Igeho EcoCircle – or how bars of soap save lives

Igeho is entering into a commitment with the EcoCircle for sustainable projects for the third time already. The SapoCycle Foundation succeeded in making a convincing case to the trade fair management with its project for making life-saving products out of barely used hotel soap.


From luxury good to life saver

Every year, 1.5 million children under the age of five die around the world of diarrhoea and respiratory diseases. If they were only able to wash their hands with soap on a daily basis, nearly one third of these girls and boys would survive. That is the inspiration for the SapoCycle Foundation's vision of making bars of soap into life savers. It arranges for bars of hotel soap to be recycled, since these have generally been used only two to three times before being thrown away; it then distributes them to the needy. The project is booming. More than a hundred hotels have already joined in and are regularly donating partly used bars of soap to SapoCycle.

Work for people with disabilities

Six people with disabilities produce the soap in the “Wohnwerk Basel”. They plane away the outer layer of the bars of soap, chop up what remains into small pieces and press the granules into new bars of soap – achieving up to 700 bars a day at peak times. SapoCycle has, in the meantime, built up a base of more than 7000 individuals in need to whom it makes deliveries. The Swiss Red Cross takes charge of transport abroad and local distribution. However, some of the new bars of soap also remain in Switzerland where the organisations “Tischlein deck dich” and “Schweizer Tafel” hand them out to people living on or below the poverty line.

Igeho exhibitors support SapoCycle

An expansion into additional countries is the next step. In acquiring the EcoCircle in 2017, the following companies made an important contribution to achieving that: