We’ve been hearing this a lot lately. Organic products – particularly organic soap – would be better off if they were more like mainstream, commercial products, especially when it comes to scent. Organic soaps, for instance, don’t all have to smell like the woods. They could smell pretty and clean in the ways more people are used to.
Some Answers Are Simple and Natural
We’re pretty sure why we’re hearing this now. For the past several years, sales of organic products, including skincare, have significantly increased. Those increases have made organic products more visible and have helped to fuel consumer demand for safer and more environmentally sustainable products. Several of the questions we’ve
been asked have easy answers. Since the pretty and clean scents most people are used to are synthetically derived, our organic standards preclude us from using them. Plus, we make several soaps we think have very pretty, non-woodsy scents. And one of the most common responses we hear from people is how clean our soaps smell.
Organic Is the New Black
But those are perceptions from a natural perspective. If you go beyond the natural/synthetic distinction, there’s a larger question raised by what we’ve been hearing, a question of identity. Now that organic skincare products are all the rage and organic is the new black, should organic soap – our soap in particular – change what it is so it can remain all the rage and become, perhaps, even more popular?
The simplest and most direct answer to the question, from an organic perspective, is “No.” In fact, absolutely not. We understand the urgings of the pure market perspective, seizing an opportunity to make the most of it. Marketing is, in fact, a huge part of what we do. Which is why we know that responding to general market trends isn’t the same as doing what’s best for our brand and our customers.
The Non-Easy Path
Organic soap is a commitment, in addition to being a product. It’s a commitment to a stringent set of third-party regulations and to being who we say we are to our customers. It would always be easier to make a product that emerged directly from market research. It would be easier to make it cheaply, quickly, and in mass quantities, rather than meet the standards our products do every day. If we were going to choose the easy path, we’d have done so a long time ago.
Not to mention it would be bad business to change who we are every time the market suggests we should. When you’re known for your commitments – to all-natural ingredients, to consumer well-being and sustainable production – changing all that means you give up the reasons you succeeded in the first place. Most importantly, you lose your position of trust with your customers, something you should never lose.
The Next Big Thing
Because it does seem to be the new black and the next big thing, lots of companies want their products to appear organic (see http://botaniesoap.com/blog/greenwashing- what-it-is-and-why-it-matters/), so it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s only marketing. That’s why we support third-party organic certification and keeping the certification standards high. Doing business that way means consumers don’t have to rely on what companies say about their own products.
The upshot is, there are plenty of synthetic brands out there to meet the desire for non-natural fragrances, whether it’s prettiness, cleanliness, or the scent of a beach-fire barbecue. Ours just won’t be one of them, which is very much on purpose. Truth is, we don’t want to be more like everyone else. We want everyone else to be more like us.
“The Benefits of Organic Soap”
“The Benefits of Using Real, Natural Soap” http://www.naturalnews.com/026110_soap_natural_clay.html#
“Why You Should Use Organic Soap Bars”