We chatted with do-gooder Bridget Hilton, cofounder of Jack’s Soap, which helps people and animals through a simple mission: Save lives. When you buy a bar of the company’s vegan soap, a bar is donated to a child in need. From production to distribution, Jack’s Soap sets its standards high and delivers a quality, compassionate product. Check out the Q&A, and get inspired:
What was the inspiration behind Jack’s Soap?
My cofounder, Ben, and I have always wanted to start our own business. We didn’t know quite what it would be but knew it had to be something that helped others. With the new regime of socially conscious companies like TOMS and Warby Parker, we discovered there was an obvious void for a [socially responsible] company to help with a major problem—hygiene. We did our research, and it turns out that soap is the cheapest and most effective way to prevent disease—and that there was a huge need for it in Third World countries. We knew immediately it was the right company to start to help as many people as we can.
How does Jack’s Soap save lives?
We have created a company that is 360 degrees of good—starting with the product being vegan, cruelty-free, organic, sourced and made locally here in the United States and packaged in recycled materials. From there, we work with soap makers in Third World countries to provide a bar of soap for every bar sold in the U.S. This way we are supporting the local economy in a sustainable way as well as reducing our carbon footprint. Providing soap is not enough, however—we’re working on a behavioral change with children to change their futures. Five thousand children under the age of 5 die per day because of diseases that can be prevented by simply washing their hands. This is a huge issue to tackle, but we are ready to deliver. Plus, our soap smells amazing, so you can’t go wrong there!
Why was it important to you to create a product that was cruelty-free?
It was very important to us to make sure our products were all vegan and cruelty-free. To have the support of PETA and the [PETA] logo on our packaging is a badge of honor—our customers can be assured we hold our products to high standards. There is no need for animal products in skin care and certainly no need to test on them! It’s a very old-school and cruel approach that should be stopped—we love animals at Jack’s.
What one piece of advice would you offer activists who are looking for a way to help people and animals?
I would say for entrepreneurs or corporate leaders, there is no reason why your company can’t contribute somehow to the well-being of animals. Donate a portion of your proceeds or have a companywide volunteer initiative. Make sure none of your products are tested on animals, even if you are just a distributor. As far as helping people, hold your products and your employees to a high standard so your customers will be happy. We are now living in a world that is transparent—your customers will see and appreciate your efforts on behalf of animals and those who are less fortunate.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.