So I searched around for local counterparts, even asked vegetarian friends, and ended up at the Ilog Maria website. They specialize in bee farms and they have a gamut of products that are really interesting. As many of us would probably know, bee byproducts, like honey, propolis and royal jelly, have been used in alternative medicine. Ilog Maria harnesses these insects' "magic" in order to come up with bathing essentials that are inexpensive yet fun to use. The soaps, more importantly, cost about less than half the price of TheFaceShop's. My personal favorites are the "Bamboo Charcoal Bergamot & Lime" soap, which absorbs oil and toxins, and their feminine wash, which has a mint-y feel to it. They have aromatherapy oils as well -- helpful for when you want to relax after a hard, long day. And this citronella insect repellent! Smells like your nose is going to die, but hella effective!
I also bought bath salts, which I prefer for exfoliation instead of using body washes with synthetic beads. I heard that synthetic beads eventually find themselves in the sea or the ocean and poison marine life. Coffee powders and salts are friendlier to the environment, I suppose.
As for their shampoos...not a fan. The clarifying shampoo makes my scalp all tingly and squeaky clean but it dries out my hair. Another complaint: they don't have Paypal options. I'm not fond of going to banks and depositing payment -- so it doesn't really seem like real eCommerce to me -- although I can now pay them online through BPI.
Oh and I appreciated this tidbit they provided in their email:
Help Reduce Carbon Emissions.
Our website also helps save our planet and ourselves. It minimizes your/our carbon footprint. Think of all the carbon that would be emitted by our having an outlet in Manila. Think of all the carbon emissions you will save by simply using our website.
We have been reducing our carbon footprint by: recycling, composting, minimizing/organizing our trips, doing most transactions online, we have planted a mini-forest, we harvest rainwater, unplug unused appliances, minimize paper use. Our old cars run on alcohol/lpg, our older cars run on biodiesel, we have planted biodiesel trees to make home made biodiesel, we use the sun to heat our water, we use a smokeless wood burning fireplace and oven to cook our meals and much more……….
Our new website has successfully handled all orders since January 2006.
We are pleased to inform you that we have managed to ship all orders in 2006 and the 1st half of 2007. Save for a few rare exceptions, they were received within 24 to 48 hours.
This IS still the cheapest alternative to actually going here to buy our products. Opening an outlet anywhere else will just increase the costs and selling prices of our products; without adding to their value. We are always finding ways to use the newest, cheapest and most convenient technologies to make it easier for you.
We thank you for continuing to use our products and for ordering from our website.
And this is why I love eCommerce, folks. It's not just because I teach it as a subject, but also because of the benefits that come with it. It's really amazing how one family can be old school about everything, except the only thing that can protect their old school way of living. Nice!
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