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dirty business

November 18, 2009

I was flipping though the September/October issue of UTNE magazine when I came across an advertisement that caught my eye.  It looked a little something like this.

“What is it?” you ask. I asked the same thing. Turns out it’s soap. Not just any soap, soap formed into the shape of a landmine. “Why?” you ask. I, too, asked that same question, so I decided to look into cleanup soap to figure what it was all about.   I was so happy with what I found learned about cleanup soap I thought I would share it.

It turns out that this landmine shaped soap is a way to raise awareness and money for landmine removal and landmine victims in Cambodia.  25% of the profit of the soap goes directly to the non-profit Cambodian Landmine Museum Relief Fund to help both victims of landmines and landmine removal.  

Cleanup soap was conceived by Hideaki Matsui while he was enrolled as a graduate student at Parsons School of Design in New York.  For his thesis he decided to design something that would help a non-profit organization promote their mission.  Having grown up learning about the landmine devastation from his parents, he decided to work with non-profits working to help landmine victims and non-profits dedicated to the removal of landmines.

The soap costs $8 dollars and comes in two scents, coconut and rosemary mint. For every $8 bar of soap $2 dollars are donated to the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund.   To order or learn more about cleanup soap go to

I love the idea of for-profit companies giving money to non-profit organizations.  I also love the idea of business minded people, like designers, sharing their talents with non-profits, which is exactly what cleanup soap is doing.  In order to keep growing and be successful I think that non-profits need to pay attention to things like branding and design, which is what the Cambodian Landmine Museum is doing through its partnership with cleanup soap.   This partnership is something that both for profit enterprises and non-profits organizations need to learn from.

A simple idea, a huge impact.

p.s.  if you are interested in learning more about the history of  Cambodian landmines, landmine survivors and the struggle to remain watch this short video:
One Comment leave one →
  1. Erin H. permalink
    April 13, 2010 11:22 am

    I bought this soap for someone who will appreciate it. I like the metaphor of the soap/landmines disappearing at the same time. Thanks, Dani!

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