Clean beauty company Soapbox will unveil the world’s biggest bottle of soap in Times Square on July 15, 2021, marking the launch of a multi-city tour aimed at raising awareness for the importance of hand hygiene. Soapbox will donate 147,900 personal care products to communities in need during the tour. July 15 is both National Clean Beauty Day and National Give Something Away Day.
The 21-foot tall, 8.5-foot diameter, 2500-pound metal and fiberglass bottle will then travel to 15 other cities: Boston, Mass. (July 16); Manchester, N.H. (July 17); Buffalo, N.Y. (July 18); Chicago, Ill. (July 20); Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (July 21); Bentonville, Ark. (July 23); Dallas, Texas (July 24); Austin, Texas (July 25); Atlanta, Ga. (July 27); Rockville, Md. (July 29); Virginia Beach, Va. (July 31); Raleigh, N.C. (August 1); Washington, DC (August 2); Philadelphia, Pa. (August 3) and Pittsburgh, Pa. (August 4).
Soapbox, which operates on a buy-one-give-one model — every product sold donates a bar of soap to someone in need — will donate pallets of soap and personal hygiene kits to local charities at every stop, including 144,000 bars of soap and 3,900 hygiene kits to Comfort Cases, an organization dedicated to providing hope and dignity to youth in foster care. During the tour, Soapbox will attempt to earn a world record for the most hygiene products donated within a week. A formal announcement on the world record will be made on July 15.
Retailers Walgreens, Wegmans, Sally Beauty, Hannaford, Hy-Vee, Rite Aid, Giant Food, Giant Eagle, Lowes Food, and H-E-B will welcome the world’s biggest bottle of soap at select stores. Shoppers and community members are invited to take photos, enter a raffle for product giveaways, and assist with assembling hygiene kits that will be donated to children in the foster care system within their local community.
“The COVID pandemic has helped highlight the importance of handwashing, but as mask mandates go away, we can’t let our guard down,” says Soapbox co-founder and CEO David Simnick. “People around the world get sick and die every day because they can’t properly wash their hands due to lack of access to soap and water.”
“In the U.S., food stamps don’t cover personal hygiene products like soap,” continues Simnick. “We hope this tour brings attention to that important issue as well.”
Simnick was inspired to launch Soapbox in 2010 after an internship with USAID exposed him first-hand to communities lacking soap and clean water. To date, the company has donated more than 22 million bars of soap worldwide.
“We are honored to be a part of this tour,” says Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer, whose charity provides backpacks filled with comfort and personal care items to youth entering the foster care system. “Teaching children the importance of handwashing, particularly in under-served communities, can be a lifesaver.”
According to the United Nations, handwashing with soap is one of the most effective barriers to the spread of diseases. Around 297,000 children under five – more than 800 every day – die annually from diseases due to poor hygiene, poor sanitation, or unsafe drinking water.