3 Things to Know when Buying from a B Corp Brand
People want to buy green. Yet, one-fifth of shoppers feel skeptical about environmental claims made by brands. Can B Lab’s unique accreditation help fix this problem?
In fashion, trade-offs between quality, style and the environment have led brands to exaggerate sustainability claims. Such green- and blue-washing efforts erode buyers’ confidence, making it harder for real-impact brands to build trust and transparency. Can B Corps – conscious companies that put the planet and its people before profit – be the answer? Here are three things to know when buying from such certified brands.
#1 The gold standard
When a company identifies as a B Corporation, it makes a public claim to follow a different set of governing rules. Instead of the traditional shareholder-centered approach, B Corps commit to creating value for non-sharing stakeholders, such as their people, the community and the environment, more holistically. Once certified, “a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency” on everything from employee benefits to supply chain management. To learn more about B Lab’s theory of change, click here.
#2 The long & winding road
Brands undergo a challenging and rigorous process to achieve this highly sought-after accreditation. Out of 150,000 firms that have applied, only 4,500 have achieved full B Corp status. The procedure requires engaging leaders and teams across various organizational departments, including finance, human resources, legal, marketing, operations, and others, towards a united mission, transforming business models, structures and processes. Find out here how B Lab measures a company’s entire social and environmental impact.
#3 Not a “badge for life”
“B Corp brands must learn how to set objectives within the assessment framework, enabling ongoing evolution and growth,” explains John Pritchard, founder of B Corp brand Pala Eyewear. In other words, the certification represents a journey towards continuous improvement rather than an end goal. By facing review every three years, brands need to proactively direct their resources towards internal change to uphold the B Corp status. Check out the inspirational story behind Patagonia’s constant evolution – a company that has consistently been certified for a decade.
 “The Glossary’s B Corp Fashion Guide: The ethical fashion brands to know” | The Glossary Magazine. Available at: https://theglossarymagazine.com/fashion/b-corp-fashion-brands/
 “Customers Seek Purpose Driven Companies Creating A Rise In B Corps” | Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleykohan/2021/03/28/customers-seek-purpose-driven-companies-creating-a-rise-in-b-corps/?sh=3bbf68cb6dd2
Author: Naomy Gmyrek