The Soap Co: caring about people and the planet
Based in East London, with a traditional workshop in the Lake District, The Soap Co. is a beauty brand with a difference. Eighty percent of its workforce are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. The company is committed to changing lives by giving employees the opportunity to develop new skills and gain confidence in the workplace. Another key part of the brand’s ethos is sustainability. Hoping to be plastic-free within three years, some of the containers are locally sourced and made from recycled milk bottles, soap wrappers are compostable, boxes made from recycled paper and the glue used is non-toxic and biodegradable. Each bar of soap is hand-stamped with the name of its maker – the company are proud of the people who make their products – and the simple, stylish packaging has won several design awards. I’ve sniffed a couple of the oils and body washes and fragrances like black poppy & wild fig, geranium & rhubarb, wild nettle & sage, are lovely.
The Soap Co. only uses natural botanicals and pure essentials oils and all items are paraben and cruelty-free. The bee-friendly collection contains natural borage and calendula botanicals, which have longer flowering seasons than other plants and gives bees a regular source of nectar. Every bottle sold helps 10 – 20 bees. Hooray!
This is a company that cares about people and the planet.
Hailing from a background in the corporate charity sector, founder Camilla Marcus-Dew wanted to compete with the luxury beauty sector without compromising social, environmental and business ethics. ‘I wanted to change the status quo for business, and, at the same time, change the way people perceive giving. It’s not about asking for donations, but more about making great products that people want to buy to create more jobs for people who really need them.’
Meet the people behind The Soap Co. in this moving video:
All of the profits go back into the organisation to create more jobs, and the The Soap Co. measures its success on the number of employment days generated. One bottle of hand wash sold creates one hour of employment, with a bath or body oil creating two hours. Product sales create over 10,000 days of employment and over 60 new jobs per year.
Keeping clean never felt so good.
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