#LearnTheLabel: Let’s explore Certified B Corporations

Jul 26

It is time for another week of #LearnTheLabel with Klee. Like always, we’re here to learn and explore living a more eco-positive life with you. This week, we’re taking a look at Certified B Corporations and examining the meaning of the B label found on a range of products.

At first the B on the label made me think of none other than—you guessed it—Beyoncé. Iconic, but probably not relevant enough to be related to the label (although maybe Bey is a B Corps shopper?). Then I thought the B maybe stood for Best company or something like that. Another unlikely possibility, but perhaps a bit closer to the actual meaning, or definition. So what does the B mean anyway?

What is it? According to the B Corporation website, when a company features the B label on their product, it means in making the product, the company has met a series of rigorous standards. The standards hold for-profit companies accountable with things like environmental and social performance, as well as their transparency in that process. Basically, doing good and giving back have to be part of the company’s business model in order to be classified a B corps. Currently there are more than 900 companies located in 29 different countries that are a B Corps.

Who created the B Label? B Lab, a nonprofit that aims to drive systemic change by creating a network of companies whose work meets their standards, which resulted in B Corps. You can learn more about them and what they do here.

What does it mean for us? It seems like this certification can be useful because the products that feature the label are already products we are going to buy, why not use the label to certify they’re made to do some good?

As David Oetken laid it out in his opinion piece for The Lane Report, “Ultimately, what makes a B Corp different from and more impactful than a traditional corporation that’s trying to do good (by giving away some money every year, volunteering, etc.,) is that for B Corps, doing what’s right is the reason that they exist.”

Money is power and buying products that are actively working to be held accountable could be an opportunity for us to spend money on companies and causes we care about. In a way, we’re being consumers and supporting companies that take responsibility for their impact. Some popular examples include companies like Patagonia and Warby Parker, which are known for doing good, and handling business differently and more responsibly than their counterparts.

Recently I had to shop for a new pair of glasses since I ruined mine by bringing them into a sauna. I didn’t want to go to my optometrist because the last time I was there, I spent $395 (and that was including my insurance). I wanted something cheaper and something cute, so Warby Parker it was. I love the idea that they do “buy a pair, give a pair.” I think that is the way to go, and if I get a pair, someone else should too. I was so happy and excited to shop for something cute, affordable and kind?

Why is this label useful? This label can come pretty handy whenever you want to purchase anything from music festival tickets to popsicles, even hammocks and glasses, you can choose to spend your money in places where you know the money will flow into the community. The B Corps network provides a way for for-profit companies to meet standards that hold them accountable in multiple aspects.

Let’s talk shopping. What about you? How do you shop? Many of us only choose to buy things that are created or distributed in a certain way. We actively choose to support certain causes, which influences how we spend our money and our time.

Do you already consider spending your money on a product that has been certified with the B? If not, would you ever consider changing your habits to purchase products that have met the strict criteria? What’s the best way to measure if a product should be considered “good”? Let’s get the conversation started and talk about the things we use and put into our environment.

Leave us a comment below and tell us about how you shop.

Photo credit: Ross Findon
Guadalupe Triana Guadalupe is the Lead Content Creator for Klee. She is a writer based in Austin, TX and enjoys talking about all kinds of music, social justice and protecting the environment. In her spare time, she enjoys a strong whiskey sour and writing with a reliable ink pen.