2 bottles of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, new bottle on left, old bottle on right, May 2020.
design family history observations

Dr. Bronner’s Gets a Facelift

Have you heard of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap? It’s liquid soap that can be used for pretty much anything, whether as a body wash and shampoo or as a household cleaner. We prefer the Hemp Peppermint variety. The soap is all organic, with Certified Fair Trade ingredients.

The funkiest thing about this soap is the packaging, specifically the label. When you purchase a bottle, you get a spiritual/philosophical tome of very tiny print that covers the label. Through it, Dr. Bronner attempts to impart the “Moral ABC that unites all mankind free, instantly 6 billion strong & we’re All-One.”

The label also provides the history of Dr. Bronner’s soap manufacturing business, including the point of the labels:

“Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third generation German-Jewish soapmaker. He used the labels on his ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides or perish: “We are All-One or None!” The business continues to be run by his family.”

A few weeks ago, our bottle of Dr. Bronner’s was running low, so I ordered a 2-pack online. When the soap arrived, I immediately noticed a difference in the packaging. In large letters at the top, the new label says, “HEAL EARTH!” Other than that, I paid no significant attention to the new label until we finished the old bottle and I set it down next to one of the new bottles.

2 bottles of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, new bottle on left, old bottle on right, May 2020.
2 bottles of Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, new bottle on left, old bottle on right, May 2020.

 

2 bottles of Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, (back sides) new bottle on left, old bottle on right, May 2020.
2 bottles of Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap, (back sides) new bottle on left, old bottle on right, May 2020.

My bifocaled eyes are relieved by the new label, which features text that is larger and more spacious than the old label. Though the bottle still contains a tome of information, the theme is different. Now the text is all about saving “Spaceship Earth” and contains messages like “Love Your Farmer,” “Sow Political Seeds of Hope!” “Wash with Clean Soap,” “Fungi Is Family!” and “Boycott “Bad Meat.””

With this environmental theme, you can bet the label discusses climate change, suggesting we “cool the climate crisis” by engaging in organic agricultural practices. The soap is still organic, but Dr. Bronner’s goes a step further, with the company being a founding member of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, which created a certification standard, called Regenerative Organic Certification, “with guidelines for soil health and land management, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness.” (The text in quotes here is from the bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, but you can visit the link to find more info on Regenerative Organic Certification.)

I’ve always loved the quirky text on Dr. Bronner’s soap, but this was a good update to the packaging. Very timely in terms of the environmental message and still in keeping with the original Dr. Bronner’s philosophy. His 5th Cosmic Principle (according to the bottle) is “Treat Earth Like Home!”

Indeed!

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