We consider it our task to do the laundry and cleaning in a constructive manner, in harmony with man and nature in order to, above all, protect the element water. We are continuously working on maintaining and further developing Sonett’s ideals and basic values.
In the beginning, there were the water and the natural scientist Johannes Schnorr who by using the drop picture method detected the extent to which drinking water was polluted by laundry detergent surfactants as early as the late 1960s. This was the incentive for the Company Sonett to be founded in 1977, and thus the idea of environmental friendly washing in a modular system was born. The washing substances can be made use of at their best, only when detergent, softener and bleaching agent are dispensed separately. Abstaining from any petrochemical raw materials, deliberately renouncing genetic engineering, using no enzymes but rather oils and essential oils derived from organic plants, continues being the eco- logical criteria applied to date for sustainable washing and cleaning.
We understand sustainability as going far beyond pure ecology. Sonett considers itself a pioneer not only regarding their products’ efficiency and economic use, but also as far as structuring the company in a socially acceptable way. The labelling of many of the Sonett products is carried out by disabled people at the Camphill Workshops Lehenhof close by. Sonett’s joint management is based on partnership principles and has been transferred to the Non-Profit Foundation Sonett already some years ago.
We see the purpose of our work in not only wanting to decrease pollution of nature and, above all, water, but we rather consider water to be the essence of all life and wish to respect and revitalize it.
Caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life, has made Sonett come into life. Water as such is the actual laundry detergent and cleaning agent.
By using readily and completely biodegradable raw materials such as purely plant-derived soaps, sugar surfactants, and minerals such as sodium carbonate and silicates, we increase the washing performance of the water, at the same time fostering its being returned to and reintegrated into the natural cycle. Doing the laundry and cleaning are “cultural achievements” which, though useful to man, do pollute the water. We consider it our task to do the laundry and cleaning in harmony with nature, and especially with the water, in a considerate and revitalizing way.
In the wake of the nascent health food movement in the 1970s, Sonett was established in 1977 as one of the first manufacturers of ecological laundry detergents and cleaning agents.
Sonett’s real beginnings are to be found several years earlier in the “Strömungsinstitut” (“Institute for Flow Analysis”) in Herrischried / Black Forest where the anthroposophic natural scientist J. Schnorr did research on drinking water using the drop-picture method.
Sonett 10 kg laundry detergent 1993
Sonett production and warehouse, Freiheithof 1993
Trade fair Pro Sanita, Stuttgart 1993
Sonett's Corporate Design since 2011
Biofach, organic trade fair, Nürnberg 2016
He was one of the first scientists to, as early as the late 1960s, recognize the enormous extent to which ground water was polluted in Germany due to the newly developed synthetic and non-biodegradable laundry detergent surfactants. The shock regarding the state of the water prompted J. Schnorr’s initiative for the concept of doing the laundry using a modular system. The basic approach to this new washing system was: rapid and complete biodegradability of all the laundry detergents‘ ingredients and using raw materials most sparingly by measuring out the basic laundry detergent, softener and bleaching agent separately and selectively.
Very early on there was some demand from other European countries as well which enabled Sonett to soon establish themselves as an international pioneer for ecological washing and cleaning. In the 1980s Sonett saw themselves up against an existential crisis. In 1992 Beate Oberdorfer and Gerhard Heid took over the company. As from 1993 Sonett have been able to reverse the downwards trend again and ever since have registered continuous, mostly double-digit, growth rates. Thanks to its rapid growth the plant was continuously expanded and modernized. At present Sonett have state-of-the-art production and bottling techniques at their disposal and are No. 2 in the German health food sector. Apart from the 31 European countries to which Sonett sell their products, currently they also sell them to 12 non-European countries and label them in 15 languages.
Our corporate identity
We feel responsible for the health of water and the entire nature not out of strategy but because it is our conviction and motivates our identification. It is this motivation which induces the company, with its capital and property, to align the entire business management – all the way down to the use of energy, of building materials, the treatment of our employees, the cooperation with business partners and customers – with the well-being of the entire environment rather than our own special interests. Profits are necessary but not objective of our company. We are convinced that only those idealistic entrepreneurs are really fit for future that are capable of reversing the rampant destruction of nature and turn it into new impulses.
Apart from ecology, one of Sonett’s main concern is the social orientation on all levels, i.e. towards employees, customers and suppliers, an orientation which our economic success is also based upon. We consider the basis of our social responsibility understanding that in today’s business life it is cooperation and mutual support that counts rather than competition and one’s own interest. The direct result of this attitude is that in our plant we take our decisions like partners in order to creatively deal with each situation individually and also shape the company’s long-term orientations in a responsible and energetic way. This involves holding regular meetings with the objective to ascertain that all people involved are able to fully make use of their potentials. Many positions with responsibilities, especially our executive management, are held by equal partners. The profit remains with the company or is transferred to the non-profit foundation Sonett. Every year a certain amount – depending on the business development – is distributed to the employees in virtue of profit sharing. There are no individual performance bonuses. As far as our suppliers are concerned it is our principle to aim for long-term cooperation based on trust, transparency and personal respect. Regarding our customers, mostly wholesalers, but also wholefood shops or entities with commercial activities such as schools, hotels, kindergartens etc. we consider ourselves their service provider whose objective it is to not only look after their needs and demands, but to ennoble them.
The Sonett logo is the result of the interaction of three invaginated round shapes. Two of them intertwine forming a modified figure eight that evokes the movement pattern of our oloid mixer. The third shape encircles the first two and joins them to become a seven-membered unit, resulting in seven surfaces which allow for a varied play of colours in harmony with the label’s basic colour. The freestanding round shape of the logo balances on the vertical slogan “Ecologically Conscientious” and pinpoints this core motive of Sonett. At the same time, the slogan underlines the brand name Sonett which is also written vertically.
„Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge striving to unite the spiritual in man with the spiritual in the world and in nature.”
Anthroposophy sees man as a creature who does not with death cease existing, and who has existed before his/her birth. The development towards freedom is life’s aim and purpose. In order to achieve freedom, one has to take responsibility for oneself, for one’s fellowmen, and for nature in its entirety. This kind of view increases the understanding of sustainability insofar that we do not consider it sufficient to just exploit nature a little less, but to rather ennoble it, to enrich it, raise its level of development.
That is why we do not want to manufacture laundry detergents and cleaning agents that only seem to eliminate dirt but, in reality, make the world even dirtier. Our wish is that our products create a win/win situation for all involved: the customers, our suppliers and, above all, nature itself to which we owe the raw materials for our products.
With this in mind, anthroposophy stands for responsibility regarding the development of mankind, nature, and the entire cosmos.