A sporadic column looking into the goings-on at America's favorite hippie soap company.
Have you ever spaced out in the shower marveling at the label on the Dr. Bronner's bottle? Or tried all 18 suggested uses for their castile soap (or two or three or four of them)? Or peeked into Dr. Bronner-related social media accounts, hoping for glimpses into the inner lives of the people responsible for this splendid yet bizarre soap that started on the fringes but has more than doubled its revenue in the past six years? I have, and this column will be an occasional look — through the internet — into what's going on over there.
Using it as Shampoo
Last week on the Dr. Bronner's blog, content editor Rafi Loiderman published "A Definitive Guide to Washing Your Hair With Dr. Bronner's," in part to address the hundreds of comments on Lisa Bronner's 2010 post "From Shampoo to Soap: My Story."
Some hair takes to the Dr. Bronner's routine right away with no transition, which is great! But if you are like most, you may need to withstand a few weeks of bad hair in order to reach the promised land. The reward is a completely natural hair routine, and for many, the softest, silkiest hair they have ever experienced.
Makes me want to give it another shot.
The Annual Company Report
On March 1, Dr. Bronner's released its engaging 2017 "All-One! Report." Here's a screen-grab of its introduction:
Also on the document's opening page, CEO David Bronner summarized the company's history:
(He also described this story in a November 2016 post, "How This Whole Crazy Trip Started.")
In new-product news, Dr. Bronner's will be producing a travel-sized version of their peppermint toothpaste, shipping to distributors July 1, and (as of December 2016) there's also the Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm:
David Bronner ... created [it] ... a few years ago to heal his own aches and pains from surfing. Soon enough, he started giving the stuff out to friends and family to help treat their backaches and arthritis, and they urged him to bring the product to market.
It's described as "ideal for athletes, parents, farmers and everyday folks who need effective relief" and is apparently good for everything from insect bites and menstrual cramps to headaches and old tattoos.
Organic Farming & Climate Change
Earlier this month, David Bronner posted a 7,000-word editorial on the Dr. Bronner's blog advocating for regenerative organic farming, and on March 8, the company, as part of the Climate Collaborative, co-hosted the "first ever Climate Day," at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim. The event was designed to provide "tools, information and inspiration" for other companies to "take meaningful action to reverse climate change."
Social and Other Media
David Bronner is also on Twitter, although as of March 16 it appears he hasn't posted for almost two years (the bio says that it's a "placeholder" account, but I'm not sure how recent that is). The company's official Twitter account, on the other hand, has nearly 40,000 followers and posts several times a day.
In January, Dr. Bronner's released an album: "Sisters & Brothers: Recordings of Dr. E.H. Bronner," which is available on vinyl as a limited-edition LP in the Dr. Bronner's shop, and which they excerpted on Instagram:
Our new Sisters & Brothers album—featuring recently unearthed recordings of Emanuel Bronner discussing his eclectic, philosophical Moral ABC—is now available online! Order an album of your own via our bio link! All proceeds will benefit Jail Guitar Doors, an international non profit that provides prisoners with instruments and access to music education & programming for use in rehabilitation.
A New Website
In February, the company debuted a website redesign (it's beautiful and filled with fascinating corners), and although this isn't news, you can buy DVD copies of "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox," the 2006 Dr. Bronner's documentary, there, too. (It's also available via Netflix DVD.) Here's the trailer (also here):
Poking around in their updated online shop, I couldn't resist ordering this tie-dye t-shirt as well as the unscented version of that magic balm.
Until next time...