Mangoele transforms plant waste into cosmetics

Businessman Tshepo Mangoele has ventured into the beauty industry to create natural skincare and cosmetics products.

The LignOrganic director said it was about time they pioneered skincare and cosmetics products made from waste plant material. The soap products are made from wood and nutshell extracts.

LignOrganic is aimed at fully exploiting the possible uses of waste biomass as a viable replacement for crude oil and coal-derived products while retaining the integrity of the environment.

Mangoele, from Midrand in Gauteng, said they decided to have a piecemeal approach when it comes to introducing the cosmetics products to the marketplace, and they have created a new brand using bio-surfactants, generally known as soaps, and soda lignin called O’Phyll, which focuses on making purely natural skincare and cosmetics products.

“The bio-soap is made through concerting the natural oils in the waste plant material to a bio-soap base, which we then use to make hand wash, makeup brush cleanser, sanitiser, micellar water, shampoos, and household cleanser.

“The bio-soap has been certified antibacterial and anti-fungal, and these properties are directly from the plant material.

“Our target market is mainly women who are eco-conscious with sensitive skin, seeking natural products that also have high efficacy, and women who would like to make a difference in the world by adopting natural products that preserve the environment. Currently, we are focusing on South Africa, with expansion plans into more African countries and the US,” said Mangoele.

He said the idea of creating these products challenged them when it came to research and development, and the marketing of the brands to raise awareness about the need to use eco-friendly products in an effort to curb the effects of climate change.

But his eagerness to create true value using plant waste while also creating highly innovative manufacturing processes and products would not let him give up on his dreams.

“I started doing experiments in my kitchen. This required a lot of resourcefulness as I didn’t have any funding. So I used my pots and containers to start and asked my then lecturer and university for chemicals to start the process. Through that, I managed to raise a bit of funding and now we have lab space at one of the country’s top universities.”

Regardless of the challenges, their products are now available in online stores and the company is looking to add toners, serums, hand creams, and primers, which are all completely natural, and they are also looking to launch the first fully biodegradable makeup line made using plant waste.

“The fact that we were able to take nutshells and sawdust that was destined for the landfill and converted them into the products, that’s something I truly love about our products.

“The products being 100% natural gives me a satisfying feeling, knowing our customers will be extremely happy when using our products – and by using our products, you’ll be playing your part in curbing climate change.”

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