This post is an abridged excerpt from my book Honor Thy Label: Dr. Bronner’s Unconventional Journey to a Clean, Green, and Ethical Supply Chain. On my first drive to Asuom, Ghana in late 2006, in an area that would eventually be host to our organic and fair trade palm project Serendipalm, I met a new plant.
This excerpt from my book, Honor Thy Label, describes how Serendipol, Dr. Bronner’s Sri Lankan supplier of coconut oil, uses every part of the coconut to create a highly ecological operation. A Perfectly Ecological Production After operating Serendipol for some five years and improving trees, soil, and processing, I increasingly marveled at the “inherent sustainability” of the project.
Soon after I first crossed paths with Dr. Bronner’s, when I began the work of transitioning its supply chains to be organic and fair trade, I learned about founder Emanuel Bronner’s determination to use his soap brand to unite and bring peace to the world. A lofty goal, for sure, and one that some companies might have considered a hopeful founder’s story,
In telling our father’s story, it’s hard to know where to begin—with the inventor, the leader, the storyteller, or the humble servant. At heart, he was a passionate soapmaker who had the kind of mastery and instinct that could never be taught. I remember being at a trade show in the mid ‘90s when a retailer came to our booth with a new soap that everyone was raving about.
Mike Bronner speaks with Edwin Gomez about his journey from production line to machine operator to Dr. Bronner’s Director of Operations A version of this interview appears in our 2018 All-One! Report. Where did you grow up? Chicago for two years when I was a baby. We moved to Mexico because of my mom, and then California,
This article is excerpted from Dr. Bronner’s 2017 All-One Report. The human experience is too far out to get your head around. Where did we come from? Why are we here? What is the point of it all? Philosophers, scientists, mystics, astronomers, and anthropologists all agree on one mind-blowing fact: we are all children of a living Cosmic Mystery and miraculous Mother Earth.
In November, I had the honor of speaking to a room full of Project Green Challenge finalists. This is an inspiring group of high school and college students from all over the US, who have all completed a grueling month of “green” challenges and have been selected as finalists for their tremendous efforts and creativity in completing the challenges.
Serendipalm is our sister company in Ghana that supplies us with fair trade & organic palm oil for our soaps. We recently caught up with Safianu Moro, who heads up the team at Serendipalm as Managing Director to learn more about his work there and his vision for the project’s future. How did you come to work at Serendipalm?
Uncle Ralph embodied the heart and soul of our company. While my grandfather inspired from the mountaintop, Uncle Ralph grounded himself on the earth, among the crowds, leading them in song, entertaining them with story, showering them with soap. He could instantly connect with people from all walks of life: everybody was a kindred spirit.
Dr. Emanuel (or Emil) Bronner was a third-generation master soapmaker born into a German-Jewish soapmaking family that had been making soap since 1858. By the turn of the century the family enterprise had expanded to three factories, the largest of which was in Heilbronn, where Dr. Bronner was born in 1909. He was trained in the guild system of the time and received a degree in chemistry.