In 1918, Godrej produced the world’s first vegetable oil soap. It was a major breakthrough because soaps produced by Europeans were generally made of animal fat, which was against the principles of non-violence & vegetarianism in India.
In 1919, Godrej used the technique and launched a vegetable oil soap under the brand name “No 2” on a pilot basis. The reason they named it “No 2” was to suggest that if No 2 itself was so good, then No 1 would be much better. In 1922, Godrej launched the “No 1” soap, which was not only better than the predecessor but even outdid European brands. Since the ahimsa & swadeshi movement by Gandhiji had gained momentum, the vegetable oil soap by Godrej had struck a chord with the masses. Nationalists like Rabindranath Tagore stepped forward to promote the “swadeshi” soap by Godrej.