The simplest actions can stir the most impact. Take, for example, washing your hands and disinfecting them after. While the Covid-19 pandemic has inspired (hopefully) everyone to challenge their past personal sanitary habits, it feels like there’s always more that we can do for the global community – and this is where the sanitation and hygiene company Saraya comes into play. When you use Saraya’s medicated hand soap and sanitizer spray, you’re all at once protecting yourself from the Covid-19 and playing the vital role of saving the lives of the people in Africa.

Sustainable Development to the Ugandan Community

Company founder Shota Saraya witnessed prevalent dysentery disease during Japan’s post-war period. Born in Kumano, Japan, he was raised surrounded by cleanliness in his hometown and knew he needed to do something about the health environment in Japan. Driven by this noble vision, he launched the sanitation company in 1952. Since then, the business remains grounded in its mission: to educate everyone about the importance of handwashing. Propelled by three important pillars of hygiene, health and the environment, Saraya reached its 60th milestone in 2010 by extending its hands to the people of Uganda.

In 2009, children’s mortality rate was at an all-time high in Uganda, with 89 out of every 1,000 children under 5 years old perishing from fatal diseases that could have been prevented by handwashing. Thus, in 2010, Saraya proposed the project “Wash a Million Hands!” to UNICEF. Saraya has been actively conducting educational campaigns in collaboration with UNICEF for Ugandan children and mothers and installing handwashing facilities in the villages. In fact, the promotion of hand hygiene was so successful that the locals coined the term “Saraya-ing” to describe someone who’s washing their hands. With an ongoing pledge to donate one percent of sales of specific products for this project to UNICEF,

Still, the company believes in implementing long-term solutions, and not just superficial philanthropic actions. After observing past disease outbreaks, including SARS, MERS and Ebola, Saraya initiated its second project in 2012: the “100% Hospital Hand Hygiene” project. Becoming the first producer of hand sanitizer in Uganda, the company also provides a training program to healthcare professionals. The alcohol hand disinfectant is locally made in Africa throughout its production chain. This allows Saraya to use materials from small-scale manufacturers and producers, create job opportunities and lower the price to make the products more affordable. Saraya has managed to help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates.

Local and Vital for Everyone

With the pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a more important part of our daily routine, and it can be difficult to find the perfect product that meets personal needs. Many chemical-based products are often too harsh for everyday use, causing dry cracks on our skin that, ironically, give bacteria an entry point into our body. As one of the oldest, leading hygiene brands in Japan, Saraya gives users peace of mind.

For example, the Seven Premium Lifestyle Hand Sanitizer contains bactericidal ingredients such as chlorhexidine gluconate, which is used by doctors for surgeries. It’s extremely potent, with a long-lasting antibacterial effect, but the product itself contains moisturizing ingredients that are gentle on your hands. The medicated hand soap, too, is just as effective. Using palm oil certified by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the product locks in your skin moisture and gently removes dirt.

For anyone worried about aesthetics, rest assured that Saraya’s product packaging boasts a simple, minimalistic design that blends seamlessly with your home and office entrance. Its practical, easy-to-use appeal motivates anyone to disinfect as they go in and outside the room, allowing full protection from viruses.

The professionals behind Saraya are dedicated to delivering valuable products while solving social problems, so they partner with Seven & i Holdings, a retail giant that holds the same SDG-driven corporate values. Saraya’s medicinal foam hand soap and sanitizer spray are for household use, but they are built upon decades of cultivated knowledge and professional trust. Their products are used by healthcare workers. You can find them scattered in medical institutions, office buildings and public facilities in Japan.

Where Can You Get Saraya’s Hygiene Products?

Saraya’s main hygiene products can be purchased at pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide. In addition, Saraya has also developed products jointly planned with the Seven & i Group’s common private brand, Seven Premium Lifestyle. These products are also available at Seven-Eleven, Ito-Yokado and other Seven & i Group stores nationwide (approximately 21,600 stores, as of the end of October 2020). It goes without saying that when you’re purchasing Saraya’s products, you are also supporting their noble cause. One percent of sales of their targeted products, including Seven Premium Lifestyle products, support UNICEF’s handwashing promotion in Uganda. It’s an easy way to stay safe during this pandemic, and an even easier route to contribute to a rewarding social cause.

Essential Information

Find out more about Saraya’s SDG practices:

Exclusive Giveaway!

Tokyo Weekender is partnering with Saraya for a very special giveaway. 10 TW readers could win a homey package of three Saraya products:

・1 bottle of Yashinomi laundry detergent
・1 bottle of Yashinomi fabric softener
・1 130g pack of Lakanto natural sweetener

To participate, read our recent article covering Saraya’s endeavors and fill out our short survey.


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