Beyond Profit: Why become a B Corp

B Corp Client stories Sustainable communication
During the past few decades, a new type of business has emerged that takes the challenge of merging the business and non-profit realms, and ultimately goes beyond profit when it comes to the company mission. These organisations in fashion and textile and other industries prioritise more than just increasing a bottom line – they strive to make a positive impact on the world through their core of business.

From including more sustainable materials and ensuring fair wages in the supply chain to implementing a circular design approach to new products, fashion brands and businesses are at the forefront of the sustainable movement, changing the industry from the inside out.

One way to prove this commitment to sustainable business practices is by applying for a B-Corp certification. Such undeniable external validation turns one-side website statements into verifiable impact efforts, boosting your reputation to all stakeholders and sending a clear signal that this is the direction your fashion business is heading.

What is a B Corp?

B Corp, short for Benefit Corporation, is a certification granted by B Lab, a nonprofit organisation transforming the global economy with a “no planet B” mentality.
The B Corp certification represents a new kind of business model that aims for a long-term balance of purpose and profit. While B Corps are still for-profit companies, they commit themselves to using their business as a force for good by considering the impact of their decisions on their employees, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
B Corp certifications are increasing by an astounding 38%! In 2020 alone, we saw over 6000 businesses stepping up to the plate and became B corp certified. Beyond just a certificate, they bring a 26% faster turnover and a 14% boost in employee talent.

How is this certification different from others?

Unlike other certifications that focus solely on one or a few very specific aspects of sustainability, B Corp takes a big-picture approach to assess whether a company deserves a prestigious B-Corp certification.
B Corps must meet rigorous standards across five key impact areas:
  • Governance
  • Employees and workers
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Customers
This holistic evaluation ensures that all B Corps are indeed committed to creating positive change across all aspects of their operations, remaining highly selective as an impact-verified certification.
Importantly, after a starting 2024, 5 key impact areas will turn into 11, namely:
  • Purpose
  • Ethics and Anti-Corruption
  • Impact Management
  • Living Wages
  • Worker Empowerment
  • Human Rights
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Climate
  • Environmental Management
  • Collective Action
  • Risk Standards
Each of these areas covers more specific topics and directives. For a complete breakdown of the 11 upcoming areas, check out the extensive B-Corp report.

Why is it important to seek this certification as an impact business?

Obtaining B-Corp certification offers several significant advantages for impact businesses:
a) Credibility and Trust: B-Corp certification provides an independent and credible validation of a company’s commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices. It reassures stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and partners, that the business operates with integrity and accountability.
b) Differentiation and Competitive Advantage: Being a certified B Corp sets a company apart from its competitors. It demonstrates that the business is genuinely committed to making a positive impact, which can attract like-minded customers and partners who prioritise sustainability and social responsibility.
c) Access to a Supportive Community: B Corps join a global community of like-minded businesses dedicated to using the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges. This community provides valuable networking opportunities, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing, fostering a collective effort towards positive change – one of the biggest advantages of the B-Corp certification!

What are the barriers and issues to know when applying for this certification?

While pursuing B-Corp certification is commendable, there are several barriers and issues fashion businesses should be aware of:
a) Time and Resources: Getting B-Corp certified is a vigorous process. Companies therefore must dedicate the necessary resources to collect and analyse data, develop policies and practices, and prepare the required documentation to apply and pass the certifications with high enough points.
b) Meeting the Standards: The B-Corp certification standards are comprehensive as well as demanding – to keep their reputation intact. Each business applying must demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainable practices across various impact areas. It doesn’t end there – meeting these standards may often require implementing changes to existing processes, policies, and company culture to reach the bar of B-Corp certification.
c) Legal Requirements: Last but not least, depending on the jurisdiction, companies may need to alter their legal structure to become a Benefit Corporation. This transition may involve legal and administrative complexities, which may differ from country to country.

Is it good to have professional help to apply for B-Corp certification?

We might be biased but we recommend having professional assistance when applying for B Corp certification. RethinkRebels has more than 25 years of the knowledge, expertise, and first-hand experience in sustainability and the fashion industry necessary to navigate the B Corp process smoothly and attain a better chance of getting certified.
Our experts have successfully completed an intensive B Leaders training programme covering all areas of B Corp certification and the B Impact Assessment. We share in-depth knowledge of the B Corp framework for measuring and managing a business's impact on all its stakeholders. We offer guidance and support to companies thinking about, preparing for, or going through the B Corp certification process.
Not only do we provide one-on-one guidance on meeting the B-Corp certification standards, we also specialise in identifying the most crucial areas for improvement within your fashion and/or textile business. We always tailor our support to your specific needs, making any sustainability efforts more efficient and effective.
On top of that, we know how important it is to align the whole organisation into this new ambitious goal of becoming a B-Corp. That is why we gathered as well as created handy tools and up-to-date resources. In the end, we will make sure that your B-Corp application is accurate, complete, and aligns with the expectations of the non-profit network B Lab that has the ultimate say on who becomes the next B-Corp.
To learn more about how we can help your businesses become a FORCE FOR GOOD, check out our B Corp service page.
Ultimately, becoming a certified B Corp is not only a badge of honour but also a clear commitment to using your fashion business as a force for good. It is a powerful step towards creating a more responsible fashion industry where success is measured not only by profit but also by positive impact on the people and the planet.
Ready to start now? Say hello to our FREE super user-friendly B Corp white paper—a roadmap to kick off your exciting journey towards B Corp certification! Click HERE to download!
By becoming a B Corp, join the movement and lead the way in shaping a better future for all.

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