We love discovering new sustainable brands, and last year we met The Soap Co. through our advent calendar giveaways…and we’ve been obsessed ever since! The Soap Co. are part of CLARITY & Co., a registered charity which employs, trains and supports people with disabilities. From factory to finance, 80% of their staff have a disability or long term health condition, and it’s through the sales of their brands that they create meaningful employment that changes people’s lives for the better. CLARITY & Co. kindly invited us along for a tour of their factory and a chat with the marketing manager, Diane. So grab a cuppa, sit back, and let’s find out a bit more…
what made you want to work at clarity & co.?
Having spent my career working my way up the ladder for big budget and big hitting household brands such as Red Bull, Stella Artois and J20, I felt could do more – and truly make a difference to others – by using my professional skillset for good. What I love most about working here is the impact you make. Professionally you’re always learning and actively involved in many exciting and stretching projects, but aside from that, on a daily basis I get to see the joy my work brings to others. The smiles and the laughter – you can’t put a price on that.
what’s a typical day like?
No day is typical, and no day is long enough either! I could be with our perfumers trying to land the next eco fragrance that will take the world by storm (did you know most fragrances aren’t eco?), designing artwork for new products, putting together product award entries, writing press releases and copy for packaging, photographing new products, taking influencers on tours…the list is endless!
can you tell us a bit about your sustainability?
We’re committed to being as sustainable as possible, with a green energy powered semi-automated factory and a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by 5% year on year. We’re always trying our best to make our products environmentally friendly too, for example the wraps that protect The Soap Co. bars are made from renewable wood pulp and are fully compostable. As well as this, every bottle sold from The Soap Co.’s eco and bee friendly collection creates 1 hour of employment and saves 10-20 bees.
could you tell us a little success story of someone who was employed there?
For 50% of our staff we’re a job for life, and for the remaining 50% we’re a stepping stone to help them build their confidence and skills so they can move into jobs outside the organisation. Steve, for example, joined us as a Data Administrator, assisting with our The Planet Mark™ carbon footprint data collection. He had a stroke in 2009 and lost the use of his left hand. For a number of years, he wasn’t able to work as he had to get strength back into the whole of his left side and his speech was also affected. Steve set up and led our Green team, and through their efforts reduced our carbon footprint by 15% in the first year and his reporting led to us retaining our sustainability certification for a second year, too!
what’s your most popular product?
The one that gets most people talking is our exfoliating soap pebble – wrapped in wool from local Herdwick sheep it supports local farmers, is the perfect replacement for the plastic loofah and does a superb job making your skin feeling super soft. But ask me that question in another month, as I think BECO’s new Argan Oil Shampoo Bar is going to be very popular – I’m a complete convert and think a lot of the UK will be too!
what would you like to achieve as an organisation in the next year?
We need to build fame for our brands and get them into every UK bathroom, be it at work or home. It’s not an easy task to be heard above the noise when you have no budget, but I think that what we do and the passion with which we do it has started to open critical doors.
Find out more about The Soap Co. here!
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