Someone Call the Doctor

Someone Call the Doctor

I’d been resisting it for more than 40 years, since the early ‘80s when I first started using it. And I wasn’t really looking forward to it now, aging eyes and tiny-tiny type wrapped around a bottle that surely would require a lot of rotating by hand and squinting.

That’s how I approached my self-imposed assignment of reading ALL the copy on the Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle. I’d started before, then stopped, then started again – you get the idea – but never read all the copy through, let alone in one sitting. So I finally did it, reading ALL the copy on my 16-oz bottle of hemp peppermint soap. Here’s what I took away from it.

• Company founder Emmanuel Bronner definitely operated on a different and higher plane.

• Some passages were challenging to comprehend, compounded by the tiny type, and will require a second (or more) reading, a bit like a philosophy text in college. Of course that’s in keeping with the label's 7th Moral ABC: Repetition is the key to knowledge.

• Emanuel could have used a good copy editor.

• His message of “All-One” is as relevant today as it was when he founded the company in 1948: "In all we do, let us be generous, fair & loving to Spaceship Earth and all its inhabitants. For we're All-One or None!"

This year the company celebrates 75 years of soapmaking and peacemaking. The company is still family owned and operated and blazes an emblematic path in the world of social and environmental impact. For instance, it's a pioneer in corporate health care benefits coverage for psychedelics, plus it just introduced new sustainable packaging that’s pretty cool – it reduces plastic use by 82%. These are two small examples that cover the immense range of impact Dr. Bronner’s creates – its B Impact Assessment (B Corp) score of 206.7 has got to be an all-time record. Amazing, too, that the label design and moral precepts have pretty much stayed the same since they were first applied to the bottle.

The peppermint soap still feels as tingly and refreshing as it did when I was introduced to it as a guide on a wilderness river where we had to use biodegradable soap – not many options 40 years ago. Glad I was introduced to it then and happy to clean up with a company working intentionally to improve the world.

If you don't want to read the entire label, I recommend the company's impact report.

Godspeed, friends.


Quick Hits

• Friends with Benefits. We wrote about Anthropic, a public benefit corporation building next-generation AI, in our "Friends with Benefits" issue. For a deeper dive, check out this New York Times article on the company.

• Viva la Vida! Coldplay - yes, that Coldplay, released a sustainability report for its Music of the Spheres World Tour. A lot of good stuff there.

• Lathering Up, Vol 2. Keeping the cleanliness thread going, if you're looking for a great bar of olive-oil soap, try Sitti, a social enterprise that supports refugee education and employment by selling their handmade beauty products. (Full disclosure: I'm a customer and a volunteer advisor to Sitti.)

Trivia Time

Other companies generally call them "corporate values." Not Dr. Bronner's – it is guided by six "Cosmic Principles." Which of the following is actually one of Dr. Bronner's Cosmic Principles?

  • Play Hard/Grow!
  • Treat the Earth like a spaceship
  • Work for peace to bring release
  • Fund & fight for what's right!
  • Free your mind and the body will follow

Today's trivia answer can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.‌‌‌‌

Find the Most Meaningful Work of Your Career

Our partner One Work has you covered with meaningful work that goes beyond a paycheck, a cubicle, or a weekly team Zoom call. In this week's "Government Embraces the Digital Now" edition, you'll find purposeful jobs like those below, along with many more at the One Work website.

• NAVA - Working for the public benefit with this public benefit corporation that helps make government services simple, effective, and accessible to all.  Events Manager, Washington, DC.

•  ANTHROPIC - Here's your opportunity to work for the public benefit AI company mentioned earlier in the newsletter.  Customer Success Manager, San Francisco, CA.

• findhelp - No surprises with the literal name here, you'll work for a company whose mission is to help more than 100,000 people each month do just that: find help, from housing to healthcare. Product Marketing Manager, Austin, TX.

Check out One Work's full roster of purposeful jobs with mission-driven companies and organizations.‌‌‌‌‌

Trivia Answer‌

Okay, so we completely made up some and riffed on a couple of real ones as well. You're cosmically correct if you guessed, "Fund & fight for what's right!"  All six Cosmic Principles are listed below.

  • Work Hard/Grow!
  • Do right by customers
  • Treat employees like family
  • Be fair to suppliers
  • Treat the Earth like home
  • Fund & fight for what's right!

Have an interesting social impact tool, idea, or trivia question you'd like to share? Reply to this newsletter and let me know - I'd love to hear about it. You can also hit me up at

Also - please don't hesitate to forward this to a friend you think would benefit from it - thank you!

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