In 2006, Steven Chasan, the owner of 21st Century Health Ltd was going through some of his late grandfather's papers when he came across his original soap formulations. Neville Chasan was a soap maker in the 1930's when soap used to be made properly without the harsh chemicals that are used in today's soaps. "He used to supply Fortnum & Mason & Harrods with soap, so he must have known what he was doing," says Steven Chasan. Armed with these recipes, Steven went to a manufacturer to get these soaps made. The chemists were shocked when they saw the formulations. It is usually very hard to keep a product fresh without using any synthetic preservatives. "How will it stay stable without parabens?" they asked. "They wanted to add more ingredients to the recipe, but I said, "No, keep it authentic". The soap was prepared and after several attempts they had a stable toxic free product that felt great. "The art of soap making had been forgotten but we had revived it," says Steven, "and I felt proud to be using my grandfather's product."
The success of EcoSoapia was meteoric, it was exported to five different countries and 60 trade accounts were opened in the first year of its launch. But then the worst scenario happened, 21st Century Health Ltd fell out with their manufacturer. "It took us many years to come back from this," explains Steven. “Firstly, there was the financial side and the banks were being difficult. Also, private investors were being either difficult or too greedy. So we decided to do it alone with the finance, although it took a while to get the money together. There was also the issue of finding a new manufacturer, one that we could trust, one that formulated organic and vegetarian products. I felt strongly about keeping the business in the UK. Eventually, we found our manufacturer and the product feels better than ever."
EcoSoapia also has a new look. "We decided to change the artwork because the product had been off the market for so long," explains Steven. We had the new label designed by David Smith, famous UK artist. "It has just won first place in the FINAT International packaging awards. It won a Natural Products Best Body Care Award and a Sunday Times Best Organic Body Care Award. When you make something with love you can't neglect anything. Let's not forget that our skin is our biggest organ, so let's treat it with respect by keeping the sulfates, sls, artificial colours, artificial fragrances, surfactants, synthetic preservatives and parabens out of our products and awayfrom our bodies, and where they should be, in a chemical dump!”