Ape to Gentleman would like to introduce you to Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, currently the USA’s No. 1 selling natural soap brand and leader in organic and Fair Trade skin care. With famous fans including Eminem, this soap is lathering its way into British homes with its philosophical labels, certified Fair Trade and organic ingredients and naturalistic quality.
The magic of Dr. Bronner’s is its affordability and versatility, with around 18 uses from 1 bottle of liquid soap (retailing at £4.99 per 236ml bottle). Best used with a cloth, towel, loofah or sponge you can use it to clean your body, your mouth & teeth, your fruit & vegetables, your bathroom and kitchen, your clothes and even claims to clean your pets. It comes in 7 main varieties, the original being the tingly peppermint – “nature’s own unsurpassed fragrant Deodorant” – followed by Lavender, Eucalyptus, Citrus, Almond, Rose, unscented Baby Mild and Tea Tree with antiseptic values which can even be used to treat minor cuts.
The soaps are most popular for at-home washing, but are also the soap of choice for many campers and hikers. They contain no synthetic foaming agents, thickeners, preservatives, fragrances, dyes or whiteners and use 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) cylinder bottles and paper labels. Completely biodegradable, the soaps are made with certified Fair Trade and organic ingredients sourced from India, Ghana, Palestine, Israel, and Sri Lanka.
The 100% Pure Castile Soap recipe used in Dr. Bronner’s soap is a simple, ecological, vegetable based formulation, named after the Castile region of Spain where olive oil soaps where invented long ago. The high foaming lather of the soap is from its high coconut oil content, which makes a more luxurious and rich lather compared to most commonly found detergent formulations. Dr. Bronner’s superfat their soaps with organic hemp and jojoba oils for a milder, smoother lather and use natural plant-derived vitamin E and citric acid to protect freshness. Apart from flavouring organic essential oils such peppermint, the base soap ingredients are Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils**, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.
Every year Dr. Bronner’s gives away a large portion of profits, ranging between 30% to 70% of after tax income to charities working on everything from helping inner city youth go camping, to organic standards enforcement to funding orphanages in poor countries. Since March 2009 in the UK, 20p from the sale of every soap bottle goes to War Child International, a network of independent organisations, working across the world to help children affected by war.
History of the ‘Magic Soaps’
The dramatic exhortations on the labels of the soap packaging come from the mind of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soap maker who spent his life renouncing hate and war on a personal mission to unite mankind. He was born in 1908 to the German-Jewish Heilbronner family, which had been practicing the traditional local craft since 1858. In 1929, Bronner, then aged 21, immigrated to the US working as a consultant soap manufacturer. But following the death of his family in the Holocaust, he embarked on a mission to spread this message of world peace and the dangers of communism and fascism by giving public lectures on these subjects. His strong views landed him in a mental asylum in Chicago but Bronner escaped eight months later in 1948 and continued giving lectures in California. He also began making peppermint liquid soap under the ‘Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps’ brand. He gave away soap during his talks and when he realized people were taking it without listening to him speak, he started writing his philosophy on the bottle in tiny script. These eccentric labels, featuring musings on everything from Hillel to Confucious, are still used today. In the early years the soap enjoyed a small but loyal following. With the emergence of 1960’s counterculture, sales rocketed on word of mouth and the quality. The soaps spread into health food stores across the US, and in recent years into mainstream shops.
Having always used natural ingredients, Dr. Bronner’s became officially certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture in 2003, branching into other organic personal care products in 2005. Today, its products are the top selling organic soap brand in the US and are distributed world wide. Although Dr. Bronner passed away in 1997, his company continued to flourish under his son Ralph, daughter in-law Trudy and grandsons David and Michael. Last year marked the 60th anniversary of Dr. Bronner’s and 150 years (five generations) of his family’s soap making. In a time where CEO compensation can reach as high as 500 times the average worker’s wage, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps remains true to it’s founders’ philosophy of sharing profit with the workers and the earth from which it was made by capping the salaries of the highest paid employees/owner’s at five times that of the lowest paid full time employee.
Dr. Bronner’s is available UK nationwide including Liberty’s and from leading health shops including:
Fresh & Wild