they use to make their products seem eco-friendly. They live this every day in their ingredients and zero-waste packaging they use.
I had the opportunity to interview Jo Srbinovski from Viva La Body. She is owner and founder of Viva La Body along with Micko Srbinovski. I wanted to interview her because their range of products is certified palm oil free with Orangutan Alliance. This means that there are zero traces of palm oil in any of the ingredients they use.
Here’s what she had to say about their palm oil free portfolio.
Viva La Body interview
Table of Contents
1) What sets Viva La Body and/or your products apart from your competitors?
We actually do not seek to be competitive in the space of zero waste. Instead we think of others in the space as allies working toward a common goal. There needs to be more businesses that use compostable packaging and do not rely on jars or bottles for their products to work effectively.
We love that we moved to manufacturing zero waste products and hopefully we can influence more businesses to make the shift.
2) What made you decide to make your products palm oil free?
The environmental devastation caused by the unethical farming practices of the palm oil industry! We do not want to support it, we do not want to be a part of it!
3) Are all of your products certified palm oil free?
The majority of our range is certified palm oil free. However, we do have a range of limited edition soap batches that we do not certify (even though they are palm oil free).
We love the art of soap making and experimenting with new types and sometimes these batches will never be made again, and we feel that it is not really worth putting them through the rigorous process of certification. Should any of these soap continue to be part of our permanent portfolio, we would most definitely certify them.
4) What ingredients do you use instead of palm oil?
We use all manner of plant and nut based oils and butters depending on the product. A hero ingredient across our product range is our organic virgin coconut oil sourced from Lospalos Coconut who are based in Timor-Leste.
This is a fabulous oil and it comes from such an ethical business with an aim to raise Timor-Leste out of poverty using the humble coconut.
We love supporting this business and we absolutely love their coconut oil. (We cook with it too – it is the most delicious coconut oil I have ever tasted!!)
5) Are there challenges making certain products palm oil free or is it a “simple matter” of choosing alternative ingredients?
There are some challenges in making palm oil free products. However there are many alternative ingredients available and with some clever formulating and a creative spirit it is definitely achievable.
6) Is there any advice you would give to companies who are looking to replace palm oil in their products?
Definitely go through the certification process with a reputable palm oil free certifying body. When reviewing ingredients make sure that the certifier only works with independent qualified scientists trained in this discipline.
Always be vigilant when sourcing ingredients as the production chain can change without notice.
7) Do you think being certified Palm Oil Free is a marketing advantage? Do they remain loyal because you are palm oil free? Do you think your customers come to you because you offer palm oil free products?
The bottom line is that it is the correct and ethical thing to do. Viva La Body has been operating for a long time and can claim that we have generational customers. These customers are loyal because they like the products that we make and that they trust us and our manufacturing processes. Being certified palm oil free is a bonus and adds a legitimacy to our business.
8) Do you have to renew your certification with Orangutan Alliance or take steps to recertify? How frequently?
Yes, we renew our products with Orangutan Alliance every twelve months.
9) Please discuss any other certifications, awards, environmentally-friendly practices, community-oriented practices, etc. your company partakes in.
What she said about awards
How she answered the rest of the questions
We are certified Palm Oil free with Orangutan Alliance and certified cruelty free with Choose Cruelty Free.
We regularly support a variety of Northern Territory specific local community organisations with product donations for giveaways and fundraising raffles. We also support a number of animal shelters in their fundraising activities including Run Rabbit Run which is a refuge for abandoned and runaway rabbits and Project Underdog Rescue a dog shelter.
We also “adopt” orangutans via International Animal Rescue. These adoptions help support the daily upkeep and journey to freedom of baby orangutans that have been separated from their mother.
We support a number of local and international artists and have initiated design projects where we are commissioning reinterpretations of our product packaging.
We have partnered with Orangutan Alliance to create a special limited edition fundraising soap. For every bar of soap purchased we will donate to Orangutan Alliance in support of their ONE SOAP = ONE TREE initiative.
As of October 2021, this initiative has bought 10,000 trees. For each soap purchased, at least one tree will be planted and protected in the Leuser Ecosystem (Sumatra), one of the world’s richest forest and oxygen systems.
This area is the last place on earth where critically endangered elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans co-exist and over 100 mammal and 382 bird species. It is at risk due to deforestation and land clearing for pulp and palm oil.
This is part of the ongoing #MyStepToProtect campaign.
10) Where can consumers purchase your products? Do you ship internationally?
We have an online store and stock at various retailers. Currently we do not ship internationally – once COVID19 settles we will reopen international shipping. In the meantime, our products can be purchased through one of our fabulous stockists who do ship internationally: Flora and Fauna or Nourished Life.
Note: You can email them to ask how to buy their products at firstname.lastname@example.org
11) Is there anything in particular you intentionally purchase that is palm oil free?
I try as much as possible not to buy processed foods and instead make meals from scratch. It is healthier, tastier, cheaper and easier!
We grow a lot of fruit and vegetables on our property (mango, papaya, pineapples, limes, dragonfruit, grapefruit, watermelon, honeydew melon, jackfruit, bananas, passionfruit, water apples AND SO MUCH MORE. I haven’t even touched on the veggies we grow!
The Viva La Body lunchtime ritual is a bit of a treat! Fresh leafy greens, homemade sour dough – we all sit together and share a delicious healthy meal.
12) Is there anything you would like to add?
I started Viva La Body on the kitchen bench in a share house over 21 years ago. Viva La Body is a husband and wife team (Jo and Micko Srbinovski) and we do this for love, not for money or kudos. We are not out to rule the world, we just want to make positive changes wherever we can as part of our every day practice.
Orangutan Alliance Partners with Viva La Body
For every special edition soap Viva La Body sells, at least one tree will be planted and protected in the Leuser Ecosystem (Sumatra), one of the world’s richest forest and oxygen systems. The Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra is at risk because of deforestation for palm oil and pulp. However, it is the only remaining place on earth where critically-endangered orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos and tigers coexist in the wild. It also inhabits dozens of other mammals and hundreds of bird species.
Viva La Body Certified Palm Oil Free Products
Viva La Body has a line of shampoo, conditioner, soap, lip balm, shave products, deodorant, foot care products, and face products. Please check their website for updates and new palm oil free products. Here are some of their shampoos, conditioners, body and facial soaps, lotions, perfumes, deodorants, shave soaps, and lip balms.
Viva La Body Soap
- Citrus Scrub The Athlete
- Patchouli Rose The Hydrator
- Orange & Patchouli Wake Up Bar
- Lemon Myrtle Daily Detox
- Spearmint Super Fresh
- Rose Geranium Balance Bar
- Orangutan Alliance One Soap = One Tree (Fundraiser)
- Chamomile & Rosehip
- Lavender Patchouli
- Cardamom Clementine
- Aniseed Basil Cinnamon
- Kakadu Plum Lemon Myrtle
- Peppermint Poppyseed
- Tsubaki & Hemp
- Lovers Blend
- Chamomile Extract Lavender
- Rosemary Clove
- Basil Spearmint Spirulina
- Ylang Ylang Rose
- Lemongrass Ylang Ylang
- Aloe Vera & Cocoa Butter
- Mango Butter Lemongrass Coconut
- Chamomile & Cocoa
- Raspberry & Rosehip
- Spearmint & Hemp
- Lavender Ylang Ylang
- Cinnamon Orange Patchouli
- Patchouli Rose
- Smooth Shave Bar
- Aftershave Serum
- Tea Tree Foot Polish
- Foot Lotion
- Chamomile Jasmine
- Lemon Myrtle Aniseed & Cinnamon
- Spearmint Sage Lemongrass
- Lavender Fresh
- Patchouli Rose
- Lemongrass & Basil
- Cinnamon & Patchouli
- Sensitive Neutral Scent
Viva La Body Solid Shampoos and Solid Conditioners
They offer these nine varieties of shampoo bars. They also make the same as conditioner bars.
- Scalp Solution
- Rescue Bar
- Balance Bar
- Creamy Curls
- Lifesaver Detox
- Every Day People
- Vitamin Boost
- Keep It Calm
- Toning Bar
- Cedarwood & Lemongrass
- Ylang Ylang Lavender Rose
- Patchouli Rose
- Creamy Pink Clay
- Essentials Balance
- Essentials Gentle
- Light Day Creme
- Balacing Day Creme
- Night Serum
They also sell eco-accessories, including a Dish & Laundry Brush, Dish Loofah, and a Bamboo Dish to prolong the life of shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars.
Viva La Body
Please support Viva La Body and their palm oil free products. They are passionate about using real ingredients — so much so that they grow many of the fruits they use in their products — and keeping their range palm oil free.
Viva La Body started from two people who were passionate about finding ways to use natural ingredients. They are transparent with their ingredients and spell out them out for all of their products.
Thank you to Jo Srbinovski for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing the story of Viva La Body.
Try Viva La Body products. They are certified Palm Oil Free, plastics free, vegan, cruelty-free, and more. They are an eco-friendly company with the desire to be low impact on the environment. The owners live their values through their products.
Check out Jo Srbinovski’s tips for reducing palm oil consumption: How to Use Less Palm Oil Each Week