KOCHI: Family businesses that last beyond generations are not uncommon. The offspring inherits what his/her parents have strived and worked upon and carries the legacy forward. In a rather peculiar circumstance, this has been reversed in Kadavanthara-based Madhu John’s life. The mother took over the reins of her daughter Sarah Jane John’s brainchild, The Future is Green (FIG), or popularly called as The Fig Revolution, an artisanal organic soap brand.
Replete with locally and internationally sourced exotic ingredients, the Fig soaps have indeed created a revolution with their organic components and were ahead of their time.
“Sarah was studying in Australia when she chanced upon a commercially-bought soap. She couldn’t make head or tail of the ingredients, which were chemicals. At once, she realised that on her part, she must try and do something for the environment. Sarah decided to make soaps herself. For this, she attended soap-making workshops and watched related material on YouTube. When she got back to Kochi, she did a tonne of experimenting which lasted six months. Eventually, in 2016, Fig was born,” says Madhu.
However, Sarah had simultaneously applied for her Canadian visa, which arrived on time. Knowing that she must leave sooner and not wanting to let go of Fig, she taught her mother the ropes, who then took over the brand. Who named the brand? “Oh, that came from a dream. She just woke up one fine day, after weeks of brainstorming, screaming ‘Fig-The Future is Green!’,” Madhu quips.
Fig has six soap variants. Aphrodite, which comprises olive oil, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil, floral extracts; Sweet Loaf O’ Mine which consists of coffee, oatmeal, cocoa butter, cinnamon; Kasturi, that spells aloe vera, neem oil, wild turmeric, tea tree oil; Mountain Man which has coconut, aloe vera, tea tree oil and Himalayan rock salt, are among the few. The rich ingredients vouch for the authenticity of the organic luxury brand. Moreover, the soaps are beautiful to look at; with layers and textures. Packed in handcrafted covers, Sarah’s artistic friends have taken it up to themselves to entice customers with Fig’s well thought-out covers.
At a time when sustainability is practised, Sarah’s vision for the future being green was a foresight. “She’s a smart girl,” Madhu laughs. “A stickler for organic products, she has always been aware of what goes in her body. Which is one of the primary reasons why she started Fig. The skin is the largest organ in our body and is super absorbent. What we apply to our skin directly goes into the bloodstream. Now, people are more insistent on organic products.
There is huge scope for such in the market,” Madhu says.
Madhu did not just take over Fig, she expanded it too. From soaps, Fig has ventured into lip balms, loofah soaps, and lotion bars. “I created lotion bars for the on. Fleak which took place recently. They are all chemical free; I use beeswax. And the oils used for the soap is manufactured at home,” she says. Fig caters to customers via social media. Madhu John plans to set up a website which would cater to customers easily and build the brand, thereby making her daughter proud, from overseas. The price of the soaps starts from D200.