The benefits of B Corps
If you’re interested in the environment, business and sustainability like us, you must have heard about B Corps already, or Benefit Corporations: These are companies that aim to balance purpose and profit. Unlike traditional corporations that focus solely on generating profits, B Corps strive to make a positive impact on the environment too. They consider the interests of not just their shareholders but also their employees, customers, communities, and the planet! This week, we’ve decided to do a little deep dive into all the ways that B corps benefit us as individuals, our planet, and why they’re such a good way to conduct business!
To become a B Corp, companies must undergo a strict certification process by a third-party organisation called B Lab. This certification evaluates a company's impact across various areas, such as governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment. In fact, becoming a Certified B Corporation is one of the most rigorous, comprehensive and rewarding processes a business can undertake. That’s why once a business has this certification, you can be sure to be buying from a corporation that prioritises ethical practices, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Here are some reasons why buying from a B Corp is beneficial:
- Social and Environmental Impact: B Corps are committed to creating positive change. They prioritise fair labour practices, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. By buying from them, you're supporting companies that are making a difference in the world.
- Trust and Transparency: B Corps are held to high standards of accountability and transparency. They are required to meet certain social and environmental performance criteria and make their impact reports publicly available. This helps you make informed decisions about the companies you choose to support.
- Ethical Business Practices: B Corps adhere to ethical business practices. They strive to treat their employees well, provide fair wages and benefits, and maintain a healthy work environment. They also consider the impact of their supply chains, ensuring fair trade and responsible sourcing.
- Innovation and Leadership: B Corps often serve as pioneers in their industries. They find innovative ways to address social and environmental challenges, setting an example for other businesses to follow. By buying from a B Corp, you're supporting companies that are working towards creating a more sustainable and equitable future.
B Corps aim to create a positive social and environmental impact. Buying from a B Corp supports ethical business practices, transparency, and sustainability. For businesses, becoming certified as a B Corp helps differentiate them in the market, drive improvement, foster collaboration, and provide legal protection. It's a win-win for everyone involved!
So far, there’s over 6800 B corps globally and 1,300 of those are in the UK. Spread across 130 industries, this certification can be applied to pretty much any type of business and is certainly a great way for businesses and brands to take responsibility for their social and environmental behaviour.
Fashion B Corps
Shopping sustainably can feel like a minefield at times, especially when it comes to fashion. By looking for the B Corp stamp of approval, you’re avoiding all things greenwashing and fast fashion.
- As one of the latest B Corp brands, Wolf&Badger has undergone a rigorous certification process to ensure that they meet the highest standards of environmental and social performance, accountability, and transparency. By prioritising ethical sourcing and sustainability, W&B is leading the charge towards a more responsible and conscientious approach to e-commerce. From clothes, shoes, homeware and beauty products, everything on their website is ethically sourced.
- Patagonia has been a Certified B Corp since December 2011 and has championed a simple, waste-free production approach since then. They craft clothes that are durable enough to last for generations or can be recycled, ensuring that production does not harm the planet in the process. Even as a work in progress, the company continuously explores new and creative ways to make their business more eco-friendly. Recently, they came up with a collection of loungewear where every item is unique and different from another, as all the pieces are made from scrap materials of older collections.
- TOMS, the well-known footwear brand, have been making a positive impact since 2006. By supporting non-profits worldwide, they commit a third of their profits to support grassroots initiatives and those who work to create a more equitable future. As of 2021, TOMS has been recognised as one of the top 5% of B corps in the Community category, with an increase in their overall score to 121.5 points – a 25% improvement from their previous rating.
- The name says it all: Vivobarefoot's shoes are crafted with barefoot design principles to promote a reconnection with nature. Cousins Galahad and Asher Clark, hailing from a family of cobblers, invented the shoes which have been shown to improve foot health. What's more, the brand's business model aims to regenerate and restore the environment. The company launched its ReVivo program last year, where customers can return used footwear for reconditioning.
These are just a few of the brand names that are making a difference in the fashion industry. If you want to know more, head over to our social media where we’ve published a full list of our favourite fashion B corps.
[info sourced on marieclaire.co.uk and bcorporation.uk
All images sourced on canva.com]