A sustainable dream-turned-reality

Friendly Soap co-founder and director Geoff Kerouac reflects on the brand’s ‘journey to ethical excellence’.

Time has a really strange way of moving faster than it seems possible. I remember 2008 like it was yesterday: Barack Obama was elected as president; the summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing; and The Dark Knight took the cinema world by storm. It was also the year that we began our journey as Friendly Soap.

It all started from a simple idea between two friends (myself and co-director Rob Costello), to create an eco-soap company that prioritizes ethics over profit. Right from the start, we had a clear vision of what we wanted to become: an ethical and eco-friendly soap company that is not just another business but a force for positive change in the world. We set out to make eco-friendly soap bars that were affordable and accessible to all, proving that good ethics don’t need to come with a higher price tag.

Ethical business practices go beyond merely being a selling point

Even now, a decade and a half later, our mission has remained the same – to create natural soap bars that are not only good for the skin but have a positive impact on people, animals and the environment. We recognized that true sustainability is about working with nature and acting responsibly to lower the impact on the choices we make, ensuring that everything we create is free from plastic, cruelty and harmful chemicals. So, we embarked on a quest to source the best natural and sustainable ingredients for our eco soap bars. It hasn’t always been easy and there have certainly been challenges to overcome, but we persevered, ensuring each handmade soap bar remained gentle on the skin and the planet.

One of our proudest accomplishments, which truly sets Friendly Soap apart, is our commitment to a plastic-free future. Witnessing the overwhelming plastic pollution crisis, we knew we had to take a bold stance. It wasn’t just about eliminating plastic from our products; we wanted to lead by example, showing the world that sustainable alternatives were not only possible but also profitable. And I couldn’t be prouder to say that we have! So far, we have saved over nine million bottles from ending up in landfill or our oceans – a testament to our incredible customers who have joined us in showing that there is a demand for eco-friendly options.

Throughout this 15-year journey, we’ve learned that ethical business practices go beyond merely being a selling point – they’re the core of our identity. We’ve discovered that success should be measured by the positive change we bring, not just in terms of revenue, but in enriching the lives of our customers and the planet.

We’ve shattered the traditional norms of the health and hygiene industry, proving that responsible choices can lead to real change

As we look back on the challenges we’ve faced, we realize that sustainability is a long-term commitment. Staying ahead of the game requires constant innovation and a willingness to adapt. We listened intently to our customers, identifying emerging trends and changing needs, which in turn allowed us to stay relevant and continuously improve our products. Collaboration has also been key to our success – supporting like-minded causes and charities such as Slow The Flow and Just A Drop has amplified our positive impact both locally and on a global scale.

Our 15-year journey is proof of the transformative power of ethical business practices and sustainability. Our story is not just about making eco-friendly soap bars; it’s a tale of unwavering determination and passion to make a real difference in the world. We’ve shattered the traditional norms of the health and hygiene industry, proving that responsible choices can lead to real change.