What does it mean when fashion and beauty brands achieve one of the most difficult to obtain sustainable & ethical certifications?
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B Corps are analyzed and vetted from suppliers to headquarters by a third-party team to assess the company’s commitment to balance purpose with profit. That means everything from CO2 emissions to wages in their manufacturing factories is under review. While several luxury fashion, beauty, and accessory brands are now B Corps, Chloe was the first luxury fashion house to achieve this certification. Hopefully, it will not be the last and this achievement will create lasting change to show what the fashion industry can truly achieve.
How Do Brands Achieve B-Corp Certification?
“The positive impact is supported by transparency and accountability requirements. B Corp Certification doesn’t just prove where your company excels now—it commits you… for the long term.”
Achieving B-Corp certification is not a simple task, especially for a business that has traditionally focused on profit more than its environmental or social impact. Every aspect of their operations is analyzed and reviewed. When social or environmental standards aren’t met, a brand must commit and show progress to “improve and challenge itself to do better.” In total there are more than 300 questions that a company must answer and an 80-point score must be achieved as the lowest point minimum to achieve certification.
Chloe has achieved its score in part to its sustainable goals and objectives. ‘Goals’ might sound like another form of greenwashing, but to achieve B-Corp status, a brand must share its goals and actions to achieve them. These goals are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that brands have taken as much action as possible to achieve success in creating a more positive impact.
Several of Chloe’s goals include a focus on diversity and inclusion, better use of resources and reducing waste. Taking a closer look at areas that the brand is focusing on allow us to see just how the company is advancing towards a more sustainable business model. Here are a few of Chloe’s 2022 sustainable objectives:
- 100% of product teams trained in lower impact materials and circularity.
- 55% lower impact materials used in the Chloe brand ready-to-wear.
- 75% lower impact in the Chloe brand leather goods
- 20% Fair Trade sourcing on the Chloe brand ready-to-wear.
- 0 single-use plastic in offices.
- 100% recycled paper used
How has Chloe changed?
- Creating a sustainability board.
- Developing a road map towards sustainability with measurable goals to increase transparency and accountability.
- Accelerating the use of lower impact materials.
- Launching a volunteer program to encourage employees worldwide.
Since 2005, VEJA has been creating sneakers differently. Part of that involves using ecological materials such as organic cotton, Amazonian rubber, and recycled polyester. They’ve been transparently sharing how their sneakers are made from where the cotton is planted and harvested to the assembly maker for the canvas upper.
Veja’s overall B Corp score is 84.5. The company received 7.5 for its Mission score. This relates to the business model designed to create a specific positive outcome for one of its workers, community, environment, or customers. It has a 3.9 Supply Chain Poverty Alleviation score and a 14.5 Toxin Remediation Score. Other initiatives the brand has taken include:
- Organic cotton is purchased directly from Peruvian and Brazilian farmers using fair trade principles.
- Amazonian rubber is purchased at five times the market price. The company also supports and improves the living conditions of rubber tappers and helps them protect the Amazon rainforest.
- Recycled cotton, polyester, and recycled plastic water bottles are several of the regenerative materials used.
Since 1987 Aēsop has crafted clean skin and hair care products. Their fusion of plant-based and lab-created ingredients is meticulously chosen to garner consistently low hazard scores from the Environmental Working Group. The brand is also adamant about animal rights and is Leaping Bunny certified.
Aēsop has a B Corp score of 87.1. One of its highest areas of assessment is its community impact. This evaluates “a company’s engagement and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from” and addresses specific issues such as poverty alleviation, fair trade sourcing, diversity and inclusion, and charity commitments.
- Since 2014, 100% of Aēsop products are vegan and cruelty-free. In 2020, the company became Leaping Bunny approved.
- In 2019, they launched their first 500 ml bottles that were made from 97% recycled PET.
- In 2020, they further removed single-use plastics by introducing 100% recycled-content and 100% recyclable packaging for the seasonal Gift Kits.
- To date, the Foundation has committed more than AUD$15 million to a range of local, national, and global partners.
Faithfull The Brand
Faithfull the Brand was founded in 2014 in collaboration with Bali’s artisans to craft hand-made products to share with the world. Family-run factories have been making the fabrics and garments that followers have fallen in love with over the last decade.
Over the last few years, the brand has integrated social and eco-responsible practices to reduce waste, single-use plastic, and CO2 emissions and to provide a better work environment for the artisans who make their clothes.
- Since 2020 the brand has committed to using sustainable and certified fabrics such as linen, TENCEL™, and ECONYL®.
- Garment workers in Bali are paid above minimum wages and benefits that include healthy lunches, healthcare, vocational training programs, and micro-financing.
- Use biodegradable packaging and garment bags throughout the supply chain.
- Reduced single-use plastic through measures such as providing staff with reusable water bottles and reusable lunch containers.
Science and botanicals blend together to form Sunday Riley products. Each addresses various skin concerns with results that are backed by science and credited for being safe for the environment and customers. It’s no wonder that their oils are award-winning and prized by loyal customers
Sunday Riley achieved its B Corp certification in 2020 with an impact score of 80.5. Some sustainable initiatives involve having a zero-waste process for their oils that involve reusing the byproduct, becoming a Plastic Neutral certified, and reducing packaging waste.
- All inks are soy-based and paper packaging is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- Became Green Lab Certified to show that their laboratories meet the highest sustainable standards to create products in ways that cause the least amount of harm to the environment.
- Implement a zero-waste oil process that involves using leftover materials from the seed-pressing process to repurpose into fertilizer.
Parker Clay is a family-owned brand crafting beautiful accessories that provide economic empowerment for at-risk women in Ethiopia. Artisinal weaving from the region is woven into each product to celebrate their heritage and women workers are empowered with jobs, educational opportunities, and financial literacy.
With a score of 112, Parker Clay has the highest Impact score on this list. One area that scored phenomenally high was its worker assessment. This demonstrates the brand’s commitment to their employees’ financial security, health, and wellness, and diversity, and inclusion throughout their supply chain and executive ladder.
- A fair living wage is paid to all 200+ employees. Living wages take into account the cost of living in an area to ensure that necessities can be met.
- All accessories are shipped plastic-free. Instead, they arrive in a reusable organic cotton storage bag
- Local Ethiopian communities and industries provide the leather and other materials for the handbags to further support the community and reduce CO2 emissions.
* Curious to learn more about B-Corps? Hemna Chaundry spoke with the founder of the B-Corp Nutricare to learn what it takes to gain the certification. Read the interview Here. If you’d like to support and shop B-Corp brands, here are more good-for-you brands you can shop Here.