About Charlie’s Soap
Charlie’s Soap has been a family-owned and operated North Carolina institution for three, going on four generations. What started as a simple solution to a problem, is now one of the leading natural laundry soap brands in the country.
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The Charlie’s Soap Philosophy
Our Philosophy makes us different. Three simple words sum up what we believe: Efficacy. Sustainability. Family.
Charlie’s Soap is tough on stains, yet gentle on sensitive skin. The secret is in the science! Our natural formulas are free of the perfumes and dyes found in other detergents. With Charlie’s Soap, you can count on getting a deep clean that’s simply pure.
We were green before green was cool. Our products have always been biodegradable and made with natural mineral ingredients. Our promise to you is that they always will be. Live Green – Deep Clean. That’s what we believe now, and always.
We believe family is everything. No one in this world matters more, and nothing can convince us otherwise. That’s why family ownership and leadership is a hallmark of Charlie’s Soap. We believe in making detergents that are good enough for the most precious people in your life. Anything less than the best won’t cut it.
Our Commitment to
You & The Earth
Naturally derived products, an all-natural clean.
No Animal Testing
Customers Love Us
History of Charlie’s Soap
It all started back in 1976 when our founder, Charlie Sutherland Sr. made his living selling yarn lubricant to textile mills throughout North Carolina. When Charlie’s customers began asking about a cleaner for their machines, he could think of only one solution – his son, Charlie Jr. With a background in chemistry, Charlie Jr. invented a cleaner so good that the textile employees started sneaking it home for personal use. Soon enough, people began asking for the cleaner by name – Charlie’s Soap
Charlie’s Soap originally offered industrial cleaning solutions only, but have expanded our product line throughout the years to environmentally-friendly
- Natural Laundry Powder
- Natural Laundry Liquid
- Stain Solutions
- Indoor and Outdoor Cleaner
- Kitchen and Bath Cleaner
- And much more!
Each of our products has been and always will be carefully crafted to get the best possible clean while maintaining the integrity of your fabrics, your washer, and the environment. Charlie’s Soap has come a long way since 1976. However, one constant has remained: our commitment to our formulas, the environment, and you – the customer
The Story of Charlie's Soap
Starting a Family BusinessCharlie Sutherland, Sr surveys the future site of Sutherland Products where they would first make yarn oils for local textile mills. His son, Charlie, Jr. is employed to make those oils.
A Soap Company is BornCharlie, Jr. learned about yarn lubricants from his dad, the original “Charlie” (above) and created a special cleaner specifically engineered to clean them. Charlie Jr. knew his formula performed better than expected, but never anticipated that this simple but powerful cleaner would be the center of an international company 40 years later.
One Step at a TimeAs the ideas evolved, so did our manufacturing process and facilities.
Always Thinking, Always TinkeringCharlie Jr. tinkering around with another great idea
Passing the BatonBy now, Charlie, Jr. was only working at the soap plant part time, but his day job was a dead end. On his wife's birthday and with a newborn Charlie, III at home, he quit his day job, took a leap of faith, and bought the little soap plant outright.
First Consumer SalesThe textile workers using the cleaner loved the stuff and started calling it "Charlie's Soap" after Charlie, Sr.. We knew a demand was growing for Charlie's Soap because the employees were stealing the stuff left and right. The local Winn-Dixie agreed to be our outlet and Charlie's Soap was officially born.
Packaging EvolutionCharlie's Soap, 500ml and 16ml. This is where today's Indoor/Outdoor Surface Cleaner began.
Close a Door, Open a WindowCharlie's father-in-law, Ciremba Amick introduced Charlie, Jr. to a customer that replaced quite a bit of the recently lost business. It would not be the last time that Lady Luck smiled on us. (From left to right: Jane Sutherland, unknown, Henrietta Amick, Ciremba Amick, Charlie Sutherland, Jr., [baby] Taylor Sutherland, aka Charlie, III)
Dearly DepartedCharlie, Sr. joined his wife in the hereafter. Charlie Sr. certainly left his mark on this company. His son, Charlie, Jr. inherited a legacy of his dedication to excellence. He is still missed.
The Next GenerationCharlie, Jr's children finally come on board: Taylor (sales), Jane (chairman), James (production) and Morgan (R&D). Together, they pushed the little soap company into the 21st century with new technology, updated branding and a new direct-to-customer outreach via www.charliesoap.com. That same year, Morgan and Charlie Jr. created the now legendary Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder.
Packaging EvolutionLaundry Powder (2nd Gen)
A National Brand in the MakingWith a lot of legwork, and some help from friends, Charlie's Soap lands its first national chain. It was the first of many brick and mortar, online and even international business ventures that would add to each other, creating a nationally recognized brand. Say "Hello", George Penn!
Early Packaging DesignYa' gotta start somewhere. Even from the beginning, we wanted to use a biodegradable formula and be responsible to our customers and the planet.
Passing the Baton AgainCharlie, Jr. steps aside and turns day-to-day operations over to his sons who divided up responsibilities and installed Charlie Jr's secretary and financial manager, Jenny Craver, and their sister, Jane Whitehurst, to full partnerships. At that same time, our Laundry Powder becomes the #1 Selling laundry Powder on Amazon, a mantle it will keep to this day.
Packaging EvolutionLaundry Liquid, 32oz (1st Gen) Laundry Liquid, 1 Gallon (1st Gen) Laundry Powder (7th Gen)
We're hitting the shelves & the aisles!From Whole Foods, EarthFare to Fresh Market and Ace Hardware, Charlie's Soap is embraced with commercial success.
A brand activation with Charlie's Soap at EarthFareHere we are offering samples and a lil' education on what's inside Charlie's Soap (and what's not) and how it effects your clothes, your washing machine and more importantly, your skin.
National RecognitionCharlie's Soap is mentioned in Fortune Magazine as an up-and-coming brand striding alongside giants in the natural cleaning market.
Like father like sonTaylor and Charlie Jr. representing the brand and products behind Charlie's Soap. You can often find these two on the road taking a stand for quality and customer satisfaction.
ExpansionCharlie's Soap starts the process to move into a new 100,000 sq.ft. facility to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that growth brings.
Charging forward into 2017 - NASCAR style!Charlie's Soap covers the hood of #51 race car driven by Timmy Hill. Here we are at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.
New Again2018 brought the complete redesign of the Charlie's Soap and logo and all packaging. Everything old is new again.
Letter from Charlie
That handsome fellow in the photo over there is me, Charlie Sutherland Jr. I am the founder of Charlie’s Soap. When I started the company back in the late 1970’s, I never expected that our simple but powerful cleaner we be the center of an international operation some 40 years later.
It all started when I was working for my dad, Charlie Sutherland Sr., at a textile lubricant plant in North Carolina. One day, word came down that we needed to find a good cleaner for the textile machines – and quick! Not only would it have to clean up the oil on the machines, but it could not harm the little old ladies whose job it was to clean them. It also had to be acceptable to local wastewater treatment.
Well, my background is in engineering, chemistry, and a bit of mathematics. I knew how to make the oils we used in the plant so I reverse engineered a formula to break those oils down in water. Wouldn’t you know it, the stuff worked even better than I expected. Originally, the whole goal was just to keep the machines clean, but soon we discovered that the soap cleaned fabric really well too. I even named it ‘SB-2069’ to make it sound like I knew what I was doing. Not bad for a first try.
Unsurprisingly, folks working with the cleaner loved the stuff and started calling it “Charlie’s Soap” after my dad. Soon, we knew a demand was growing for Charlie’s Soap because the employees kept stealing the stuff left and right! That’s when I knew it was time to quit my day job, take a leap of faith, and buy our little soap plant outright. The local Winn-Dixie agreed to be our first outlet and Charlie’s Soap was officially born.
In the early years, I was on my own, adrift in a sea of suds and uncertainty. We tried many ways to grow the “Soap.” Some worked; many didn’t. Marketing was really not my forte. But my family never stopped trying. My kids get the credit for our success. As they grew older, they joined the business and helped make us into what we are today.
My youngest, Morgan, and I created the Laundry Powder. Today he runs IT and Quality Control. Taylor, the oldest, took on sales and marketing. James specializes in engineering and international sales. My daughter Jenny is chairman of the board. And my wife Jane is our treasurer. Thanks to them, today we sell in thousands of mom-and-pop specialty shops, major hardware chains, supermarkets, and through the largest online retailers around the world.
But through it all, we have always operated Charlie’s Soap with a dedication to producing the highest quality biodegradable, environmentally safe products possible. Over the years, they have been tested against the best and they have always won, hands down. The combination of good science, environmentally friendly ingredients, and a darn good soap is one that still gets me excited. It is a combination that none of our competitors can claim, and it is something that I am very proud of.
Thanks for visiting our website, and please try our Charlie’s Soap. We’ll keep making it the best product.
-Charlie Sutherland Jr.