The social enterprise, based in London’s East End, employs 115 staff, with approximately 80% of these having some form of disability or long-term health condition – from visual impairments to depression and anxiety, severe epilepsy to hearing difficulties.
All revenues from sales are dedicated to creating meaningful employment and training opportunities and last year an amazing 10,000 days of employment were created – with that figure set to rise dramatically in 2018 as new clients and increased orders flood in.
CLARITY-The Soap Cọ first trialled supplying washrooms at the multinational professional services network, PwC, in 2016. Having been successful, the charity now supplies its CLARITY Everyday hand wash and its premium, luxury, Black Poppy & Wild Fig hand wash from The Soap Cọ range across PwC offices nationwide.
The 300ml bottles of The Soap Cọ hand wash are supplied via facilities management giant, ISS, with over 45,000 staff across the UK. This supports PwC’s strategy of buying from and working with social enterprises, which has also seen them introduce the social enterprise to a number of other large corporations as customers, including both Zurich and Amey who use CLARITY-The Soap Cọ products widely.
“This award-winning social enterprise based in East London employs visually impaired people to make its range of hand washes and hand lotions. So, we are now delighted to say we stock their soap that helps give The Soap Cọ a stable revenue source and its employees secure and supportive jobs,” says Kevin Ellis, Managing Partner, PwC.
In 2017, sales to PwC created an invaluable 77 days of employment for staff working at CLARITY-The Soap Cọ – with that figure set to soar when 2018 statistics are in.
Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) also started using The Soap Cọ products in 2016. Its hand wash and lotion are now used in all its washrooms with a sticker and picture frame explaining to BWB employees and visitors the positive and lasting impact that its purchases have on CLARITY-The Soap Cọ staff.
The Soap Cọ fragrances and products have been very well-received by staff and visitors alike. “We are delighted to be partnering with The Soap Cọ At BWB we have a formal commitment within our procurement policies to purchase from socially responsible businesses. With the great story behind Soap Cọ, it was a natural fit for us,” explains Martin Bunch, Managing Partner.
Camilla Marcus-Dew, Head of Commercial at CLARITY-The Soap Cọ and the founder of The Soap Cọ brand explains: “Our business model dictates that we develop fantastic relationships with all the key facilities management companies servicing the major distributors into the business sector. We are currently partnering with ISS, Sodexo, Interserve, Mitie and Apleona with CLARITY, The Soap Cọ – and new brand, BECỌ – ranges, ensuring that the supply chain has access to our social value-creating products that not only are good but that do good too.”
“We want to disrupt and challenge perceptions of disability and at the same time show that as a social enterprise we can compete with the biggest players in this sector. As more and more organisations come to understand the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, we are ready to capitalise on this increased awareness.”
Accenture, the global consultancy firm, is another exemplar of a corporate that has embraced both the ethos and great products of CLARITY-The Soap Cọ At its London headquarters, Accenture employees and visitors use the CLARITY Apple and Almond hand wash in their dispensers – topped up by the social enterprise’s bulk 5L containers.
CLARITY-The Soap Cọ has been working with Accenture and its facilities management provider, GVA, since 2016 to supply their bathrooms and washrooms. “Using CLARITY soap has made our supply chain more diverse, which is core to Accenture’s values. It’s the first time we’ve received compliments about the hand wash in our bathrooms – the soap is truly of great quality!” explains Linda Wickstrom, UK Corporate Citizenship Programmes Specialist.
Finally, Wilson Vale was created with an ethos of having happy employees, buying locally and supporting local communities. It manages catering and hospitality at Conference Aston which receives 55,000 visitors a year with CLARITY-The Soap Cọ products used in the venue’s public bathrooms. Wilson Vale believed that the quality, design and back story to The Soap Cọ hand wash reflected its shared ethos and enhanced the delegate experience. There are plans to introduce the soap to the en-suite bathrooms as well.
“Ethical sourcing has been part of our DNA since we established Wilson Vale in 2002. The majority of our 250 suppliers are small producers who share our values. The Soap Cọ is a perfect example of a supplier with a strong CSR story that is making a big impact on the community,” explains Andrew Wilson, co-founder of Wilson Vale.
“In 2018, we are expanding our sales force and recruiting more business development managers. Our relationships with the FM world have never been stronger and we are finding that our no compromise approach to suppling sustainable products that literally put social change in people’s hands is having more and more resonance,” concludes Camilla Marcus-Dew. “I believe that the business world is ready to take up the opportunity of using soaps in offices UK-wide that they can proudly say help people with a range of disabilities into meaningful employment.” thesoapco.org