About the Brand
In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Bros., wrote down his ideas for Sunlight Soap--his revolutionary new product that helped popularize cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. His idea was "to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products." This was long before the phrase "Corporate Mission" had been invented, but these ideas have continued to guide the practices of Unilever ever since, even if Lever's language and the notion of only women doing housework has become outdated.
In the late 19th century, the businesses that would later become Unilever were among the most philanthropic of their time. They set up projects to improve the lot of their workers and created products with a positive social impact, making hygiene and personal care commonplace and improving nutrition through adding vitamins to foods that were already daily staples. Today, Unilever still believes that success means, as its corporate principles state, acting with "the highest standards of corporate behavior towards our employees, consumers and the societies and world in which we live." Over the years the company has launched or participated in an ever-growing range of initiatives to source sustainable supplies of raw materials, protect environments, support local communities, and much more.