VICTORIA -- Oct. 15 marks Global Handwashing Day – an educational day that promotes proper hand hygiene, something that is particularly important amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To celebrate the world cleanliness day, CTV News has compiled a list of island-based soap producers.

Many of these businesses, like other local businesses, face financial challenges due to COVID-19. Purchasing locally-made soap can support the community while protecting your health during the pandemic.

A list of Vancouver Island-based soap manufactures is below:

  • Nezza Naturals (Victoria)
  • Tofino Soap Company (Tofino)
  • Steele and Co. (Victoria)
  • Metchosin Soap Works (Metchosin)
  • Rebel Earth Soap Company (Parksville)
  • Saltspring Soapworks (Saltspring Island)
  • The Soap Exchange Nanaimo (Nanaimo)
  • Island Soap Co. (Salt Spring Island)
  • RavenSong Soap (Campbell River)
  • Island Essentials Soap (Mill Bay)

Regular handwashing is one of the first lines of defense against COVID-19, according to the BCCDC. Yet, not everyone has access to the essential product.

The Victoria-based charity Soap for Hope Canada continues to collect, recycle and distribute soap for people in need across B.C. and Alberta.

“We take all the amenities that (hotels) otherwise would have thrown in the garbage and we reprocess them and provide them at no charge to community groups,” said Soap for Hope Canada founder and executive director Anne McIntyre on Friday.

“We started with six shelters five years ago and now we support over 300,” she said.

The local charity says that demand for soap and other hygiene products has increased during the pandemic while donations have declined, making new donations particularly important.

“We had about four times as many people reach out to us because we had communities isolating, we had seniors who could not go out and we had families who were suddenly financially insecure,” said McIntyre.

To learn more about Soap for Hope or to make a donation, visit the charity’s website here