You can’t fault someone for having an iron clad belief system. Without one we lose our unique personal identity, which is why it is so challenging to alter perceptions that are engrained in the public consciousness, so though you may believe that it takes long stretches of time for dogmas to become engrained in our culture, this really isn’t the case. Consider the influence that mass media juggernauts wield over all of us and the extent to which they can leverage the exposure of their messages through their vast outlets and you can see how a message with the right timing and proper angle can impact our collective consciousness at an infectious rate.
You may be wondering what all of this has to do with soap nut laundry detergent. The people at Karma Clean think it has everything to do with soap nut laundry detergent. Karma Clean is a vision become reality due to the collective efforts of a small group of people who simply want to make the world a healthier, more positive place to exist.
Their success has been fueled by perseverance, desire, and a refined set of core company values. Do you recognize the absence of the word budget here? It’s not here because when compared to some of their big time competitors, budget doesn’t factor into their process of developing recognition in the marketplace. Karma Clean is building its business the old fashioned way, by getting out into the community, talking to people, demonstrating to them what an all natural product really looks like, and empowering them to take control of their buying decisions.
Some Karma Clean competitors on the other hand are literally poring tens of millions of dollars into branding and marketing initiatives that are exploiting the very terminology that consumers are relying upon to help themselves make conscientious, healthy buying decisions for themselves and their families.
A recent article written by Edward Wyatt and published in the New York Times had this to say about the unsubstantiated claims being made by companies pitching their environmentally friendly, green products:
In surveying consumers, the F.T.C. found that products that were promoted as “environmentally friendly” were perceived by consumers to have “specific and far-reaching” benefits, which, the government says, they often did not have.
“Very few products, if any, have all the attributes consumers seem to perceive from such claims, making these claims nearly impossible to substantiate,” the commission said.
…Similarly, saying that a product is green because it is made with recycled content could be deceptive if the environmental costs of creating and using the recycled material exceed the benefits of using it.
Channel surfing one day I stumbled on an old Jack Lemon film titled Irma la Douce, where Jack plays a character named Moustache, who has this great line I will never forget: “To be overly honest in a dishonest world is like plucking a chicken against the wind…you’ll only wind up with a mouth full of feathers.”
This statement is reminiscent of the ideology which many companies, touting their green products, quietly embrace. For too many of them, getting a mouth full of feathers at the expense of losing market share is unacceptable, even if the reasons may be noble and socially responsible ones. The people at Karma Clean are an idealistic group. If a mouthful of feathers is the price to pay for doing the planet and its inhabitants a service, then they will make the necessary sacrifices if it means that in the long term they can provide the planet and its inhabitants with responsible, not-toxic, non-carcinogenic products.
One topic that everyone at Karma Clean agrees with is that it is necessary to challenge the beliefs that drive consumer habits, but it must be done in a positive, encouraging, and educational way, which brings us to a story that the inventor of the product, Brian Furze, told me about a conversation he had with a consumer attending one of his product demonstrations.
The consumer was adamant that her all natural liquid laundry detergent was equal to Karma Clean in every conceivable way and probably superior because it carried the label of a well known brand. When it was pointed out that her beloved product actually contained an ingredient considered hazardous she simply dug in her heals and refused to budge on her position, which of course, we understand, is a natural reaction to having one’s beliefs challenged.
Recognizing the natural tenuousness of the situation, but determined not to let this potential customer slip away, Brian simply asked her if her faith in the all naturalness of her preferred product was such that she would feel comfortable consuming it. This in-the-moment challenge was the game changer. She refused to put her detergent anywhere near her lips. Brian on the other hand had a Karma Clean soap nut spot cleaning solution nearby, which he promptly picked up and began to spray into his mouth. A paradigm shift occurred in that customer’s mind when she saw Brian spray that solution into his mouth. In that instant, a new definition of all natural took hold and the old definition became obsolete. She bought a box of Karma Clean, she became a customer on the spot, and her perception of the term all natural was forever altered.
To be clear, Karma Clean does not endorse nor encourage the consumption of its products. Karma Clean is not food. If left sitting, the liquefied saponin garnered from soap nuts is subject to microbial growth, which can pose serious health risks to humans, so spraying it in your mouth is risky business. Interestingly though, research conducted in controlled clinical settings has produced some curious results concerning the potential health benefits of saponin acquired from the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree.
In an article published in the July 13th, 2012 Dove Press journal: Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, researchers had this little tidbit of information to share in the conclusion of a paper on Sapindus Mukorossi saponin:
…we suggest that the inclusion of this S. mukorossi fruit pericarp in the management of liver disorders is justified.
How about that? A clinical research study concludes that Sapindus Mukorossi soap nut berry saponin can be good for your liver. That is pretty cool. Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts happen to be great at cleaning laundry too, which is really what Karma Clean is all about. An awesome purchase for the environmentally conscious consumer, soap nuts are natural, reusable, compostable, greywater cleaning and hypoallergenic. They are good at removing odors too.
Karma Clean: not such a nutty idea after all.