What is "Handcrafted"?

handcrafted soap

The concept of "handcrafted", frequently means different things to different people. Since this term is key to the whole of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, it is important that the definition of handcrafted being used is understood and agreed upon.

The processes of making and selling handcrafted soap and cosmetics are complex and involve many steps. These may include creating the recipe; measuring and mixing; adding scent and color; creating the shape by molding, cutting and/or trimming; selecting containers and closures, designing and creating packaging; as well as marketing, displaying and selling the final product. Depending on the methodology of the individual, some of these steps are done "by hand" through creative and artistic expression of a pre-fabricated base or all of these steps are done "by hand" beginning with the raw ingredients.

For the purposes of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, a soap or cosmetic is deemed to be "handcrafted" if:

  1. A majority of the time, energy and processes used in its creation by the handcrafter are "by hand", and
  2. A minimal use of mechanized equipment is employed, and
  3. The product manufacture is overseen manually, not by an automated system.


The content of this page is taken from the HSCG Policy of April 28, 2005, Position Statement, authorized and approved by a vote of the membership at the 2005 Annual Meeting on April 28, 2005 and revised by membership vote in February, 2013.