#HerWorldHerStory: She used her botanical science knowledge to help sanitise bottles the right way

by Hayley Tai & Cheong Wen Xuan  /   September 3, 2020

The co-founder of Fawn Labs used her lab to formulate hand wash and sterilise bottles to give out to low-income families


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Credit: Photography Joel Ang Hair & Makeup Dollei Seah/Makeup Entourage Hair Colour Audrey Tan/Salon Plus

I wanted to put my botanical science knowledge to use when I saw a volunteer group on Facebook asking for used-bottles donations, so that they can fill self-bought sanitising solutions in them and give them out to low income families.

While I was touched by the initiative, I was worried because making sanitisers from home is risky. I wrote a post on Facebook to share that basic hygiene habits are more effective than any hand sanitisers. You need industry grade sanitisation tools to sterilise bottles.

I contacted the volunteers on Facebook in February and offered the resources through Fawn Labs, which conducts workshops for people to learn to formulate bespoke clean beauty products and sustainable beauty.

I hold two full-time jobs. Other than working at Fawn Labs, I am a managing partner at Xennial Capital, a family office that manages the private wealth of Asian families.

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My interest in sustainable beauty and wellness was a result of a health scare six years ago. I was suspected of having contracted tuberculosis (which later turned out not to be the case) when my violent coughing persisted. I tried botanical supplements on my own (and felt better). It piqued my interest.

I am currently pursuing an advanced diploma in Cosmetic Science at Formula Botanica, an online organic skincare school in the UK. I am also certified with an Organic Skincare Formulations diploma from the same school.

By March, we received a total of 600 used bottles (100ml to 500ml), after I put out a call for more used-bottle donations on Fawn Labs’ Facebook page. We placed baskets outside our lab at Tras Street for people to drop their used bottles. A woman who owns a castile soap business donated 260 new bottles when she heard what we were doing.

I also formulated hand soaps in my lab to give away, while sterilising the used bottles. It takes about 12 hours to sterilise 30 small bottles or 24 larger-sized ones. My team of four and I rotated shifts every day, including weekends to complete this task. It was tiring as some of us have day jobs.

So far, I have sanitised 600 bottles and distributed (with the volunteers) sanitisers and hand wash to the lower-income families.

We take turns to visit them in various HDB estates. The most rewarding was seeing the smile on people’s faces when they received the bottles of sanitisers.

We’re still open to collecting more used bottles. I’m also focused on spreading awareness on clean beauty and sustainability through workshops and other virtual events.

It’s one of my ways of turning scientific information into digestible content for the public.

This article was first published in Her World’s August issue. Grab a copy today!