Dr. Bronner’s has long been one of my favorite products, earning a place in my kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and the garden, and anywhere else that might need a little cleanliness. Why do I, and a billion other people, love Dr. Bronner’s so much? Let’s count the ways:
- Healthful on the inside and outside: edible oils like olive, coconut, hemp, and jojoba oils are the base (not animal fats, like most mainstream soaps)
- Biodegradable and safe: the soap is made from all natural ingredients so it’s not dangerous to our environment. Many other soaps are made with petrochemicals, synthetic detergents, fake fragrances, fillers, and anti-bacterial components that can damage watershed health (and no one really knows what exposure to these untested chemicals do to our own bodies). Dr. Bronner’s is good for your daily shower and shampoo, but it’s also perfect to use when camping, in the garden, or at the beach. It works to wash laundry or the toilet, but it’s gentle: safe for use with babies (note that Johnson & Johnson finally conceded to a global reformulation of their baby shampoo after pressure from a number of non-profits over the presence of formaldehyde and other possible or likely carcinogens in their baby shampoo…best just to use organic stuff to begin with, eh?).
- Organic and Fair-Trade: They source their coconut, palm, and peppermint oils from their own operations in Sri Lanka, Ghana, and India, respectively. This ensures that the farmers and workers get paid a fair price for their labor and goods abroad, but they also have progressive pay scales and benefits at their California production plant.
Dr. Bronner’s classic liquid soaps come in many lovely flavors, including lavender, rose, citrus, almond, tea tree, eucalyptus, unscented for baby, and the tingly-in-a-good-way peppermint. They also have a line of bar soaps, body lotion, shave cream, lip balm and all sorts of other goodies for the body. And if you can’t get your fill of Dr. Bronner’s in the shower, they have recently begun selling a line of organic, fair-trade coconut oil that is perfect for all your coconut-flavored cooking and body care.
But this is not just a feel-good marginal brand: Dr. Bronner’s is the best selling brand of natural soap in the country, and the company is on track to reach $100 million in gross revenue in five years, according to this article in Inc. Magazine. They have been in business for decades, and the company continues to grow significantly every year. You can find their whole product line in their online store or at natural foods stores, and even at Target!
Andrea Devon Bertoli is a vegetarian chef, health & cooking instructor for Manis Kitchenworks, surfer, yogi, and blogger based on the gathering isle of Oahu. Follow her growing, baking, and eating adventures at BakeryManis.com.
Photo courtesy Kevin on Flickr Creative Commons
Andrea Devon Bertoli is a vegan chef, teacher, blogger, and yogi based on the gathering isle of Oahu. Follow her foodie adventures at Vibrant Wellness Journal and Manis Kitchenworks.