As our Community Bar program has grown, we've been receiving more questions from all of you on how our Community Bar works and what it does, so we put together this handy FAQ for you.
A Community Bar is soap that cares. We started our Community Bar program in 2019 as a way to give back to charities and not-for-profits on a regular basis, throughout the year, and $1 from every community bar sold goes to support those partners who we decide on at the beginning of the year. We already had our monthly Feature Soap, that we'd been making for over a decade, so why not make it for a cause? When we started making a limited edition Feature Soap, it was an exciting and fun way for our development team to experiment with new ingredient combinations with the stipulation that we use local ingredients as much as possible. It’s an avenue for innovation and exploration for us at Rocky, and we’re so happy to now share that bar with great causes.
Our Community Bar program primarily supports organizations with a social mission and causes that focus on health and wellness proactive programs as well as Canadian environment and nature conservation, like Nature Conservancy Canada or Spirit North, our 2020 partners. It’s part of our giving strategy. There is a committee that meets once a year to determine which organizations we’ll support in a given year and then they map it out and keep us on track with quarterly meetings. We do leave room for spontaneous requests but when these come up, they are assessed based on the greatest need in the community and what our company owners and employees hold close to their heart.
That depends on the soap. When we can, we like to collaborate with the not-for-profit or charity partner to determine the best ingredients that will tell their story. Like our Spirit North Bar, for example, that was made in collaboration with Spirit North. The ingredients include local Labrador Tea, which has a long history with Indigenous peoples for its medicinal properties, while the organisation works to empower Indigenous children and youth through sport and connection to the land. Our in-house herbalist, Tara, then works to pinpoint the best blend for the soap, and we try to work with local ingredients whenever possible.
We don’t always have the opportunity to work with one of our partners with a long enough lead time to produce a bar with them, but we still come up with those unique blends every month and use it as an opportunity for innovation. No matter what, $1 from each bar goes to support our Community Bar partners.
The price of our Community Bar is not determined by the connection to a cause. When we create a Community Bar there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than it seems. There are hidden costs around design and ingredients that are less common and purchased in smaller quantities which affects the price of purchasing the ingredients, as it is a limited batch soap.
The bars are often (but not always) a new scent (a new formula), which means extra time and testing around the development of the bar, and test batches to ensure the ingredients blend well and behave as we would like them to. Sometimes ingredients can surprise us once combined and the scent or look isn’t quite right!
Also, at Rocky it’s important to inspire people beyond just giving money to a cause, that’s putting internal resources towards education and audience engagement around a cause through our content and outreach.
This year, we’re proud to be partnering with Nature Conservancy Canada and Spirit North.
NCC is Canada’s leading national land conservation organisation. When we donate to NCC, the money is going to a piece of land that is an invaluable wildlife corridor in Crow’s Nest Pass, Alberta, 300 kilometres from our workshop.
Spirit North is a Canmore-based not-for-profit that empowers Indigenous Children and Youth through sport and connection to the land. Spirit North focuses on health, education and community, connecting participants to the land with activity and skill development to create positive, life long impacts on participants.
We determine our Community Bar Partners before the calendar year kicks off. If you would like to be considered for future partnerships, you can fill out this form.
We give back in a variety of ways year-round, and just to give you an idea, here are some recent and ongoing initiatives beyond our Community Bar program.
We also make donations all year to various causes and events. To inquire about product donations, you can reach out to your closest Rocky retail store.
During this global pandemic, we’re also so proud to have worked with Alberta Health Services to donate Hero Hands Body Butter and distributed 10,125 units across 14 major hospitals in Alberta. Since April, we’ve also donated:
• 5,000 bars of soap and over 300 bottles of sanitizer to shelters across Alberta.
• 10,000 bars of soap to various community organizations.
• Over 70 litres of hand sanitizer to the medical community.
• Over 450 bottles of hand sanitizer to public-facing workers, like grocery stores, gas stations, and banks.
Thank you so much for your interest in this program. We really love it, and we hope you do too.
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