As we close the decade, we wanted to give an in-depth view of our collective impact beyond the numbers. When we started in 2013, there was a wave of businesses embarking on the "buy one-give one model". We knew right away that we didn't want to do this because simply giving soap away is not impactful. How can we guarantee children are actually using the soap properly? How can we constantly replenish the supply of soap? How can we ensure that we're still helping stimulate the local economy if we're giving an essential away for free?
So this year, instead of providing the number of children who received a bar of soap, or the number of women who we employ, or the number of hotel bars recycled, we wanted to show you how true impact is defined by working collectively in a greater eco-system. This means ensuring that our outcomes are sustainable, measurable, and fits into other local non-profits' initiative to achieve the same outcome- lifting a community out of poverty in a sustainable manner.
WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2020?
In 2019, we further defined our company values and decided to center it completely around sustainability. We plan to further execute this in 2020. For us, this means:
Operating as a "sustainable first" business: Ensuring that anything from ingredient sourcing to packaging to shipping (and everything in between) is thoughtfully carried out to minimize our carbon footprint.
- Supporting "sustainable first" non-profit initiatives: As noted in our video, we define impact by its sustainability or its ability to generate a long-lasting, positive impact. Another priority is to fund initiatives that incorporate an earth-friendly sustainability element too. We are working with our partners in Uganda to do this in 2020.
We personally feel that there's still alot of improvement that we as a small business can do to be a more "sustainable first" company in our business operations. To be completely transparent, this will increase our business costs and we plan to divert some funds that would otherwise go towards non-profit initiatives to achieve this. However, we have been consistently donating more than 20% of our profits to the non-profit vision, so we expect to still achieve the 20% threshold. Note that since b.a.r.e. soaps is a part-time passion project, nobody needs to be paid a salary, so when we say profit, we mean revenue less business operating expenses that mostly include cost of goods, light advertising costs during the holidays, and shipping/warehousing costs.
Thank you so much again for your support this year. We continue to be humbled by the support our little business generates every year.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to our non-profit partners - Point Community Church who helps support the Carepoint in Kaberamaido, Uganda and Sundara Fund who helps coordinate the effort in Kalwa, India. So much of achieving sustainable impact is working with a great non-profit partner who has the vision and ability to execute on that vision!
Here's to an even more impactful 2020!