Have you ever seen that little sign on the side of a product that says B corp? Maybe it even says B Corp certified? If you did not know what that means, B corporations are “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.” (About b corps) All in all, it’s a pretty special achievement.
What defines a B corp?
B corporations are very different from normal everyday businesses because of what they do and what they stand for. It is actually very hard to qualify to become a B corporation and most business owners wear their certification as a badge of pride. They are certified by The B Corporation Organization, no shocker there. The organization certifies based on a number of different factors such as “a companies impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment.” (About B corps)
What makes them different from other businesses?
If you want to become a B corporation you should know that your application will be evaluated based on the goals and ethics of your company. During the evaluation, the organization will have a team of people scrutinizing every single detail of your company. Sounds daunting? That’s because it is! As the only business certification in the world based on social and environmental impact, they want to make sure your money is where your heart is. It is a prestigious title that should not be looked at lightly. The certification also requires an amount of transparency with customers supporting the business that usually is not seen in most business practices.
So why would companies go through the effort of getting certified? It usually boils down to what the owner of the company envisions for the establishment and what they want their business to stand for. It is a deeply personal choice for many and is one of the first reasons that they decide to open a business in the first place. According to the B corp website, companies decide to pursue their certification based on six key elements:
- Lead a movement
- Build relationships
- Attract talent
- Improve impact
- Amplify voice
- Protect mission
(About B corp)
Even though it is a rigorous process to become certified with only 1 out of every three companies applying becoming accepted into the program, it is heartwarming to see how many companies truly care about this label and standard of business. Currently, there is an overwhelming amount of business’s desperately trying to become certified and to do their part in helping the world become a better place for everyone. When I started researching for this article, I was initially shocked by how many businesses were actually already listed under the B corp certification considering it is not something you will notice on your average shopping excursion. If you have never come across one of those special products with that cute little B label on it, I thought I would share the love! I have highlighted some companies that I personally support and love below so you can see what exactly sets them apart from the rest. PS many of these companies have a cult-like following because their products are just that good.
Examples of B corps (some that I really love)
Allbirds: Let’s start with a company I absolutely love but have not had the opportunity to support yet. Awful, I know. They got their start by making extremely comfortable “runners” as they are called on their website using sustainable eucalyptus and New Zealand wool. Now they have expanded their business into a whole line of footwear as well as clothing, always keeping sustainability at the forefront of their business.
Patagonia: If you have ever walked into an REI then you know this brand. I have supported Patagonia for most of my life because they make products that last and are fantastic at the same time. This is one of the largest brands carrying that B corp title proudly, which is impressive considering that the larger your business becomes the harder it is to maintain sustainable practices. Thankfully, Patagonia does this with ease.
Bombas: Hello to the most comfortable sock I have ever worn. I am an avid hiker and runner and I did not think much of it when my mom bought me a pair of leg compression Bombas for a long flight to the Hawaiian islands. After wearing them a couple of times I wanted another pair of their normal everyday socks because they are literally so comfortable. They provide arch support in a way that I have never felt before in a sock and they are thick, but not in a bad way. In the best way possible actually.
Illy: I have been consuming this coffee for many years but I had no idea that they held a B certification! Very impressed considering that many of their products are produced and shipped around the entire world. I see Illy coffee at many airports when I travel. One of Illy’s goals is to reach carbon neutrality by 2033 which will also be their 100th anniversary! I can get behind that. Let’s sip in sustainable style!
Blueland: I was considering doing an entire post on this company because, to be honest, they are hitting it out of the park in offering the public a sustainable option for cleaning products. I personally have tried many of their products and can say that that they effectively clean my home and smell amazing! Plus, there is something oddly satisfying about watching the little tablets dissolve right before my eyes. Another big bonus is that their packaging is gorgeous.
Ethique: This is a company that I came across on Amazon actually and I am happy that they hold a B certification as well. Their company started by creating shampoo and conditioner in bar form that also does not contain a single piece of plastic, which is significant. They have now expanded their offerings into a number of facial products, lip products, as well as body care just to name a few. Definitely give them a try if you are interested in trying bar body care! It is actually not as bad as it sounds and my hair thanked me for it in the end.
Athleta: This is another really large brand that supports a B corp title. A little surprising isn’t it considering this company is a part of an umbrella brand that encompasses Gap, Old Navy, and the Banana Republic. Can massive brands actually be good for the planet and its people? Surprisingly, Athleta boasts that 3% of their products use water-saving technology, with the goal of hitting 25% by 2020. (hopefully, they already did that). They also state on their website that 74% of waste created by the brand is diverted from landfills, 71% of their materials are made using sustainable fibers. Athleta also encourages and supports women’s rights and that seems to be a major core value to their business model. Not a bad idea in this ever-changing world.
The Body Shop: Here is another brand that I have supported since I was a little girl. I love their body butter and they also have re-fill stations inside their stores so you can refill some of their products. They also use their brand as a force for good specifically in women’s rights and activism around the world.
Terra Thread: Last yet absolutely not least, is Terra thread that sells sustainable bags made out of ethically sourced organic cotton. Each purchase supports carbon offset projects as well as supporting in-need communities by supplying meals to children and families. If you are needing a new backpack for this school season, definitely give them a look! Their bags look super cute and very sturdy. I would definitely pick one up to go hiking or even for a day trip in the city.
Shop B Corp!
And that is it! I hope you learned something from this article and will choose to support some of these amazing companies in the future. I believe in the mantra of making the world a better place, one purchase at a time. Let’s vote with our $$$. You might be surprised by how effective it is!
About b corps. About B Corps | Certified B Corporation. (n.d.). https://bcorporation.net/about-b-corps.
affiliate links are used in this post
About terra thread. Terra Thread. (n.d.). https://terrathread.com/pages/about-terrathread.
The body shop. (n.d.). https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-us/about-us/activism/a/a00015.
Conscious & concentrated solid beauty bars. – ethique global. Ethique. (n.d.). https://ethique.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwvO2IBhCzARIsALw3ASoMrA9riBiOywcpwuajUSv0A-IO-c2mZlcHd3PyQrec7U9QEQqaXDQaAr9vEALw_wcB.
One makes the difference – Live Happilly. illy. (n.d.). https://www.illy.com/en-us/live-happilly/one-makes-the-difference.
Our core values: B corp. Our Core Values | B Corp. (n.d.). https://athleta.gap.com/browse/info.do?cid=1074427&mlink=55287%2C15864962%2CFooter_Sustainability&clink=15864962#BCorp.
Our story – Team, Mission, Founders (TIM Brown & Joey Zwillinger). Allbirds. (n.d.). https://www.allbirds.com/pages/our-story.
Patagonia outdoor clothing & Gear. Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear. (n.d.). https://www.patagonia.com/home/.
Affiliate links may be used in this post