The hospitality industry throws away billions of bars of gently used soap into landfills every single year. Sundara takes those bars before they hit the trash and cleans and sanitizes them so they are pathogen-free, can not transmit disease and are fit for use again. We employ a holistic approach to soap recycling, relying on community members for leadership, giving dignified jobs to underprivileged women and focusing on intensive hygiene education in a sustainable movement to reduce preventable hygiene related death and disease.
We believe in getting the community involved to solve their own hygiene issues. We hire locals as our employees and community hygiene ambassadors. We listen to them and allow them to create our hygiene modules to be culturally effective. Education is a lot more powerful if it comes from someone who looks like you, speaks your language and has had shared experiences.
Women in the countries we work face difficulties in finding dignified jobs, so we insist that our employees are women from underprivileged backgrounds. We want to empower them not only economically but socially, giving them positions of power as community hygiene ambassadors. Local women are our biggest allies in reducing preventable hygiene related deaths.
We don’t believe in handouts – we are encouraging a societal shift in every community we work in. We do that by having our female hygiene ambassadors conduct regular free hygiene demonstrations to teach adult and children alike about soap's uses and its importance. This knowledge is really what empowers that community and allows good hygiene habits to stick.
Soap waste saved: 45,600 kg
Bars of Soap Made: 132,000
Classroom lessons taught: 3,005
Schools We've Served: 61
Children reached: 16,000
Total Lives Impacted: 20,000
Through recycling soap, we’ve rescued thousands of kilograms of waste from ending up in overcrowded landfills – but more importantly we’ve brought soap to those who couldn’t afford it, given economic opportunity to unemployed women and seen increased rates of hand washing in all the communities we work in.