From shifting the workplace dynamic out of the office to remote teams to clobbering the global economy, there is no way to overstate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on millions of lives.
The greatest health crisis in generations also changed our perspective on health, from the complexities of social distancing to the nuance of at-home COVID tests that are now a way of life for many.
There was also renewed attention on ritualistic hygiene that just about everyone of us was introduced to as a child—washing our hands. Illustrating the critical role that hand washing has played during the pandemic are two messages from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:
- Keeping hands clean helps prevent the spread of germs, like COVID-19.
- Handwashing in Communities: Clean Hands Save Lives.
There is even “Global Handwashing Day” on Oct. 15.
“Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community,” says the CDC, “regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.”
The new focus on washing hands sparked Shia Halpern’s sense of responsibility as a global citizen—and his entrepreneurial spirit. With COVID shining new light on the urgency of hand hygiene, he crafted a new vitamin hand soap—ZYFE—that is super eco-conscious in its pre-packaging and post-packaging solutions.
In the process, Shia has altered the trajectory of a time-honored practice geared toward health and wellness, and he has used the occasion to promote sustainability.
Shia and ZYFE’s multi-pronged, eco-friendly approach includes:
- Soap made of plant-based ingredients.
- Bottles crafted from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
- A partnership with the United Nations-recognized High Atlas Foundation in which ZYFE plants a tree for every online review it receives. The trees are part of a reforestation effort in a Moroccan desert.
“We believe there’s always a better way to do things, and that little changes add up to a big impact,” Shia said. “With eCommerce disrupting the status quo of entrenched big brands, little companies and innovators are the hope of the future.”ZYFE represents the latest incarnation of soap, an ancient means of maintaining cleanliness that dates back to ancient Babylon, around 2800 BC. That was when the Babylonians used mashes and animal fats to make soap.
Soap-making evolved through ancient Egypt and Greece, as well as during the Roman Empire. The Middle Ages saw the emergence of soap-making as an industry, with bars made of animal fat and lye. Vegetable oils and a continuous soap-making process arrived in the 19th century, with modern soap-making techniques using a range of ingredients, including synthetic detergents.
Shia is taking his own place in the history of soap as ZYFE disrupts an industry with a history that stretches back nearly a thousand years. He is also pushing hard for all of us to pivot toward greater sustainability.
“I founded this company on one single idea—making sustainability easy, fun, and accessible to all,” he said. “We want to help everyone take small steps towards sustainability. So we’re dedicated to tackling the ‘single’ in single-use. Our bottles can be reused, refilled or simply recycled/upcycled.
“Promoting change on a micro scale eventually translates to macro,” he said. “Not only do I want to do better for the planet, but I want my product to make you feel good on an individual level, too. Our soaps are naturally scented, vitamin-infused and free of harsh chemicals that cause irritation and dryness. If more people feel good, they can focus on doing good.”
Shia added, “I hope you’ll join me in taking small steps to a better tomorrow.”
Visit zyfesoap.com for information.