SOLIDU has a clear love for the environment. How has that affected how you create the products?
At SOLIDU, our mission is to leave as little trace as possible behind our products. Every product that we formulate is created with the environment in mind: from the ingredients to the manufacturing process, to the packaging, which is compostable. We hold the same values when shipping products to our clients by avoiding all virgin plastic in shipments, packing as compact as possible, and not including unnecessary paper slips.
Also, my manufacturing team and I love the scents of nature! Every product is made with a unique blend of natural essential oils. We love mixing and blending them to create a character for each SOLIDU bar.
“You can then use the water you have, whether it is from a faucet or a river, and lather up that bar to get the active ingredients ready for your hair and skin.”
What inspired the brand name “SOLIDU?”
In our native Lithuanian language, SOLIDU translates to solid, but not in a hard or density sense. SOLIDU is used when referring to something reputable, trustworthy, or well-established. It obviously is a riff on the English word “solid” and therefore we thought it would perfectly describe our “solid” cosmetics, in both a literal and figurative way. Also, we liked that the word has three syllables and can be easily made into our logo.
How does eliminating water from SOLIDU products set you apart from other brands?
The major ingredient in many typical beauty products is water. Around 80% of a standard liquid shampoo is composed of an ingredient that you already have in your shower or your sink. We have taken all of the skin-loving active ingredients in your shampoo, such as oils and butters, and condensed them into a bar. You can then use the water you have, whether it is from a faucet or a river, and lather up that bar to get the active ingredients ready for your hair and skin.
What is your favorite SOLIDU product?
Up to this day, my absolute favorite is GRANDMA SAID shampoo bar. You could say I created it for myself! The scent is very resinous and woodsy: pine needles, rosemary, and juniper. I love to recharge in forests, especially in the beautiful Lithuanian pine forests, where I spend my summer weekends camping, picking berries and mushrooms, and breathing the fresh air.
How does SOLIDU source their ingredients?
All our product formulas are based on science, first and foremost. We don’t use (or avoid) something simply because it’s the most recent hype in the industry. With every ingredient, we try to understand what it does, what benefit it will have for the consumer. We love combining the newest developments in cosmetic science with natural plant extracts, oils, and butters to achieve the desired result. But we are also limited in our ingredient selection because we can only use solid ingredients - therefore, we often have to get creative to formulate the products that we want!
Give us a run-down of your morning routine!
If it came to it, I could survive with two things: a (solid) shampoo and mascara! I have quite oily hair and skin, so I have to wash my hair every day. My bathroom is usually filled with a lot of different shampoos and conditioners: from competitors to SOLIDU products, to new product prototypes from our R&D, so every morning I have to decide which one to use. I also usually keep a pen and paper in my bathroom to take notes about the prototypes that I’m testing! Washing my hair is an absolute must, but I can skip the conditioner. I try to use SPF every day to protect my face from sun damage. I can go with little makeup or with a lot of it, depending on how I feel that day.
“I used to think that we can overcome whatever we are facing at that moment and it will get much easier, but in reality, with growing and scaling the challenges never go away, they just become different.”
How has living in Lithuania and traveling around Asia affected your brand?
In Lithuania, the environment is very clean and the population is not very dense. It seems sometimes that pollution has not yet affected this corner of the world, even though in recent years we can feel the temperature increase caused by climate change.
However, traveling in Asia and living in China, I was constantly exposed to the waste that we produce as humankind. So many boxes, bottles, and single-use things were thrown out every day. I couldn’t just turn away and ignore all the trash. It was right in front of my face. And it didn’t end there – plastic littered every beach, jungle and forest that I visited.
These experiences inspired me to create SOLIDU, so that my actions could have some effect on the environment. Not only that, but every SOLIDU formula, scent, and design reflects my experiences as a Lithuanian, as an expat in China, and as a world traveler.
How long do SOLIDU products typically last?
One bar of SOLIDU shampoo or conditioner lasts just as long as your typical bottle of liquid shampoo or conditioner would. This will vary depending on how often you wash or how much hair you have, but we typically say 25-50 washes for a shampoo and 30-60 washes for a conditioner (1-2 months).
What are some challenges you have overcome with SOLIDU?
Starting a beauty brand and running a business is hard work, and we are facing various challenges every day! I used to think that we can overcome whatever we are facing at that moment and it will get much easier, but in reality, with growing and scaling the challenges never go away, they just become different.
“I would like to make low-waste beauty accessible everywhere, so I dream to see SOLIDU on the shop shelves across the world.”
Tell us about your plastic-free, paper-free, natural packaging!
SOLIDU packaging is plastic-free as well as paper-free, completely natural, and can be backyard composted in 45 days. The box is produced from starch, bamboo and charcoal.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on earth, growing up to a meter per day. To make this box, upcycled offcuts from the production of bamboo chopsticks are used. Bamboo is processed together with natural starch and the black color is achieved by using charcoal. This natural box can be useful for the soil as fertilizer or can even be mixed into animal feed as a carbohydrate source.
What would you like to see for SOLIDU’s future?
I would like to make low-waste beauty accessible everywhere, so I dream to see SOLIDU on the shop shelves across the world.
In the near future, we are focused on getting more presence in the US, as well as expanding into different European countries. Also, we are working to expand our product line with new exciting offerings.
Other than SOLIDU, what are you passionate about?
When at home – cats, yoga, and books. But really what makes my heart sing is traveling and experiencing other cultures, cuisines, and nature. Obviously, I’m very attached to Asia and usually travel there for my holidays, but I also dream to spend some time on every continent.