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B Corps, the truth about being a good company

Have you ever wonder how you can know if a brand is as good as it claims to be? Green, ethical, sustainable, are just a few confusing terms that are extremely used in describing brands.

It is good to clarify that in order to be called a good brand, a company must be working primarily to solve an environmental or social issue through its work as a business entity. It’s about having a positive impact on people and planet. And this is when B Corporation certification comes in. B-Lab, a non-profit organization created this certification that is meant to measure a company´s social and environmental performance. It’s about reaching rigorous standards of social and environmental conduct, accountability and transparency. From worker engagement, community involvement to environmental footprint. Whatever industry a company is in, this certification is an extremely useful guide.

Some of the best-known brands now certified as a B Corp include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, Warby Parker, Better World Fashion. All these companies are making progress toward alleviating poverty, building stronger communities, creating a great place to work, and restoring the environment, for generations to come. Let’s have a look at some concrete examples within the fashion industry.

Building stronger communities 

The outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has a¨Retail Grants Program¨. Through this initiative, they fund environmental work that takes place near their retails stores, such as grassroots activist organizations and their campaigns to preserve and protect the environment. They also give 1% of their sales to support environmental organizations around the world. There are so many others, take a look at this video Patagonia environmental initiatives.

source: Video

Warby Parker, an American brand of prescription eyewear and sunglasses, that has built a socially conscious business since day one. Their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program is meant to help people around the world that don’t have access to glasses. By working with different partners around the world, they make sure that every time a pair of glasses is sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.


source: Warby Parker

Creating a greater place to work 

Patagonia offers employees the ability to do volunteer through the Environmental Internship Program. ¨Employees from all parts of the company are allowed up to two months away from their regular roles to work for the environmental group of their choice while continuing to earn their paycheck and benefits.¨ via Patagonia.com

Etsy, the global marketplace for handmade and vintage items is committed to diversity and inclusion. Their hiring practices are all about ensuring equity and mitigate potential bias. More than 50% of their executive team is women. They are also sponsoring programs like Code2040 and Girl Develop It, initiatives that promote racial equality, provide opportunities for women interested in pursuing a career in tech. Here are some statistics:

source: Medium

How a brand can get this certificate?

The first step is taking the B Impact Assessment, which is free. This assessment is about the details of how a company operates (workers, community, environment, and governance). If you want to see how good is your company, go to www.bimpactassessment.net and take the test. This assessment is such a good guide for those brands that want to do good in the world. 

Distinguishing a good company from just ¨good¨ marketing has never been easier than now. B Corp Certification helps us identify the companies that bring benefits to the society, environment and people. I highly recommend starting your 2019 with a clear view about this topic and realize the importance of spreading the word.

*info from the book The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good and the websites Patagonia, EtsyWarby Parker.


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