[Editors' Choice Winner: Beauty and Natural Living]
Soap. It’s a simple product that the average American buys regularly. It isn’t, by nature, innovative or inspiring. But what if you could make a difference with that simple purchase? What if a bar of soap could create a global movement? That was the impetus behind the 2012 launch of SoapBox Soaps. This standout brand isn’t just associated with a mission, it has a mission at its core. Soap = Hope.
For the young, inspiring entrepreneurial team behind Alexandria, Virginia-based SoapBox Soaps, these two words support the powerful idea that consumerism really can have a positive impact. And despite the challenges of running a mission-first brand, SoapBox has never been more committed to creating change through natural products.
Since launching its line of bar soaps with a one-for-one model (for each bar sold, one would go to a child in need), CEO and Co-Founder David Simnick’s vision has been clear: to make SoapBox “a household name that brings authentic quality products which genuinely make a difference.” This idea seems to be the very backbone of the natural products world. Yet few companies, even in an industry fueled by passion and purpose, have executed conscious business with SoapBox’s authenticity and aptitude.
This is a company whose growth is easy to root for because the bigger Soapbox gets, the more good it can do. Today, SoapBox donates bars of soap, fresh water, and vitamin supplements to children across the globe. As it continues to expand its offerings—introducing liquid soap and body wash, with skin care on the way—it carefully assesses potential charity partners by looking at everything from the organization’s practices to whether the cause is aligned with the SoapBox brand and products. The company also has proven the importance of adjusting its practices to improve its mission—it has grown from a one-for-one model to a more comprehensive approach that focuses on educating and empowering people within third-world countries, rather than just shipping products.
Consumer education is top of mind for the company, too. As SoapBox moves beyond the natural marketplace to have a broader reach—and grow its impact—Target and Costco have become two of its largest retail accounts. The company has simplified its messaging to make it relatable and desirable to all consumers at the point of purchase.
But SoapBox’s focus on quality doesn’t stop at mission. The company is dedicated to creating a product with the purity, ingredients, and performance that meet the same high standards it uses in vetting its charity partners. SoapBox recognizes that, while mission is a compelling hook, a quality product is what brings the consumer back.
Every year at Natural Products Expo West, editors and trend researchers from New Hope Natural Media and Sterling-Rice Group scour the show floor to find the products and brands they predict will shape the future of the natural products industry. The best of the best receive NEXTY nominations, which recognize the companies that embody not only the most innovative edge of the natural products industry, but also its deeply held social and environmental values. www.nextknows.com