Groningen’s makers are strong in illustration, design and sustainability. The Groningen Made series highlights the makers behind their products.
Meet the Maker
Behind Babongo, Nicole Blaak. For almost 10 years, Nicole’s web store is selling eco-friendly goods to help people transitioning to a greener lifestyle.
The idea of Banbongo came when travelling and realised our behaviour’s impact on our planet. In the search for better alternatives to the products we know, she noticed a gap in the Dutch market.
Babongo makes it easy being green!
‘‘Kermit (the frog) once said: ‘it’s not easy being green’. This statement is now used worldwide to indicate we would love to do green, but it can be complicated from time to time’’ explained Nicole.
Nicole looks for the original range of beautiful products made with respect for people and nature. ‘‘We're here to make it a lot easier and especially more fun!’’
All the products are chosen with care by looking at their materials and production process. Most of the products from designers and manufacturers from the Netherlands and Europe. ‘‘We also work with organisations that work with people who have disabilities or who have difficulties with employment.’’
Through her research, in 2016, Nicole came across a small handmade English soap factory. ''We shared the same values, so I decided to start working with them.''
Her full line includes shaving soap, shampoo bars and bath and shower soaps. Our favourite, the 3-in-1 travel bar, a soap, shampoo and deodorant all in one! Not only are Nicole's soaps environmentally friendly, but the creative scent combinations - patchouli & sandalwood, lavender & tea tree and charcoal & pine - smell amazing.
Suitable for all skins, they are 100% natural, free from parabens and SLS, and NOT tested on animals.
All of these products are made with passion, dedication, and craftsmanship.
The packaging was designed by the Dutch designer, Jessica Nielsen, from agri-waste cardboard and printed with vegetable-based, non-toxic, and compostable inks in waterless offset. Victim of its success, the soap bars are sold to stores across Europe.
In a quest to create less (plastic) waste, Babongo soap bars aren’t just good for you, they’re also good for our planet!
Are you a local maker? We would like to hear from you! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Nienke Maat, Groningen photographer specialised in portraits and reportage.