The Soap Co
Over the last couple of years we have sold some fantastic skincare and soap products, however these were coming from other parts of the globe. Although they were made in the country of origin and adhered to all our principles, it seemed wrong to be shipping in a product that we could source in the UK.
Our hunt for a British made skincare brand was on. Now we know there are many wonderful brands made here in the UK, but sometimes finding the right one for Luna & Curious is actually quite difficult, too often you discover a gem and find out the shop down the road is selling it.
That's why we were so excited when we Kaoru stumbled across The Soap Co on a internet ramble one Sunday night, (many products have been found in this way over the years).
Quick as lightening we arranged a visit to meet with Louisa & Mathilde at The Soap Co, and even luckier the factory is based in Highams Park, just a quick jaunt in the car.
We really didn't know what to expect, all we knew was that The Soap Co is a social enterprise that create employment for people who are blind or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged. Waiting in the small reception we are chatting away to Kevin who is staffing the desk, with his guide dog, within five minutes we know his whole life story.
Some more office rooms, then a canteen, then these doors open to 'the factory', a gleaming hub of activity, and its much bigger than we thought, a real Willy Wonka moment. We laughed as over the tannoy we heard Kevin announce that 'There are visitors on the factory floor', it felt like a royal visit.
Our tour guide was the factory foreman, he is visually impaired, and oversees the general activity of the day as well as packing online orders. What we soon discovered was that The Soap Co, is actually part of Clarity, who since 1854 have been providing employment for blind people. They make such a vast array of products under the Clarity brand, from car cleaning products, pet shampoos and soaps and skincare. As well as also making for many other companies.
We met Steve and Steve who mix in all the ingredients in stainless steel vats, another Willy Wonka moment. We saw the soap being handmade and cut, we were overexcited by the brass press mould which shapes and stamps the soaps. Saw the bottling run and the cellophane wrapping machine, (lest we say is we wanted one). At every stage we were greeted with such enthusiasm and the employees proudly explained their tasks.
That afternoon we came back to the shop totally invigorated and are thrilled to be a stockist of The Soap Co. Since our visit we have been working closely with Louisa, Mathilde and Camilla who all came to Clarity via the On Purpose scheme, a programme that places people in purpose-led organisations, as well as offering mentoring to help establish your career in purpose-led career.