Soapbox Soaps

Written by Claire Nelson

SoapBox Soaps is a mission-based personal care company, offering bar soap, hand soap, body wash, hair care and lotions.

Millions of people—both home and abroad—lack access to soap, clean water, and crucial vitamins. Without proper hygiene, these people regularly run into major health problems.  SoapBox is improving hygiene worldwide by increasing availability of clean water and soap, and increasing awareness for the benefits of good personal hygiene.

SoapBox is extending the right to be clean to those who need it most. Hygiene and health are human rights, and we are dedicated to making a difference through everyday effort, one bar of soap at a time. ”Soap and personal hygiene products are not new, in fact, almost anything that you ever wanted in today’s market place is already available. We are trying to bring a silver lining to all of the consumption that we do through a mission-driven retail company.” says CEO, David Simnick.

Corporate Responsibility

SoapBox is founded on a “one-for-one model done right,” said David.  For each bar of soap sold, a bar of soap is donated.  Similarly, for hair care products, a month of clean water is provided

We don’t just send products overseas, however. Our one-for-one model is more sustainable than similar approaches that have fallen short, because we engage local organizations, networks, nonprofits, suppliers and markets to produce and distribute our product. We partner exclusively with organizations that are moving toward long-term change—not a short-term band-aid—and, in doing so, we ensure we never hurt more than we help.

In total, we have donated soap in several countries reaching four continents. Here in the United States, our products go to food banks, shelters and nursing homes.

SoapBox Soap’s unique packaging has a ‘Hope Code’ which you can enter on our website to learn more about someone across the world who is living a life that may be very different from yours, but also very similar. While an individual who purchases a bar of soap may have never thought of someone in Uganda as their neighbor, the hope code brings our global communities together in a meaningful way. As David puts it, “Our products increase awareness of sustainable development and our global neighbors,”

CR Story

I used to be a subcontractor for the US Agency for International Development and it seemed that a large portion of the aid was not only unsustainable but, in some cases, did more harm than good. So I decided to develop a new model under a belief that customer were increasingly interested in purchasing products that could change the world.

What is beautiful about the SoapBox Soaps one-for-one model is that we can modify our offering from community to community — and we do! With some partners, we produce products locally and then donate directly to organizations in the community. In others we give funds to an organization with deep roots in community, like the slums of Nairobi.  This organization then buys soaps in the marketplace and subsidizes the cost to patients at a local clinic.

We know that we need to be flexible and engage with our community partners, because “cookie cutter” programs implemented across the globe do not work in every market. Each market and partnership has to be approached with open ears and open hearts. We ask them to tell us what is going to work best in their community, not the other way around.