Over the years I’ve side stepped into education at degree level and am inspired to see the next wave of fashion communicators will be instigators of change. Attitudes are shifting. Profit is no longer the only winner and I truly believe that those companies who continue to pursue profit at all cost will, before long become out of step and obsolete. Let’s hope so.
So I was uplifted to read about B Corps not so long ago and just recently I learnt that The Body Shop is now B Corp certified, which well and truly puts this fresh approach to business into the mainstream. How brilliant that The Body Shop can be recognised for the way it has always done business. Pioneering today in the way it started way back in 1976.
So what is B Corp? For a start B Corp has been around since 2006, with over 2,300 certified corporations. I feel a bit late to the party on this one, but often you only come across things when you’re looking to engage in a conversation. Officially, Certified B Corps are ‘businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.’ Read more about them here. It gives business a human approach, treating people and our surroundings with respect and widening the attributes of success beyond just the profit. Business as a force for good, for everyone. The biggest single shift in business thinking, I think.
I’m avidly looking at how I can become a B Corp, I’ll keep you posted. I may be a little small at the moment, but we will grow. My first stage is to complete The B Impact Assessment, which is around 200 questions in total. The great thing about owning your own business is that you can decide how you want to behave and do business. The makers and creators that are in my life all seem to have a more human centred approach to their business. It’s the norm. Treating people well, engaging with the community, doing things beyond the profit, having respect for the environment and materials. Basically being aware and being human. Maybe the shift will come from the ground up and it’s an opportunity for new types of business to make the big boys change their ways.
At the moment there only seems to be four UK companies in the clothing sector that are B Corp certified. Your guess is as good as mine as to why this is, keep an eye on the list and see who the forward thinking ones are. Surely these are the ones you would prefer to buy from, work for or invest in?
There’s a great interview with Jay Coen Gilbert, the Founder of B Lab here. There is also a great piece in the brilliant Courier magazine, The Design Issue
Business as a force for good. Seems like the norm for the future. Don’t take my word for it, engage in the conversation and do something about it.