Around the world today, many impoverished children will die from preventable diseases due to a lack of access to basic hygiene education and products. According to a 2012 report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 children’s lives could be saved every day with something as simple as clean water or a bar of soap.
Your super has helped Soapbox donate nearly 3 million bars of soap, and fund over 6,000 hygiene lessons across the globe.
Soapbox is one of Christian Super’s impact investments through Sovereign’s Capital, which differs from other types of investments (such as shares and property) because they make a positive social or environmental impact in the world, as well as a financial return for our members.
Soapbox was founded in 2010 by David Simnick to tackle a big problem with a simple solution. The company’s mission is “to empower customers to change the world through everyday, quality purchases”.
Soapbox donates a bar of soap to an impoverished child for every bar of soap it sells.
The United States based company sells soap bars, liquid soaps, and body washes in almost 1,000 stores across the U.S. The one-for-one business model also provides new soap, vitamins, and clean water to children and people in need around the world.
How It Works
Each Soapbox product has a different humanitarian outcome associated with it.
For every bar of soap sold, Soapbox works with local soap developers in other countries to produce and donate an unscented bar to a child in need. Unscented soap bars are also donated to nursing homes, women’s shelters and homeless shelters in the U.S.
For each bottle of hand soap sold, Soapbox works with a company called Rain Catcher to provide one month of clean water for a child. And for each bottle of body wash it sells, Soapbox partners with Vitamin Angels to provide a year of vitamins for a child.
By providing useful, personal care products to thoughtful consumers, Soapbox have achieved extraordinary results. In 2018 alone, the company donated over 60,000 bars of soap, 20,000 months of clean-water capability, and 20,000 years of vitamin supplements. This impressive humanitarian relief has impacted countries from Thailand and Kenya to Ecuador and Haiti.
How It All Began
The idea for Soapbox was sparked from CEO, David Simnick’s experience working for a USAID (international development agency) subcontractor in 2009. He saw first-hand the way the government and NGOs helped Third World countries. While wells and filtration systems were installed, making clean water accessible for communities, there was very limited access to any form of soap to support proper, life-preserving hygiene.
After developing the business model and product, Soapbox got their products into one Whole Foods store in the U.S. and sold out five times in two weeks in March 2012. Whole Foods gave them greater distribution and other stores like Harris Teeter, Giant Eagle, Earth Fare, New Seasons Market, My Rouses, and the Vitamin Shoppe soon jumped on board. Since those early days, the company has grown rapidly and is making a significant impact by donating millions of soap bars, funding education programs and unique partnerships.
A Sustainable Model
There are some social-mission companies who believe their products will sell because of the social benefit outcomes alone. While many people may buy social-mission products the first time because they value the social good, the second purchase is dependent on the quality of the product. Soapbox has invested in research, developing high-quality products that consumers buy again and again.
Soapbox products are also sustainably made in the U.S. and packaged in 100% recycled fibres. The company’s philosophy is to do the most good possible and the team strives to take care of the world from product development to business outcomes.
Work with charity partners around the world allows Soapbox to tap into the grassroots knowledge and expertise needed to make a significant impact, quickly. One of the incredible Soapbox charity partners is Urban Light, Thailand. Urban Light rescue kids from the sex trade and helps to rehabilitate them through childhood education and safe accommodation. Soapbox provides free soap at all their centres.
The future of this inspiring company looks bright as they continue to expand their reach, always with the goal of changing lives.