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A Canuck Like Us

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BEST FOR THE WORLD? WHY, THANK YOU! (PLUS - 4 OTHER BFTW COMPANIES YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT)


Have you heard of B Lab’s annual Best For The World designation? It’s an honour bestowed unto Certified B Corporationswho rank in the top 5% of all B Corps for their impact in one of five areas: community, customers, workers, environment, and governance.

Becoming a Certified B Corp in 2015 was a big deal for us. We were Alberta’s first apparel-industry B Corp, and it put us among a global community that’s now 5,000 businesses strong. We operate across several industries, but we’ve got a mission in common: using business as a force for good, being third-party assessed for making real social and environmental impact, and pursuing economic interdependence instead of keeping resources to ourselves.

To score among the top 5% of already-impactful organizations in the Community Impact category… well, it’s a big achievement for a small team, and we’re proud.

[The Community category] evaluates a company’s engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity & inclusion, economic impact, civic engagement, charitable giving, and supply chain management. -B Lab 

How did we earn our score? Here are a few of our Community initiatives (you can download our Sustainability Report for a deeper dive):

  • We’ve got a built-in giving model of donating 5% of our annual inventory to community closets and individuals in need.
  • During the pandemic, we upped this give to nearly 20% to supply schools and community organizations with Unbelts cloth masks.
  • We’ve chosen gradual, intentional growth so we can build and maintain a supply chain that relies on close, transparent relationships with small first- and second-tier suppliers who pay living wages to their small teams
  • We pay living wages to our own sewing and admin staff
  • Advocating for regenerative business models and recruiting other businesses into the sustainability movement has become a key part of my role as Unbelts’ CEO, which I love

We haven’t crossed any finish lines here. We’ve of course got a ton of work left to do, and we look to our fellow BFTW B Corps for inspiration on what to take on next. Here are a few we think deserve your attention, love, and dollars:

Toronto-based KOTN, makers of beautiful cotton basics ethically made in Egypt: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/kotn

tentree, fellow Prairie folx and sustainable apparel advocates we’ve admired for a long time: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/tentree-international

UnCommon Goods, an online marketplace with all the purpose-driven gifts you’ll ever need: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/uncommongoods

The friends who help us through our 2 p.m. slumps: Salt Spring Coffee https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/salt-spring-coffee

Curious about how your business can adopt a B Corp-ish mindset? Read this excellent report, Leading Regenerative Brands.

Want to help us live our mission and keep your pants up? Shop our bestseller, the all-recycled, repairs-included Intrepid belt here.