Dr. Bronner’s Soap: Lathering Up the Fair Pay Conversation

Dr. Bronner’s Soap: Lathering Up the Fair Pay Conversation

If you’ve used Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, you remember it for one of two reasons: (1) It is probably the best soap you’ve ever used; or (2) What the heck is up with those soap bottle labels?

Dr. Bronner’s soap labels are legend. Designed by the company’s founder, Emanuel Bronner (1908-1997), a third-generation German soapmaker and eccentric philosopher; he used his liquid soap labels as, well, a soap box of sorts. Covered with messaging, every inch of the soap labels resonate with his simple “All One” dictum: love each other, take care of each other, and be truthful.

The company, now run by Bronner’s grandchildren, says it will continue to use its grandfather’s original labels, with the exception of limited edition labels, like the one the company just released over minimum wage.

“When a person working 40 hours a week can’t cover the basic costs of living, there’s something deeply wrong with our economic system,” David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer of Dr. Bronner’s wrote in The Huffington Post.

“Paying workers fairly isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s what makes our communities and businesses thrive: happy employees mean lower turnover and higher productivity, and results in workers who make more and spend more, which puts money back into the economy, rather than force them to get by on public assistance programs,” says Bronner.

And the Bronner family isn’t just rallying for better wages for others; it says that it compensates its staff “fairly,” as well as caps executive compensation at five times the company’s lowest paid position. Dr. Bronner’s also allocates a percentage of profits to “support and advance progressive causes,” says the company.

Known for supporting numerous causes, from legalization of hemp to labeling GMOs, Dr. Bronner’s is on the Steering Committee of the D.C. for $15 campaign and has pledged $500,000 to minimum wage battles around the country.

“We believe a multi-tiered regional approach based on local costs of living and purchasing power, phased in over time and benchmarked to inflation once fully implemented, is the fairest policy with the best chance of passing at the federal level,” says Bronner.

The company has partnered with The Fairness Project, aimed at boosting the federal minimum wage to at least $12 by 2020.

The limited edition Fair Pay Today label soaps are hitting stores now.

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image: Jill Ettinger