Close your eyes and imagine you could never open them. How does that feel? What would that limit? How would you cope? In the UK, 2 million people live with sight loss, 25,000 of which are children, and these figures are expected to grow. By 2020, this will rise to 2.3 million people, and by 2050, 4 million. In terms of limitations, finding a job is a key concern, with only 20% in employment, and 39% experiencing difficulties making ends meet. Fortunately, The Soap Co, a fantastic ethical luxury brand that mainly employs blind, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged staff are showing how skilled and useful they can be.
The Soap Co sells products ranging from exfoliating soap pebbles, hand washes and lotions to bath and body oils, as well as gift sets. Aromatic options include, ‘Wild Nettle & Sage’, ‘Geranium & Rhubarb’, ‘Black Poppy & Wild Fig’ and ‘Citrus’ ensuring there is something wonderful for everyone. Staff, no matter the experience level or disability are involved in the whole process, from procurement and production to design and recruitment.
“When I first came here I was quiet, lacking in confidence and stuff but now, I’m a bit noisy now’’, says Olgun ‘’Ozzie’’ Ibrahim, whose role includes making soap, being deputy shop steward in the union and running the parent company’s social club. “It’s mainly the people here,” he says. “They all like having a laugh and a joke and they’re just happy to be here. Otherwise, they’d be stuck at home. Doing this gives them something in life to do.”
The Soap Co is also environmentally-friendly:
- No testing on animals.
- Ingredients, bottles and labels wherever possible are sourced from UK suppliers.
- Glue used is non-toxic and biodegradable.
- Paper used is recycled and recyclable.
- Bio-film used to wrap soap in is made from renewable resources that are compostable.
- Bottles have a 45% lower environmental impact that typical PET bottles.
To discover more about their environmental impact, click here.
Businesses such as Santander, Accenture, Wilson Vale, PwC and BWB happily use The Soap Co’s hand wash and soaps in their bathrooms. As Martin Brunch, managing partner of BWB states:
“We are delighted to be partnering with The Soap Co. At BWB we have a formal commitment within our procurement policies to purchase from socially responsible businesses. With the great story behind Soap Co., it was a natural fit for us.”
It may come as no surprise that The Soap Co have won several awards, including; D&AD Pencil for Design; PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Awards for environmental impact; Blue Patch Business Awards for New Business (2016) and Female Business Leader (co-founder Camilla Marcus-Dew); Eco Focused Small Enterprise at the Global Good Awards.
They are hoping to win a SEUK award this year. I’m sure we’re all wishing them the best of luck!
Visit their website to check out their superb selection or to find a retailer, click here.