BECO: the brand changing lives

Wednesday, November 28th 2018 0

How we can all work together to help

A few weeks ago over dinner, I was catching up with an old friend and I happened to mention the fact that my brother is autistic. She listened to his story and then told me her own, that she was representing a beauty brand called Beco.

Beco, short for Better Considered, is a soap brand created by a team with disadvantages, disabilities or visual impairments. The business is a social enterprise and creates jobs for those who would otherwise struggle to secure them.

BECO Soap

If 5% of UK homes switched their regular hand wash or soap for Beco, coming in at £3 and £4, we would create 2,000 new jobs. It’s in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, the Co-op and now John Lewis, so the reach is endless. I went for a tour of the factory to learn more.

beco factory walthamstow

To begin my day, I met the co-founders of Beco. Diane was full of enthusiasm about everything from the products themselves (organic, hypoallergenic, SLS and Paraben free, biodegradable on the inside, recycleable on the outside) to the stories of the people that work there. Camilla had a very personal connection to the brand which I won’t share, but her dedication to making a change in the landscape for people with disabilities was extraordinary.  I was really taken by both of them, and went on to meet some of the teams themselves.

Michael has visual impairments had progressed to a team leader role recently, having been in in the factory for four and a half years. He was made redundant from his job of 35 years before that, and said that he was in a bad place. “It’s given me my life back”, he said of working in the factory.

Ozzie manages the production of their soaps, and kindly allowed us to make our own soaps!

beco factory walthamstow

Michael spotted us doing our tour and was smiling at us before we even reached him. When we came over to meet him, he wanted to know each of our names and what we did. He was so unbelievably friendly. Michael is responsible for packing orders that come in every day and is known for being really smiley among the team.

BECO Soap

Stephen from Manufacturing travels two hours each way to come to work each day. He told us the story of flooding the room in foam when he accidentally used cold water instead of hot water when mixing a batch of soap! Everyone had such a brilliant sense of humour, and there was no such thing as a wrong turn. The whole environment was completely positive.

Jasmine is Ricky’s guide dog, and she relaxes at the factory while he works his shift. She goes for a big walk every day through the Epping Forest to keep herself busy, and barks when she feels the time has come for her walk!

guide dog jasmine

So… what can we do, and how can we help?

It really is as simple as making a conscious effort to replace our everyday soaps and try Beco instead. If we could regularly do this, they will be able to create more and more jobs and support people in this way. Less than 20% of people who are registered blind are employed. Clarity, the charity that Beco sits under, wants to change that.

BECO Soap

For £3 and £4, just give them a try. I’ve been using mine for quite some time now and they’re lovely, simple and effective. I even have the bars in the shower.

I really hope you might consider supporting a brand like Beco this Christmas and turning to them for your stocking fillers! EVERYTHING is made or sealed by hand and on each bottle or bar you have the names of the people who made it. You can literally see who you have made a difference to with every purchase.

BECO Soap

Be sure to visit their website to learn more and read some more of their amazing team stories.

www.betterconsidered.org

Shop the range here

All images my own, taken with permission, or used from the @Beco.UK Instagram page.

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