Co-Soap Joins Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives

Map of NoBAWC Workplaces

NoBAWC 2011 Map

Co-Soap is happy to announce that as of October 11, 2011, Two Oaks Cooperative Inc. (our umbrella Corporation) is the newest member to the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives.

The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (pronounced “NoBOSS”) is a ‘grassroots organization of democratic workplaces dedicated to building workplace democracy in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.’ NoBAWC is composed of more than 35 businesses from all sectors of our economy, ranging from Bakeries to now Soap manufactures. These businesses employ from a few workers to over 200 workers. Although NoBAWC is mainly comprised of worker cooperatives, it also includes workplaces that incorporate democratic principles, but not necessarily worker-owned. These businesses however, are working towards becoming worker-owned cooperatives. Co-Soap shares the same values and goals of NoBAWC of promoting, and educating the community about a democratic workplace and helping others to start and grow other cooperatives.For this reason we have pledged 10% of Co-Soap’s pre-waged profits to this organization.

If you would like to learn more about NoBAWC and our mission, please visit their website at nobawc.org. You can also use this interactive map, which shows these worker-owned businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. We hope you find something you like, if not we always have our vegan Lavender, Eucalyptus and Pure bars of soap.

We are very happy to finally have joined NoBAWC and excited to cooperate with all these businesses to expand and grow the cooperative movement.

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Mandela Foods Cooperative Now Carrying Co-Soap!

Logo for Mandela Foods Cooperative

Mandela Foods Cooperative is a Worker Owned Cooperative Across the Street from West Oakland BART

Co-Soap is happy to announce that Mandela Foods Cooperative is now carrying our products! Mandela Foods Cooperative is a worker-owned full-service grocery store and nutrition center cooperative in West Oakland, across the street from West Oakland BART at:

1430 7th St
Oakland, CA 94607-193

Mandela Foods Cooperative purchases all of their produce from a 170 mile radius of their store from small farmers. They are a food oasis in a food desert and hope to use the cooperative model to spur equitable economic growth in the region. They are a great group of people and we hope that you check them out and patronize their other products when you stop in to pick up wonderful Eucalyptus, Unscented, or Lavender Bar Soap from Co-Soap.

Below is a google map of where they are located:

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Oakland Pride Here We Come!

Oakland Pride Logo of Rainbow Oak Tree

Oakland Pride is this Weekend September 4th From 11am to 7pm at 19th St and Franklin in Downtown Oakland

Co-Soap Cooperative is proud to be an exhibitor at Oakland Pride! Come check us out, buy some soap, and listen to  great music and dance the day away! There will be great food, exhibits, and music. What else could you ask for on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend that is poised to be one of the warmest days of the summer? Oakland Pride is this weekend on September 4th from 11am – 7pm at 19th St and Franklin in Downtown Oakland. Over 50,000 people showed up to last year’s pride and they are expecting double the turn out this year!

This will be Co-Soap’s first pride festival and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Co-Soap supports full equality for all persons including those that identify as LGBTIQQA as well as their allies. Greg, Walfre and Tony went last year to Oakland’s first pride festival in more than 5 years and had an absolute blast. They knew that after starting this Cooperative in Oakland that we would have to be present to support a festival and a movement that we care deeply about.

If you are interested in attending Oakland Pride but would like more information, you can visit the official website here.

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Co-Soap Now at Phat Flea’s Market Bazaar Every Saturday!

Logo for Phat Beets Produce

Phat Beets Produce is a food justice collective that strives to support social businesses and small farmers and farmers of color.

Co-Soap is proud to announce that we will now be selling our soaps every Saturday at the Phat Flea’s Market Bazaar, which is at the North Oakland Farmers Market on 5715 Market St. You can learn more about Phat Flea’s Market Bazaar Here. Phat Beets Produce is an innovative food just collective that believes:

  • Healthy Food is a Human Right
  • What is lacking is not food, but the political will to fairly distribute food regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay.

We couldn’t agree more with their beliefs and we are very proud to be able to participate with another cooperative organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of all people.

Photo of Co-Soapers Mike and Greg and Phat Fleas Bazaar

Co-Soapers Mike and Greg at the Phat Flea's Market Bazaar

If you haven’t checked out any of Phat Beets Produce farmers markets please do because you will sure be enthralled by the sense of community these events bring out. Here is a list of the farmers markets they operate together:

Photo of the North Oakland Farmers Market put on by Phat Beets

The North Oakland Phat Beets Farmers Market just after Set Up.

The market bazaar was a blast! Phat Beets plays some great “beats” and the produce is exceptional as well as affordable. In addition, all of the produce vendors take EBT and the market is meant to be accessible to all incomes. Next Saturday come check out the North Oakland Farmers Market and Phat Fleas Market Bazaar between 10am and 3pm and pick up some of our Eucalyptus, Lavender, or Unscented Vegan Soaps! You will not regret it.

 


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We’re In San Francisco! Other Avenues Cooperative Now Carries Co-Soap!

View Larger MapCo-Soap is proud to announce Other Avenues Worker Cooperative of San Francisco as the latest store to sign up to carry our line of soaps! We are thrilled to be working with another worker cooperative in the bay area.

Other Avenues got its start in 1974 “by the participants of the Food Conspiracy, a grass roots organization of food buying clubs dedicated to buying and distributing wholesale food among themselves.” They are a member of the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) and run their store democratically with the principle of one member one vote. You can learn more about Other Avenues Mission here.

Photo of Other Avenues Worker Owners taken Spring 2010

The Worker-Owners of Other Avenues - Taken Spring 2010

Other Avenues is a Bay Area Certified Green Business and carries a plethora of healthy food and green cosmetic choices. They are located in the Outer Sunset and are a neighborhood staple. We look forward to having Other Avenues carry our products and we hope you pay them a visit and check out all of the cool and healthy products Other Avenues carries, all while supporting worker cooperation!

Here is their contact info:

Other Avenues
Healthy Business * Healthy People * Healthy Planet

3930 Judah Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 661-7475
Open 9am-9pm, every day

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Cooperative Spotlight: Coopedota R.L.

Image courtesy of coopedota.com

This blog post is a spotlight on a contemporary example of one large and hugely successful worker’s cooperative hailing from Costa Rica’s Dota valley. Coopedota is a great model for the communal developments that can arise from a spirit of mutuality and the desire for autonomy. Read on for a glimpse of an inspiring and charming community that knows knows how to reward the genuine hard work of it’s constituent members!  Continue reading

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Biofuel Oasis now carrying Co-soap!

The storefront sign at BioFuel Oasis

BioFuel Oasis (borrowed from their homepage)

You can now find Co-soap right next to the checkout stand at Biofuel Oasis, a Berkeley-born worker’s cooperative specializing in, you guessed it, BIOFUEL! The woman/worker owned business buys and makes available this naturally and sustainably derived alternative to petroleum. In addition to biodiesel, Biofuel Oasis provides urban farming supplies: prepared chicken feed, ingredients to make your own chicken feed, beekeeping setups, accessories for preserving your harvest, worms/worm castings, fertilizers, crop seeds and more! They seem to have anything any individual in the East Bay would need to create their own personal source of organically grown and produced products! In this way, their cooperative strategy gives back to the spirit of small, DIY production: they provide others with resources they can use to make even more local resources. It’s win-win.

Why we care about biodiesel, and why you should too

If you or anybody you know has to purchase gasoline products, you know how ridiculously expensive fuel is. So, why do we beat our fists against our dashboards every time gas prices go up another ten cents? Because we need that precious, finite fuel to fuel countless aspects of our modern lives. But why do we use fuels that are overpriced due to their exclusive outlets of production and guaranteed to run out in the near future? Because a small number of people make a LARGE amount of money off of these fuels. Gas stations are everywhere, and their prices are pretty much uniform. Consumers have not always been afforded the chance to choose their fuel, but the times, they seem to be a’changin’.

Businesses like Biofuel Oasis provide an alternative to the outsourced and overpriced fuels we have been cornered into purchasing for years, and perhaps more importantly, a model that shows us a possible means of escaping our personal and national dependence on many items that are carefully controlled and manipulated economically so as to disadvantage the individuals who are forced to rely on them in the first place.

I think it is safe to say that Biofuel Oasis and Co-soap operate according to a similar philosophy: people should have the option of accessing local, sustainable and healthy products, and these products should benefit the people who buy them as much as the people who work to produce them. Buying local–whether it’s soap or biodiesel–not only helps the environment and your local economy. It can help you and your community build a vibrant, autonomous culture that propagates itself by giving back!

Visit BioFuel Oasis’ website here, and make sure to like them on facebook.

Thanks for stopping by and doing your part to support the new age of clean business strategies!

 

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Coconut oil: a brief overview of a plant that is more friend than foe

A diagram of the different parts of the coconut

There is no shortage of things you can do with every part of a coconut.

It seems that the coconut, especially coconut oil, has received a bad rap in The United States and in Europe as of late. This is because many studies claim that the high levels of saturated fats are detrimental to the health of those who consume products made with coconut oil. While there are plenty of university studies which claim otherwise, this blog post will instead focus on the healthful benefits associated with the use of coconut oil in soaps and shampoos. A huge part of a healthy skin regimen is working with your skin to maintain it’s inherent self-maintaining properties. This is why it is important to use products that add to the natural oils and protectants your own skin produces to keep itself soft and malleable, rather than those which contain detergents and chemicals that will strip it of these necessary lubricants. You may feel more hygienic when your skin is literally squeaky clean, but clean does NOT have to come parceled with flaky, dry skin that required yet another product to restore it’s natural luster. If you use soap with natural oils (skin protectants) already at work in it’s formula, your skin will be clean, soft and smooth from the get-go!

Secondly, we want to show you how versatile the plant is. Every part of the coconut can be converted and turned into something useful and functional, and this is important to us here at Co-soap because that means it is ecologically sustainable. The coconut has uses ranging from moisturizers to biofuels!

Read on for more info about our favorite tropical fruit.
Continue reading

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Palm oil problems part II: slash and burn agriculture, deforestation and environmental pillaging

A sprawling palm plantation

A few weeks ago we published a blog about palm oil plantations that revolved around the social and cultural impact of exploitative agriculture and colonial legacies. We aren’t done plundering the veritable booty that is the problems with palm oil industry. Palm oil plantations are just as sceptic to the ecosystems they ravish as they are to the people trying to eke out a living under their leafy branches. Read on to learn more about the unbridled environmental destruction palm oil plantations wreak on our fragile and delicate planet.

Continue reading

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Oakland Local and Co-soap are teaming up

Oakland local logoGreetings bathers and readers, today’s blog post is foaming with good news! Co-Soap is partnering up and advertising with Oakland Local. Oakland Local is Oakland’s premier social media website, not to mention it’s being on the Columbia Journalism Review’s list of top 50 news sites! They get a lot of good press for good reason: this non-partisan and non-profit news aggregate works to serve low-income and underprivileged communities by helping them find their voice in the larger online community, the necessity of which is becoming more and more apparent in this digital age of ours. Oakland Local is an independent news site that supports local journalism and community outreach.

Capacity Building

One of the more unique aspects of Oakland Local’s approach to local journalism is that it is also a capacity-building organization. “Capacity-building” is a two-part concept: it refers both to an approach to development that centers around finding the obstacles that hinder people and governments from realizing their developmental goals, but also to the skill building and training that will allow these same people and governments to achieve significant and sustainable results. In other words, it is a conceptual approach to community development that roots out blockages and bolsters the abilities that a community can use to further it’s own development.

This is so utterly important for any large and yet largely-impoverished community. There is a lack of money, but there is no shortage of people, and they are the most essential component of economic development. Organizations like Oakland Local work to foster this community engagement. We can start working now to become the solution to our own problems.

This is why Co-soap works with and donates to NOBAWC, and this is why Co-Soap is proud to work with Oakland Local. No one has given Oakland a fish for a long time, so it’s time to teach ourselves how to get out there and catch our own. Thanks, Oakland Local, for reminding us and everyone else of what’s really important in our day and age: getting back to the roots of our community and spreading the word that in large numbers we can enact even greater changes!

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