10 easy ways to use more B Corp products
Embrace sustainability, one product at a time
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The term “B Corp” (short for Benefit Corporation) is a regular part of my vocabulary but because I’m a part of the sustainability subculture—by which I mean I compost, recycle, and buy as consciously as possible—I realize most people might not know what I mean when I describe a company or product as a B Corp.
First off, a Certified B Corporation is a business that meets high standards of operation, spanning the company's social impact, overall transparency, and legal accountability, as well as the environmental repercussions of production standards. To become a B Corp, a company undergoes the B Impact Assessment (BIA), which is conducted by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. This review is a "rigorous assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment.” Then, the company’s score is publicly shared online, and a score of 80 or higher qualifies for certification.
For me, a B Corp is a company that I can trust because it's practices have been validated and certified to have the environment and humanity responsibly in mind. Many B Corps may also meet the requirements for Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, OEKO TEX certification, and/or be Fair Trade Certified and bluesign approved. These companies also tend to be more ethical in terms of harvesting materials from sustainable agriculture, and may be known for paying fair wages, investing in communities, conducting cruelty-free testing, and more.
If you were to peek at product labels around your house, I think you’d be surprised at what B Corp companies you didn’t even know were there. Think about your tea bags, your socks, or even your laundry detergent—practically everything you and your body consume on a regular basis. If these items aren't already B-Corp certified, you could swap them out for ones that are. The B Corp website even has an incredible directory, which you can use to search and filter based on industry, country, state, and sometimes even down to your city to find local options. This way, you can research brands that align with your values and find the right products for the home and life you want to cultivate. I've put together this list of ways you can start to integrate more B Corp products into your every day life.
1. Upgrade your footwear
It’s no secret that we love quality shoes and socks at Reviewed. Allbirds has B Corp certification and is one of our favorite shoe brands. In addition to testing Allbirds previously, I’ve covered the popular wool running shoe and I’ve been seeing the brand become more popular during my weekly errands to the grocery store and post office. It seems like the universe is telling me it’s time to get a pair for myself! Even better, Allbirds also has a clothing line!
Another B Corp is sock company Bombas. I’m currently testing a few pairs of their cult-favorite socks, and I’ve been really happy so far. Bombas sells socks for everyone—babies through adults—and has a wide variety of styles, color schemes, and eco-friendly materials. And, for every pair you buy a pair of specially made socks is donated to homeless shelters, to benefit those in need.
2. Clean with eco-friendly products
We’ve been bombarded with information about cleaning and disinfectant products over the past year. There are bleach- and vinegar-based products, and many more with all types of combinations of chemicals and substances to keep your home clean and germ or virus-free. However, cleaning products can also cause harm—specifically, think about the ones in your home that have child-safety caps or require you to wear gloves and hold your breath while using.
Companies with B Corp certification like Grove Collaborative and Full Circle Brands including Full Circle Home and Soma make cleaning way easier. These brands are go-to places for home staples like cleaning products, mops, compost materials, zero-waste kitchen supplies, body care products, and food storage. If your kitchen or bathroom needs some tidying up, these are the B Corps to shop directly when you need to clean without worry—or waste.
3. Go green for all your adventures
Patagonia is one of the most well-known B Corp companies, and its score of 151.4 is one of the highest. You can see the long list of B Corp awards the brand has received over the last few years, all of which speak to Patagonia’s community- and environment-focused practices. It makes all types of athletic wear, outerwear, and a robust range of supplies for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, climbing, or surfing, the brand has clothing and gear to help you be prepared for all the elements. Patagonia’s site also features a Worn Wear section where you can buy used items to save money and divert clothing from landfills. Plus, according to the site, "buying used extends a garment's life by about two years, which cuts its combined carbon, waste, and water footprint by 82%.”
4. Treat yourself to natural body care
The California-based natural body care brand EO Products is one of my household B Corps. I discovered the company’s lotion while using the restroom during an internship more than five years ago, and I’ve been using EO’s lotion and hand soap since. The Citrus & Mint scent is my favorite. Though the products come in plastic, the containers are large and last me several months. They’re also easy to clean and repurpose or refill! EO has bathroom staples for everyone—its line is literally called “everyone for everybody." I highly recommend getting lotion, body wash, and even essential oils from EO to avoid vague drugstore brands and make sure you and your loved ones are absorbing products that meet strict standards.
5. Swap out your mattress
A good night of sleep is pretty priceless, and if you’re shopping for a new mattress, you should consider a brand with several certifications. For starters, you’ll spend a lot of time on your mattress. Plus, any chemicals or treatments done to the product will be very close to your skin for extended periods of time. If you’re in the mattress market, consider an Avocado Green mattress or a Koala mattress.
Both are B Corp companies with conscious environmental footprints and generous transparency. The Avocado Green Mattress, which we've tested and liked because it doesn't retain heat overnight, is also GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified. Koala, which we haven't tested yet, offers comfort-focused mattress and sofa bed options that could be idea for an eco-conscious home (or apartment) of any size. Its products are simple and minimal, yet add a warm and homey vibe to your home, like a habitat upgrade! Koala also features timer bed frames and bases, extra plush sofas, and furniture for the rest of your home to match.
6. Customize your home
Whether you own or rent your home, you can use the B Corp directory to find home décor items that will last a lifetime. Belgium-based brand ecoBirdy recycles discarded plastic toys into adorable children’s furniture like chairs and tables. As most plastic toys are brightly colored, the upcycled furniture has a fun and vibrant, almost terrazzo, look to match.
If you’re looking to refresh your home by reupholstering or DIY-ing, Arch Textiles has high-performance fabrics and multiple certifications, including Bluesign, OEKO-Tex, and GOTS. Arch Textiles is a great resource for anyone looking to add custom, sustainable elements to their home and offers fabrics that can be used for clothing, including activewear, so it’s a great option for creatives and designers alike. Materials are sourced where cotton and flax are grown and native to, protecting waterways and global communities.
Elkie & Ark, an Australian homewares shop, has a B Corp score of 150.6, and the company won several acclaims in 2019. The company describes itself as the "world’s most sustainable and ethical bed linen brand,” so if you're an eco-conscious shopper, it could be worth exploring. If you’re looking for high-quality bedding, this is certainly the best of the best.
7. Drink ethically sourced coffee
A quick search for “coffee” on the B Corp directory resulted in more than 30 brands. I recognized a few, like Sustainable Harvest and Stumpstown from Portland, as well as Counter Culture Coffee, which is actually our favorite coffee subscription service. If you’re looking to try a new roast, I recommend trying out a coffee roaster with B Corp certification, especially one near you to keep money local and try more flavors!
8. Compare your insurance
I recently needed to update my renter’s insurance, and I was thrilled to discover that there are B Corp companies in the insurance field. I opted for Lemonade, an app-based company that's quick and easy to use, and made finding a policy and signing up a breeze. Both my roommate and I have Lemonade now (and we live in Ohio, not New York, as the B Corp directory states) and it’s inexpensive and customizable. A big part of why we chose it over other agencies is that it allows you to change your address anytime without a fee. Since our lease is up in July, we knew we’d need a policy that we could pay monthly for part of the year and then adjust right when we needed it! Lemonade also offers bundles with homeowner policies, life insurance, and pet insurance, and has add-on specifics for bikes, camera equipment, fine art, and more.
9. Purchase books from B-Corp sellers
Books serve plenty of purposes: They can provide comfort and entertainment, be a great way to decorate shelves, and stack easily to make a tower or nightstand. Not to mention they make great gifts. I’m a huge advocate for supporting local bookshops and indie presses, but you can take it a step further and purchase from B Corp bookstores and publishers. The World of Books Group is a global seller for used books. Better World Books is an online book retail space that is one of the largest bookstores in the world. Every time a book is purchased from Better World Books, the company donates a book to someone in need. It also never throws a book away, helping boost circulation of used books and reducing the number of books in landfills—more than 300 million so far!
10. Consider the food you buy
One thing that I really like about the B Corp directory is that it helps you find brands you can trust, but you won't have to uproot your routine to shop more consciously. Think about the foods you buy regularly while grocery shopping or ordering take out. Did you know Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery Co-op, and Stonyfield Organic are all B Corps? You can do your shopping in the same places and begin to buy from more sustainable brands by browsing the online directory!
Certified B Corps include Butcher Box, Thrive Market, Yerba Mate, Miyokos Kitchen (the best vegan cheese!), Bigelow Tea, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Rumi Spice, and Jeni’s, a Columbus-favorite, and hundreds of others.
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