castile soap is named after the region of Spain, where the using of vegetable oils in the creation of soap was prefered over tallow(animal fat). In Castile, local olive oil was tradionally used. Pure-castile soaps and liquid soaps are always vegetable-based.
from the Dr. Bronner's website :
we are committed to make fine ecological products with care and integrity
Dr. E.H. Bronner 1908 -1997
A Life Dedicated to God, Mankind and Spaceship Earth
Emanuel Bronner was a third generation master soap-maker from an orthodox Jewish family in Heilbron, Germany, where he was certified as a master soap-maker under the rigorous guild system of the time. He was the heir to the family's soap factory and business, but rebelled against his father and came to the United States in the late 1920's. After the Nazis nationalized the soap factory in 1938, his parents and most of his family died in the Holocaust.
Dr. Bronner initially worked as a consultant to various soap companies in the U.S. However, most such companies were converting to the complicated synthetic surfactant formulations that comprise modern body care products, so he struck out on his own in the late 40's. His ecological castile soaps and message of peace resonated powerfully with the counter-culture of the 60's and 70's, and he became an icon of the time.
Dr. Bronner's essential vision and philosophy were born out of the fate of his family and the Holocaust, and are emphatic that we are all children of the same divine source: people must realize that we are "All-One!," and that the prophets and spiritual giants of the world's various faith traditions all realized and said this. Dr. Bronner was also grounded in a powerful ecological consciousness, and the soaps were an extension of this simple, natural and 100% environment-friendly.
Dr. Bronner passed away peacefully on March 7, 1997, amidst family and friends. While we disagree with Dr. Bronner on some idiosyncrasies in his philosophy, we revere him for his efforts to unite humanity and his exhortations to lead a more responsible life in respect to our environment and each other. We continue to make with care and integrity the fine ecological soaps our customers have loved and lathered with for 50 years, and we now make our soaps with all certified organic oils, certified under the USDA’s National Organic Program. We share our time, profits and energy with our workers and worthwhile causes worldwide.
Love in All-One, The Bronner Family