The Bottom Line
Simple and elegant, BirdProject Soaps evoke a powerful message of cleansing and healing that any bird lover or nature enthusiast can appreciate. Created from local, natural materials with exceptional quality, these soaps spread that message with each purchase as half the profits are donated to charity. From the black glycerin soap to the ivory keepsake figurine, these soaps are the perfect gift for birders and non-birders alike.
- Elegant simplicity to match any bathroom decor.
- Soap has superb lathering and cleansing ability.
- Fifty percent of profits donated to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
- Limited retail availability but more widely available online.
- Name: BirdProject Soaps
- Manufacturer: Matter L3C
- Size: 4.0" (10.2 cm) long x 2.75" (7.0 cm) high; figurine – 2.25" (5.7 cm) long x 1.5" (3.8 cm) high
- Price: $24-34 per soap (price varies by edition)
Guide Review - BirdProject Soaps
Any birder concerned about the impact of oil spills and other toxic threats to birds can't help but be inspired by BirdProject Soaps. Created by Tippy Tippens, founder of Matter L3C – Design for Social Change, these soaps are created from fair trade and organic materials and packed in recycled packaging. The biodiesel glycerin soap has a tangy cypress scent reminiscent of the Louisiana bayou, which washes away to reveal an ivory ceramic figurine in the same elegant bird shape.
It takes 3-4 weeks for each bird to be created, with Tippens creating the ceramic figurines from Louisiana clay and Emily Manger Davis of Sweet Olive Soap Works of New Orleans adding the black soap covering. When used, the soap washes gently away while offering superb cleansing for all skin types with minimal residue.
About her inspiration for the soaps, Tippens said "I felt compelled to create BirdProject following the BP oil spill disaster. At the time I was living in Brooklyn and watching the spill continue for so many months was completely disturbing. The images of the oiled animals were so heart wrenching to see and so inhumane. I think that the extreme distance and the shock of the industry's inability to seal the gushing oil leak made me quite obsessed with this environmental tragedy."
That obsession grew to the creation of Matter L3C, with BirdProject Soaps being the first product available from the company that promises "design for social change" with each item offering related charitable contributions. In the first six months of the soaps' production and sales, approximately 1,200 soaps sold with $5,000 donated to the Gulf Restoration Network and International Bird Rescue. In addition to purchasing soaps (50 percent of the profits from each soap are donated), interested consumers can make sponsorship donations directly to BirdProject to offset the costs of creating and shipping more soaps.
While the cleanup from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will continue for years, Tippens also has plans to create additional designs and special editions to support other conservation projects. In addition to the soaps themselves, other products available from BirdProject include recycled canvas bags, washcloths and stationery, any of which would make superb gifts for birders along with a refreshing soap to enjoy.