Shifting to more ethical and intelligent ways of working is the zeitgeist of fashion in 2019. Slowly but surely, more brands are placing an emphasis on environmental consciousness and, as ardent supporters of sustainable efforts, we’re celebrating the brands doing just that. Each week, we’ll be meeting the brands fashioning beautiful goods with the greater good in mind.

East London-based BECO. is helping to close the disability employment gap, one bar of soap at a time. This social enterprise do not see disability, they see workability; 80% of its employees have a disability, and according to BECO., 100% of those people are brilliant. 

Bringing attention to the disability employment gap and challenging perceptions of what it means to be disabled is at the core of the company, which, as its co-founder Camilla Marcus-Dew explains, is built on the manifesto that ‘change is in your hands’. “We want as many people as possible to join the movement and make a difference from the comfort of their sink,” says Camilla. “We’re determined to make things that easy through biodegradable, hypoallergenic, water saving products that create meaningful work for people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. All you have to do is buy one of our products – be it a bottle or bar – to make all the difference.” And this difference, if every household in the UK got involved and put BECO. in their bathrooms, would be 45,000 jobs created for those with disabilities. 

In a bid to champion their very capable staff, BECO. have recently launched their #StealOurStaff campaign, created by TBWA/London.

The idea for the campaign arose because the BECO. team wanted
“to widen the opportunities available to people with disabilities and for our colleagues to set aside any limiting thoughts they have about what opportunities lie ahead. If a role comes up that is right for them, we want them to really go for it and when it happens, it’s for them to decide whether to leave or stay,” says Camilla.We are allowing people’s imaginations to expand and to really explore what they are capable of. Businesses large and small show a real interest in them – and if they can’t employ someone, they put their corporate bathrooms. It’s a real win-win”.

BECO. has a very diverse workforce, representing a rich cultural and ethnic mix of people from East London (where BECO. is manufactured), who work across all areas of the business from the factory floor to finance, sales to marketing, HR to reception. People just like Shane – one of the many faces of #StealOur Staff – who says: “I feel like employers think I will be an obstacle or a burden and that I will need extra help just because I suffer with anxiety. I don’t think I should be judged or thought of as not being up to scratch just because I have a disability," or Trudy, who adds: “I feel like employers might not take me on just because I have a disability, even though I improved my literacy and numeracy skills when I left college and have been working at BECO. for many years.”

Meanwhile, not only is BECO. supporting people with disabilities, but the brand is helping the environment. All BECO. products are vegan, biodegradable and made with eco certified ingredients meaning they are either ECO CERT or EU ECO label compliant. “They’re not fragrance-free but our fragrances are EU eco label compliant, which means they have a reduced impact on aquatic ecosystems, fulfil strict biodegradability requirements and have limited packaging waste,” Camilla explains. And as if that wasn’t fantastic enough, all of their bottles are 100% recyclable! "In fact, we specifically chose them in green because it passes easily through automatic recycling sorting machines," adds Camilla. 

For BECO. and its employees, things are getting quite exciting. The products are currently on sale at Boots, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, and businesses from Amazon to Coca-Cola are scrubbing up with BECO. in their washrooms. But BECO. is expanding: “We are also exploring new products from the BECO. stable – we recently introduced our extremely popular BECO. shampoo bar into Waitrose and will shortly be launching a new fragrance in October. BECO. is a truly innovative brand with big ambitions – a disrupter – challenging people to rethink how we see the world” the co-founder explains.

We’re over the moon to see the success of such a forward-thinking company. Next time your workplace has a vacancy, please consider the wonderful, hard-working employees at BECO. – you would be helping a person with a disability to progress in their career and opening up another job opportunity for a disadvantaged person at BECO. 

More Brands To Believe In: 

Luxury leather handbags by DeMellier

+ British-Indian design duo RANI by Raja 

+ Organic haircare by OWAY

Tags: BECO.