College students create bath and skin care products from local ingredients to support farmers and minimize waste from plastic packaging

Aside from promoting local farmers and businesses, Bituin also aims to create zero-waste products.

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

There’s an implication that the younger generation aren’t as enthusiastic about agriculture as their parents and elders are. Due to the rise of technology and modernization, they tend to have different interests that mostly revolve around what’s trending. 

Still, this sweeping generalization didn’t hold sway for a group of first-year college students who started a bath and skin care line known as Bituin which aims to help the country’s farmers. 

Bituin is composed of three people, Jade the founder, and its co-founders Andal and Marquez, who wish to remain anonymous at this point in time since they envisioned that their venture would be primarily associated with the local farmers. 

“Our intention is to create and produce cheap but quality zero-waste hygiene products accessible to the masses,” the trio said. 

Established in July 2020, Bituin aims to sell zero-waste bath and skincare products using locally sourced natural products to ultimately help local farmers and minimize the amount of trash resulting from packaged products.

A main ingredient that brand uses in its products is coconut oil which is sourced from local farmers.

It all started when Jade, the founder, noticed that everyone should have access to hygiene products which were usually packaged in plastic or non-reusable packaging. She also observed that environment-friendly hygiene products are expensive and are not readily available to the masses.

These observations, as well as their fondness for hygiene and skin care products, are what sparked the trio’s interest in starting the bath and skin care line. 

Hoping to make their venture affordable, Jade and the co-founders did a thorough research on what ingredients they can use which gave them a deeper appreciation of the benefits of applying external products derived from fruits and vegetables. 

Eventually, this led them to the practical decision of tapping local resources from which they could make affordable products from while also supporting the local farmers from whom they source their ingredients. 

Supporting local farmers 

“A lot of farmers in the Philippines aren’t able to sell their produce because of closed markets due to the prevailing pandemic crisis. Obviously, a lot of those farmers also do not have access to delivery services and or applications to deliver their produce and/or get new customers’ orders. Most likely, such constraints have reduced their sense of self-confidence, even self-esteem,” the trio explained. 

This current situation is what the founder and co-founders of Bituin hope to improve.  

“We fervently hope that our venture could very well boost their morale and means of livelihood. With respect to local businesses, it is our intention to help them as well in one way or another,” they said.

Other ingredients include plants that are known to benefit the skin.

Some of the ingredients that Bituin sources from the farmers are those that are known to be allergen-free, usually used in bath and skin care products, as well as readily available in the market all year-round. 

“At this juncture, we are already assisting them practically by buying their goods directly and

indirectly by encouraging our clients to buy their products, and advocating the use of locally

produced agricultural products,” the Bituin team said. 

They added that in the future, when the brand is more established, they plan to officially allot a certain percentage of their sales to the farmers.

“In due time, we are seriously considering making monetary donations and/or in-kind donations to relevant organizations, and allotting a certain percentage of our sales to the farmers,” they said. 

PH’s first water-activated shampoo 

One of the products that Bituin has been working on is a water-activated shampoo.

Bituin’s latest product is the water-activated shampoo whose main ingredient comes from coconuts.

“Initially, we wanted to sell shampoo tablets but experiments on its prototypes weren’t successful. Consequently, we opted to just use the same ingredients and not compress them into a tablet form,” the trio said. 

The main component of the water-activated shampoo is the foaming agent derived from coconuts which lathers when it comes into contact with water. The other components are fruits and/or plant extracts which have their own benefits. 

According to the team, the coconut-derived ingredients for their shampoo are sourced from a local business in Davao that produces coconuts. In the meantime, the fruit and plant based ingredients are sourced from Baguio and other small farms or businesses. 

The water-activated shampoos have different variations such as those with aloe vera extract and maca root (P255), orange peel with maca root (P265), and arrowroot with lavender extract (P270). One bottle is generally good for sixty 60 washes.

By marketing their brand and putting the spotlight on local farmers, while also giving the public access to affordable bath and skin care products, Bituin hopes to enhance the awareness of the farmers’ important role in society and in the development of the country’s economy.

For more information, visit Bituin on Facebook

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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