We can't compare apples to apples anymore. When it comes to commerce, 'business as usual' isn't nearly going to cut it in the transparent world we exist. The social and environmental climate of our planet is on a seemingly constant sheet of thin ice. We can stay within our bubbles of naive arrogance, or, we can step beyond the line of comfort and say "you know what, together we can make a difference", and it's true, we can.
14 years ago, three friends gave enough of a damn to split from their day jobs and create what we adoringly look out for today as the mark of a company playing their part, the wonderful B Corp. Their mission must have been anything but simple, but their vision is pretty straight forward; "B Corp makes it easier for mission-driven companies to protect and improve their positive impact over time."
A year after kick off, 85 companies were certified by the B Lab, today, there are over 2,500 globally. "Certified 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."
Certified B Corps are worth going out of your way for, worth writing a credit card shaped love letter to, and worth sharing around with your friends. Here are 10 worthy of your hard earned dollars next time you've got your active lifestyle hand in your active lifestyle pocket...
Patagonia are the original gods of the good decision world. Conscious to the core, in fact, to say they're a conscious business would be selling them very, very short. They're not only known for owning their point of view, they back it up with endless social and environment action, and exceptional product. Choose Patagonia by shopping with them.
Cotopaxi has a kick ass creed, on the surface it's super simple, but of course nothing is as simple as it looks. Cotopaxi says; 'Do Good'. Sounds easy, but there are a million moving parts to bringing that creed to life. They say "The Cotopaxi creed touches every aspect of the company. From our giving model to our company culture and sustainable product design, we sees business as a vehicle to make an impact. 1% of revenue goes toward addressing poverty and supporting community development. Through our grant program, we promote organisations that successfully improve the human condition."
To date, they’ve awarded 42 grants in six focus countries. They also make kick ass product, of course. Choose Cotopaxi by shopping with them.
There is A HECK OF A LOT to love about Tentree. As they say themselves; "Inspired by Nature, Made From Nature - Tentree is rooted in the belief that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the world we live in. Buy one, and we'll plant ten. Let's branch out to nature, ten trees at a time."
"Trees do something called ‘sequestering carbon’, it’s their way of cleaning our air, and eliminating harmful elements from the earth. They do that by absorbing the C02, and storing the carbon. Not only do trees sequester carbon, they also produce oxygen." Planting trees for every product sold is only the beginning, you can go Climate+ by collaborating with people like NBA heavyweight Deandre Jordan. Choose Tentree by shopping with them.
If you're wondering who Athleta is, this is a good place to start; "We believe being active opens doors to a bigger life. And that unleashing the power of your body can translate into mastery of your mind and serenity in your soul, too."
Athleta is super clear about their values and about the empowerment they represent for women and girls the world over, but what we really love about the brand is their crisp and modern ability to weave their philosophy into their product story. Sustainable materials, waste strategy, functional products for a lifestyle that promotes better thinking, this is just the tip of the Athleta iceberg. Choose Athleta by shopping with them.
In a heavily dominated market, Allbirds shot to shoe-category-stardom by strapping themselves to the feet of some of the world's most notable people, Obama, Oprah and Cindy Crawford to name a few. They're choosing them as casual kicks, at their core though, Allbirds have training and running in their dna.
United By Blue are on a mission to clean up the planet and positively influence the apparel industry to do the same while they're at it. An outdoors brand at heart, UBB thrives on the lifestyle that can only happen when it's happening outdoors and they're putting their money where their mouths are and following through with deep passion. Check out their planning and commitment, it's no joke.
United By Blue do a pretty wide range of products and have a nice tight active line. You can choose United By Blue by shopping with them.
Forward thinking, innovative and proudly Australian brand Kusaga Athletic cares deeply about making a positive impact on the environment. Founded and produced by people that constantly question the ‘norm’ and seek to deliver 'profit for purpose' on a journey towards true sustainability.
If that's not quite enough to get you over the line, OORR plants 5 trees for every garment sold, 5! Their product quality is known to be exceptional, on point in terms of design and promises to help you smell less like your dogs back legs at the end of your ride... apparently the coffee beans do that perfectly... You can choose OORR by shopping with them.
There's something very intriguing and special about Hoseg. Have a click around their website to fully immerse yourself, it'll leave you wanting to support their mission. Their story is led by the millions of children in Peru, and their purpose is to help improve the quality of life of Andean children in vulnerable and remote communities located over 9,800 f.a.s.l. Most of us take warmth for granted, but the wonderful of Hoseg know that only goes so far.
For every jacket sold, they'll supply one to a child, for every t'shirt, a tree goes in the ground, and we love that. You can choose Hoseg by shopping with them.
A darling of the last few years, previously skyrocketing startup Outdoor Voices is a brand that just can't be left off this list. It's endured some rollercoaster-esq moments over the last little while but it remains a damn cool brand and an empowering social movement at the least.
Sustainability throughout their material and manufacturing, packaging and company culture help deliver a worthy place on the list, but in terms of social impact or value, well, OV have been credited for celebrating the pure act of doing 'something' and for many people, that's right where their active life ignites or reignites, and we wish them into the next chapter of their journey. You can choose Outdoor Voices by shopping with them.
Have you got a brand story you'll like told? Why not reach out to one of contributors by dropping us a line: [email protected]
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