Metro Mayor Dan Norris found out how the humble bar of soap is making a comeback after being given a makeover by environmentally minded Somerset Toiletry Company - one of Bath and NE Somerset and the world’s biggest and best bath and body product firms.
The first manufactured soap bar entered the market in the 18th century and has remained a hygiene essential ever since. Famous faces like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor are among those who have fronted adverts for the product. However, sales have sadly been slipping in recent years following the introduction of alternatives like liquid hand washes.
Now thanks to The Somerset Toiletry Company, the multi-million-pound Bath and NE Somerset firm, the household staple is experiencing a resurgence and nudging bottled alternatives off the sink.
A key to the family-run company’s success is its emphasis on really sustainable ingredients. The Clutton-based business is one of only a few companies worldwide to use sustainable palm oil certified by experts in their products – meaning 100% of the palm oil used is traceable from locations where there is no threat to endangered species like orangutans.
They’re now producing over 30 different types of super-sustainable soap bars from their new factory in Hallatrow, and sales are skyrocketing. A record 1.4 million soap bars were produced in the past year alone, while sales have risen by nearly 40% over the past 3 years, and even greater success is predicted for 2023. The Somerset Toiletry Company moved soap production from Portugal to Hallatrow during Covid in a bid to decrease their carbon footprint and support local firms.
These vegetable-based soap bars – using traditional fragrances like Verbena and Rose Petal to the sweet scents of Pumpkin Spice and Avocado - are all designed and manufactured here in Bath and NE Somerset, and sold all over the world.
Sakina Buoy, who chairs Somerset Toiletry Company, and her son Zantore (pictured) explained to the Metro Mayor how the company’s mission is to create beautiful soap while reducing their carbon footprint – one reason why all their products use only recyclable packaging and are strictly cruelty-free too.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Barred soap is making a return - and it turns out Bath and NE Somerset is helping lead the way! It was great to visit Somerset Toiletry Company’s new manufacturing home here in Hallatrow - their soap products really are of the highest quality and most importantly, they’re super-sustainable and no animal is harmed at any stage is the production process. That’s really important. It’s so great to see a Bath and NE Somerset-based firm going from strength to strength and representing this area on the global stage. It just goes to show how many brilliant companies we’ve got in our fantastic West of England region.”
Sakina Buoy, added: “It is a great pleasure to have Mayor Dan Norris visit and see the way we are expanding our business. I am thrilled for him to meet the fabulous and dedicated team in our factory who have a passion for making the very best soap. We work hard to ensure Somerset is keeping Britain and the rest of the world clean!”
Founded in 1999, Somerset Toiletry Company products are stocked in over 1,000 shops in almost every town in the UK – as well as over one hundred and fifty countries worldwide.