Founded in 2019 by Leonara Manyangadze, TANAKA is a handmade soap brand. Tanaka (n.) [tah-nah-kah] is a Zimbabwean Shona name, meaning we are good, and it is this sentiment that guides our mission. We make bars of soap to benefit skin health and boost wellbeing and, in doing so, rid the world of plastic waste.
“I never thought my weekend hobby would become my business,” Leonara explains. “I started making soap because I was becoming more mindful of my overall health—this extended to what I put on my skin. My earliest childhood memory is spending time making what I truly believed to be healing tinctures from the herbs and flowers in my garden. It is as though TANAKA has evolved from my favourite childhood pastime—I’m still playing and experimenting with natural ingredients, creating formulations that stimulate our senses and nourish our skin.”
Our formulations are rooted in nature and influenced by our founder’s family and friends—be it a skin concern they might have, a specific ingredient they love or a texture they desire. Our bars are made with a unique blend of butters and oils, which results in highly conditioning, moisturising soap that forms a creamy lather and stable bubbles. The collection is structured by colour—not just as a means to differentiate between bars, but to celebrate nature’s palette. We use highly pigmented natural ingredients, such as spirulina, French Pink Clay and activated charcoal, to create beautiful hues. We don’t add any artificial colourings. At TANAKA, we’re committed to using only 100% natural, cruelty-free ingredients so you won’t find any SLS, parabens, synthetics or palm oil in our products.
Each bar is made, cured and packaged in London with intention and care. Our soap is made in small batches using the cold-processed method and is left to cure for 6 weeks, prior to dispatch. Our bars are wrapped in semi-transparent glassine paper (non-toxic, plastic-free, compostable) and sealed with a sticker made from FSC-approved paper.
Whether you’re swapping liquid handwash in the kitchen or trading shower gel for a nourishing body bar, TANAKA’s eight soap bars are multi-purpose and kind to all skin types.