The Case For Being A B Corporation
As a for-profit company that is not even two years old, many people might wonder why we would give up a percentage of our sales to social organizations right away, or why 90% of our team is made up of women, and why these women get flexible work hours, particularly the ones who have children.
This is in stark contrast to any other traditional start-up company, where the hours are overly extended long, the pay comes short, and every penny is put aside to reinvest in growth - Therafit Shoe must be crazy.
Perhaps we are, but so are the other 1,104 companies (including Patagonia, Warby Parker, Seventh Generation, and Honest Co.) in 34 different countries and 121 different industries that have made it their mission to make our world just a teensy bit better by redefining what success in business actually means.
We are held to rigorous standards and social obligation to become certified, but it doesn't just end there. In other companies, when times get a little tough, the "save-the-world" stuff can be put on hold - for any B Corp, it can't. It's part of the genetic make-up of the company, and to push it aside would be knocking over a major pillar of the business.
By agreeing to the terms and policies the B Corporation has made all these companies sign to, it holds each of us accountable, and abandoning them would be pretty embarrassing. We're held to expectations and to keep our word.
Besides, who wouldn't want to work for a company that not only creates great product, but impacts the world in a meaningful way? Employee retention is superior in B Corporations as compared to dividend-driven businesses, and workers willingly accept less compensation if they feel that they are contributing to a greater purpose, particularly a socially conscious one.
Many of these talented, often young, employees would have been in the market for non-profit work a few years back, but with the rise of business that benefits more than just a few people's pockets, these individuals are turning to companies like us.
Makes sense. In an interview for The New Yorker, Dave Gilboa, co-founder of Warby Parker, the eyeglass company that has taken the twee generation by storm, agrees. "Your ability to have an impact on a large scale is just greater in the for-profit world, and that's chiefly because of the capital and the talent available to you."
Plus, as a consumer - doesn't it make you feel good to know that when you take money out of your pocket to buy an awesome product, you're actually helping fund someone's smile as well? Maybe you're helping bring clean water to regions in Africa, maybe you're contributing to young school children having eyeglasses to read their textbooks, or maybe that money is going towards funding breast cancer research.
So in the end, you, me, and the world wins. I'd say that's success redefined.
Make Your Whole Body Happy - and the world too. :)