CLARITY & CO.
As one of the UK's foremost social enterprises, we have been training,
employing and supporting people with disabilities since 1854.
We believe that everyone who can work should be given the opportunity
to do just that. To this end, we have created some of the UK's most
ethical personal care and household brands.
At CLARITY & Co., we craft multi award-winning, luxury bath and beauty products alongside quality, everyday cleaning and toiletry products.
We also offer a full range of ‘private-label’ manufacturing services. As a
result, a workforce that is predominantly blind or otherwise disabled is
able to work and demonstrate its true worth.
Our products are available online and in high street and national retailers.
Buying our products creates work. Every purchase, as an individual or
a business, makes you not just a customer –
but a partner too.
OUR VISION & MISSION
We exist to enhance the lives of people with visual impairments and other disabilities through the creation of meaningful permanent or transitional employment. Redefining the notion of ‘charitable giving’, we are changing perceptions of disability with real and quantifiable impact. We want to achieve this through four ways:
- Enhancing our employees’ lives.
- Offering engaging and diverse employment opportunities.
- Offering excellence in our products and services.
- Challenging societal perceptions of disability through inspiring and convincing influencers.
Our ambition is to see our family of brands present in every kitchen, bathroom and office in the UK – helping reduce the disability unemployment gap and to prove that social enterprise is a realistic and scalable business proposition. We reinvest 100% of our profits, putting change literally in the palm of your hands.
Each year, we create upwards of 10,000 days of employment through product sales and contract manufacture. We can demonstrate how our brands generate social value, litre by litre, bar soap by bar soap. This enables businesses to enhance and measure the impact of their corporate social responsibility policies. Consumers play an equally important role with millions of households creating employment for people with disabilities from the comfort of their own homes.
- Of our over 100 staff members, 80% have a disability or long-term health condition.
- Our diverse workforce reflects the rich ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds of the UK.
- We demonstrate that a largely disabled workforce can be a driving force behind commercially successful organisations.
PROTECTING OUR PLANET
At CLARITY & Co., we take our commitment to protecting the environment extremely seriously. We are always striving to reduce any negative impact on the environment, taking our inspiration from Dame Ellen Macarthur’s Foundation and its work to create a truly Circular Economy. Our brands proudly carry The Planet Mark™ – awarded for our dedication to sustainability and our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by 5% annually. Below are some important steps we have taken to achieve this goal through minimising waste, and maximising resources.
- We reduce, reuse or recycle cardboard boxes and other packaging to decrease wastage.
- We work with suppliers local to our London factory, which keeps down our road miles and means lower carbon emissions.
- We source our ingredients and packaging sustainably whenever it is possible to do so.
- We are always seeking ways to reduce the use of plastics in our supply chain, which includes recycled plastic in The Soap Co. bottles and compostable biofilm. Our BECO. and The Soap Co. bar soaps also bear The Plastic Free Consumer Trust Mark.
- Our semi-automated factory runs on entirely green energy.
A commitment to the future
As we develop new products, you can rest assured we have the planet in mind. We will continue to bring you more products like our BECO. foaming hand wash that saves 88 litres of water when compared to liquid soap, or our The Soap Co. Eco and Bee friendly collection that helps bee colonies thrive by using long-flowering borage and calendula botanicals. Our latest The Soap Co. Collection and our new BECO. range contain either natural, ECOCERT or EU Ecolabel certified ingredients.
And we are always cruelty-free and would never test on animals.
WHO WE HELP
Making our products makes a difference, so does buying them. Find out more about our brands.
Today, nearly 52% of people with disabilities in the UK are in employment, compared to nearly 82% employment rate for people without disabilities. That’s a 30% employment gap – a gap we want to bridge. As a social enterprise we reinvest our profits and more to create work for some of society’s most vulnerable people. Year on year, we want to increase the breath and number of roles we offer.
Of our over 100 staff members:
- Nearly 80% are disabled.
- Over a third are blind or have a visual impairment.
- Nearly 15% have learning differences.
- Over 6% have mental health difficulties.
- Over 5% have a physical disability.
Many of our colleagues have had to overcome severe obstacles to get where they are today – living productive working lives, with all of the benefits this brings in terms of personal and career growth. Meet some of them, who without CLARITY & Co. may have struggled to find meaningful employment simply because of their disability or health condition:
Rosalind's case study.
Stephen's case study.
Our beginnings (1854-1918)
CLARITY & Co was established in 1854 as “The Incorporated Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind” (GWB). Our founder, Elizabeth Gilbert lost her sight at the age of three due to scarlet fever. She believed in enabling blind people to help themselves, and to earn their own living – a mission that continues to this day.
Queen Victoria was our first patron in 1856, providing finances for the factory to open. Other early supporters included Prime Minister Gladstone, the Archbishop of York and Charles Dickens.
Elizabeth first set up a workshop in Holborn, London, employing increasing numbers of blind workers and moving several times including Kings Cross, Shoreditch and Drayton Park until, in 1893, a purpose-built factory was opened in Tottenham Court Road.
Continued growth (1918-2000)
Post 1918, GWB continued to grow, producing baskets, brushes, brooms, upholstery and chair seats, divans and mattresses and something new in 1936 – soap. After WW2, Sir Winston Churchill became a regular donor to the GWB.
A door to door sales organisation was set up and continued for the next 50 years. As the product range grew, we became a pan disability organisation.
In 1998, we opened our Scotland office, which still sells to businesses and households across Scotland today.
2000 to today
In 2013, our production facility relocated to Highams Park, London, and we hired 29 new employees.
In 2015, the luxury The Soap Co. brand was launched. Its Eco and Bee Friendly Collection, including the 100% natural bath and body oils, now retail in prestigious locations such as Fortnum & Mason and John Lewis & Partners. The Soap Co.’s eco hand wash and hand lotions can also be found in a large number of corporate executive bathrooms, and a growing number of Michelin star restaurants.
The Planet Mark™ sustainability certification was obtained in 2017.
To reach a much wider audience, The Soap Co.’s little sister BECO. was born in 2018. Its vegan, biodegradable and water saving range of foaming hand wash and organic bar soaps is available across the UK in Boots, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Co-op.
Our aim is to continue to bring new brands and products to market that meet all the needs of eco-conscious consumers – be they individuals or businesses – whilst never losing our focus on our mission, to get as many people with disabilities into work as is possible. The future will see The Soap Co. entering new luxury markets with its plastic free range in late 2019, and BECO. widening its grip on the high street.
In 2019, we rebranded our organisation to CLARITY & Co. We feel our new name best encapsulates what we stand for: a forward-thinking, pan-disability organisation that doesn’t see disability but workability.
Our Board of Trustees are drawn from many walks of life and bring tremendous commercial expertise in various industry sectors. Together with our dynamic Senior Leadership Team, they help ensure that CLARITY & Co. continues to deliver and improve on its social impact, business successes and governance.
- Clive Jackson - Chair
- David Grace - Treasurer
- Anja Batista Sonksen
- Alessio Balduini
- John Sharman
- Judith Mellor
- Alison Oliver
- Emma Kenelm
- Chiara Liquori
our leadership team
- Chief Executive -
- Head of Manufacturing -
- Head of Sustainable Growth -
- Head of Employment Services -
- Head of Finance -
Alongside the dozens of individual and corporate volunteers who support us, we couldn’t focus on what we do best if it wasn’t for the industry leading support from our partners. They put their professional skills to use for good, helping level out the playing field. In recent years, over and above support has been provided by:
Aspects Beauty, Blackline Creative, Bridge Partnership, Channel Advisor, Cooley, Dan Ross, EIP, Factory Creative, ForPeople, Free the Birds, Global Amenities Direct, Hawk Films, Innus Cosmetics, Innuscience, Lane4, MACE, OMD, Orinoco Communications, Pickle Jar Films, PWC, SHC, Slam Digital, Stephenson Personal Care, Stuart Harper, Tape, TBWA, TCS, Vivida, Weil, Wilmot Dixon.