Shop smart and help save our planet.
If last year taught us anything, it’s to be kind. Not just to ourselves or each other, but to our planet, too. Sadly, shopping sustainably can feel like a minefield at the best of times. How do you avoid greenwashing? And identify brands endorsing fast fashion? And spot ethical clothing brands from the not-so-ethical?
By looking for B Corp brands, that’s how. While it’s not the be all and end all – there are many smaller, independent sustainable brands that don’t have a B Corp certification yet – it is a really easy way to identify if a brand is actually doing good sustainability-wise, and opting for businesses practices that don’t harm our planet.
Keen to read up on what it actually means and which B Corp brands are our favourite? Keep reading.
B Corp brands: so, what is a B Corp?
Fun fact: there are almost 4,000 Certified B Corporations across 77 countries in 153 industries. That’s a lot. But what does being B Corp actually mean?
As stated on the Certified B Corporation website, B Corp are brands 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.”
Or, in simpler terms, a B Corp brand is a sustainable company that puts sustainable practice first.
How do you become a Certified B Corporation?
According to the B Corp website, the assessment ‘evaluates how your company’s operations and business model impact your workers, community, environment, and customers. From your supply chain and input materials to your charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves your business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.’
So, essentially, it takes a deep dive into your business model and practices to make sure every step of the process is sustainable for both people and planet. B Corp brands treat employees well, and the planet well, too.
Only brands verified by their ‘B Lab’ actually make it to B Corp status – it’s notoriously thorough and difficult to get the badge of honour, making sure only businesses who are genuinely going the extra mile are accredited.
It’s not-for-profit and wants to inspire people globally to use business as a force of good.
Plus, B Corp brands don’t claim to be perfect – actually, far from it. The stamp means they’re doing the best they can – and a fair bit more than most brands without the stamp – and, as per the Propercorn website, a certified B Corp, are ‘alike in their motivation to do more and grow in the right way’.
Why should you buy from a B Corp?
So, why is buying from these businesses so important? Silly question, really: we’re facing a climate crisis and, if we don’t change our ways soon, risk destroying our planet.
Shopping with brands making a difference is not longer just a nice way to reduce your carbon footprint – it’s essential for everyone to survive.
How do you identify a B Corp brand?
It’s pretty simple: just look out for the below logo on the packaging or website of your favourite brands.
Most of the time, it’ll be displayed with pride the bottom of their homepage, on their social media, or on their packaging. Keep an eye out.
11 B Corp brands to have on your radar
1. Wolf & Badger
W&B are the latest company to become a B Corp brand. Their website is a goldmine of ethically sourced clothes, shoes, homeware and beauty products – trust us, it’s a good’un.
2. Proper Snacks
We all love Proper snacks – hello, tasty, tasty popcorn and lentil crisps – but did you know they’ve been a B Corp brand since 2018? They were the first snack brand in the UK to be certified, and sell vegan snacks made from 100% natural ingredients.
3. Form Nutrition
Form have always had sustainability at the core of what they do – they were the first ever UK brand to be certified as B Corp.
Co-founder Damian Soong said: “Giving and social responsibility is woven into Form’s DNA – even at our pre-launch, we gave a meal for every sign-up.”
Co-founder Natalia Bojanic agrees, adding: “We don’t see the point of being a business if you aren’t doing good in the world. In our view, companies have a social, economic and environmental responsibility to bring positive impact to society.”
Graze – a subscription-based snack service that can be directly delivered to your door – became a B Corp earlier this year.
They said on the move: “We’ve joined thousands of businesses who, like us, believe in being a force for good in the world. It means we’re challenging ourselves to imagine even better ways of doing things right for people and the planet. And we think that’s an idea that really counts.”
As part of their eco-movement they’ve made a pledge to go carbon neutral by 2030. “We’ve measured our footprint, and are already working on reducing it as much as we can first and foremost. Case in point – all the electricity at our factory and our bakery is now 100% carbon neutral and comes from a windfarm in a particularly windy bit of Scotland. There’s lots more work to do, and we’re excited to share our progress as we go,” they share.
Certified B Corp since December 2011, Patagonia have long championed a simple and waste-free production approach.
They design clothes made to last for generations or that can be recycled, so the production doesn’t harm the planet in the process. Plus, they admit that they’re a work in process, always championing new and fun ways to make their business even more eco-friendly.
Allbirds have been making merino wool footwear – what they call ‘the world’s best natural materials’ – since xxx, and were certified B Corp in 2016.
Founder Tim Brown wanted to use the wool – a ‘remarkable, sustainable resource [that] was virtually absent in the footwear industry’ – to create a never-seen-before product. And that, he has.
Working with engineer and renewables expert Joey Zwillinger, they made Allbirds – shoes made from mother nature’s materials that don’t harm the planet. Win, win.
You might have guessed from the name that Vivobarefoot design shoes to help you reconnect with nature via barefoot design principles.
Invented by two cousins from a family of cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark, the shoes have been found to help improve foot health, plus use a business model designed to help ‘regenerate and restore the environment’.
Fun fact: last year, the brand launched ReVivo, their first programme to allow customers to to return used footwear and have them reconditioned.
8. Kri Skincare
Krī Skincare’s ethos? Simple: to make more from less. Created using only vegan and biodegradable ingredients, they’ve been working towards being certified B Corp for ‘almost a year’, according to their website.
“Being certified to the highest verified standards of transparency and accountability provides further assurances to our customers that we do what we say we do, and that we’re committed to driving long-term positive changes as a responsible, ethical skincare business,” they share.
Did you know? BrewDog, according to their website, is the world’s first carbon negative brewery for beer and give 10% of profits each year to their workers.
As they say on their site, they believe ‘carbon is their problem, and so they remove all of their emissions at The BrewDog Forest, near their home in the Scottish Highlands.’
Bottom line: they reckon that together, we can change the world.
10. Ocean Bottle
11. Wild Nutrition
In a nutshell: a health supplement brand with a heart. They share that from the very beginning, their aim was to shake things up a little and carve a new path. “To create products with purpose, backed by science, and using natural ingredients of exceptional quality,” shares the B Corp website.
Sold in 52 countries globally, the brand is big on supporting the planet, offering eco-friendly packaging and a business model that, first and foremost, respects the environment and natural order of things.
For more information on becoming a B Corp or to check out the extensive directory of brands, head to the Certified B Corporation website.
Reporting by Rosie Grant