Ollah – True Artisanal Positive Social Impact

One of the many elements that drive my passion to develop and grow the SHEFA company is the opportunity to get out in the field and meet with our suppliers. The reason we do this is to undertake our own due diligence on the products we offer. We steadfastly stand behind our commitment to our customers regarding the integrity of the products we offer and our adherence to ESG standards and protocols.  More often than not, an interesting phenomenon occurs during these site visits. What commences with me undertaking due diligence on the supplier in accordance with our protocols and the benchmarks we utilize results in me doing “due diligence” on myself (aka self reflection) as to whether I meet-up with the high ESG standards of the supplier. Such an occurrence happened earlier this week when I met Oriella Gabbai, owner of Ollah Natural Soaps.

Ollah was identified during our market research process as a small-scale producer of wellness products adhering to the exclusive use of organic and natural ingredients. When I called up Oriella asking for a meeting she said that she was located in Ivim, a place I admittedly had never heard of. So, into Waze the name went and I learnt that Ivim is located on the outskirts of the southern town of Sderot, a town known for bearing the brunt of the Hamas terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza over the last fifteen years.  

It turns out that Ivim is an Absorption Center for new immigrants from Ethiopia run by the Jewish Agency which actually just embraced seventeen new families (approximately 100 people) as a result of the historic emigration of 300 Ethiopian Jewish individuals earlier this month. Oriella, her husband and four young children were one of only seven families who took up the national call this past summer for Israeli families to move to Ivim to assist in the integration of the immigrants into Israeli society. As you can imagine, once I learnt this, the “Social” aspect of Ollah’s ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) ranking rose above the waves.

Oriella began making soaps around ten years ago as a result of her and her husband’s conscious efforts to integrate more natural and healthy elements with their family’s lifestyle. At the time, Oriella could not find soaps without any harmful chemicals in their ingredients (something that is still relatively hard to come by). Today, Oriella, under the brand name Ollah, makes a superb range of soaps including hand and face wash, peeling, moisturizing and skin treatment soaps using only natural ingredients. Ollah has recently expanded its range of products into facial creams and deodorants. Even without any concerted marketing effort, Oriella needs to expand her company’s operations to keep up with the demand from across the country for her products. Customers are both impressed with the quality of Ollah products and also see the products being representative of their own, and the Ollah team’s, values. Even throughout the scaling and growth process, each Ollah product is still hand-made using only the very best natural ingredients.

As with most Israeli small-scale and artisanal natural product creators and producers, Ollah products are not certified organic (a point worthy of a separate article). However, after seeing Oriella’s operations and getting to know her as a potential supplier, I can personally attest to the fact that Oriella and her Ollah brand are undoubtedly an impact-driven enterprise.  

Oriella creates an immediate and significant positive impact for her very unique immediate community. Ollah products represent that positive social and environmental impact for mindful and conscious consumers across the country.

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