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What is a B Corp?

What is a B Corp?

Zero Waste Lifestyle

Last Updated on September 9, 2021

I’m sure you’ve seen me use the term “B Corp” around my blog by now. But what exactly does it mean?  

B Corps are essentially brands that use their business as a force for good. A few you might be familiar with are Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Allbirds – these are all B corps.  

What is a B Corp?

Several of the links in the blog post below are affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

If you head over to their websites, these companies will have B Corp certified icons (usually at the bottom of the page) – and they didn’t get there by chance. All businesses who want to become B Corps must go through rigorous assessments and pay a fee. 

But to me, certification is just the first step towards being an environmental and socially responsible business. That’s why I’m sharing 25 of my favorite B Corps that truly go above and beyond. But first, lets talk more about what a B Corp actually is.

what is a b corp?  

A B Corp (short for B Corporation) is a business that meets the highest standards of environmental and social performance, legal accountability, and public transparency.  

Normal businesses have one bottom line: to make a profit. But with B Corps, they have a triple bottom line which means they consider planet, people and profit into their decisions. They use business as a force for good. 

There are currently over 3,500 Certified B Corporations in more than 70 countries, and the majority of them are small businesses.  

B Corporations have a strong focus on these three standards: 

  • Environmental performance 
  • Public transparency  
  • Legal accountability 

If you’d like further examples of B Corporations, be sure to check out my post 18 Green Banks That Empower a Green Economy – several of the banks listed are B Corps.

how do you get a b corp certification?  

Businesses need to complete the full B Corp assessment which will give them access to a B Impact Report, which includes a “B Score” that rates the company’s performance. At least 80 points are required to qualify for B Corp certification out of the maximum of 200.  

The review process can take anywhere from 6 to 10 months to complete. Approximately 1 in 3 businesses that submit for certification will receive it. 

Certified B Corporations also pay an annual certification fee starting at $1000 and scales with revenue. This licenses them to use the intellectual property like the Certified B Corp logo. 

Is b corp legit?  

Yes, B Corp is a legit certification to look for in a company. But it shouldn’t be the only thing consumers look for. This is because B Corp standards are not legally enforceable, and companies can choose to leave at any point.  

It’s important to look for other things in a company too (like what materials and ingredients they use, if they’re giving back, if they’re carbon neutral, etc.), but B Corp is a great place to start.

FYI, if a brand says they’re carbon neutral, they’re probably buying carbon offsets, which is a good thing but not the same as being carbon positive (when the amount of CO₂ emissions they remove from the atmosphere is bigger than the amount of CO₂ emissions they put into the atmosphere).

And, not every B Corp is created equal – some have more work they need to do (hence this list to celebrate my favorites). Since each one can score differently on their initial assessment, some B Corps are better than others when it comes to upholding the main three standards. 

who are the largest b corps?  

Some of the largest B Corps around are Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation (both owned by Unilever), New Chapter (owned by Proctor & Gamble) and Happy Family (owned by Danone). These companies generally earn between $100M-4.9B in annual revenue.  

b corp companies we love! 

Now that you know what a B Corporation is, here’s a list of B Corporations that get the Going Zero Waste seal of approval. All these brands are certified B Corps but most go beyond that, be it through donating to nonprofits, planting trees, and/or being climate neutral. 

These are all great starting points when looking for sustainable brands, but please remember buying second hand and using what you have are THE MOST eco friendly things you can do. We want to decrease consumption not just replace it one-for-one.

Each of these companies are split into five different categories: Attire, around the home, on the go, market places, and personal & financial wellness. There’s something for everyone, so feel free to jump around to whatever section intrigues you most.

I’ve gone ahead and highlighted some key features of each B Corp, but it isn’t an exhaustive list. Be sure to check out their websites for more information. 

attire 

These B corps sell attire such as clothing, undergarments, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. Also, be sure to check out these 50 Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands.

TenTree: What is a B Corp?

1. tentree 

  • Women and men’s attire and accessories 
  • Made from 100% recycled materials  
  • Utilizes Repreve fabric  
  • Safe and fair labor  
  • Sustainable manufacturing  
  • Plants a tree with every purchase  

SHOP TENREE / 


Soko: What is a B Corp?

2. soko 

  • Sustainable jewelry  
  • Ethically handcrafted in Kenya 
  • Made with recycled materials 
  • Developed with reduced energy and resource use 
  • Women-led and Black owned business  

SHOP SOKO / 


All Birds: What is a B Corp?

3. allbirds 

  • Women + Men’s footwear 
  • Recycled, natural and renewable materials 
  • Carbon neutral footwear 
  • Castor bean insoles 

SHOP ALLBIRDS / 


Underprotection: What is a B Corp?

4. underprotection 

  • Eco-luxe lingerie company 
  • Recycled and natural materials 
  • Compostable or recyclable packaging 
  • Clothing carries the standards of WRAP, BSCI, and GOTS 

SHOP UNDERPROTECTION / 


Parafina: What is a B Corp?

5. parafina

  • Sustainable sunglasses and reading glasses 
  • Made from recycled materials 
  • Ships with a recycled PVC case and recycled nylon pouch for carrying 
  • Donates 5% of every purchase to #ParafinaSocialProject which works to eradicate poverty 
  • For every purchase, a pencil set and case is donated to a child in need 

SHOP PARAFINA / 


Patagonia: What is a B Corp?

6. patagonia 

  • Sustainable athleticwear  
  • Recycled materials
  • Fair trade 
  • Option to shop used items 
  • 1% For The Planet 

SHOP PATAGONIA / 


around the home

These B corps create products that can be used around the home, such as mattresses, eco tech, and skin care products.  

Avocado Mattress: What is a B Corp?

7. avocado mattress 

  • Sustainable mattress company 
  • 100% GOTS organic certified cotton and wool 
  • 100% natural latex 
  • Handmade in California 
  • Vegan version available 
  • Carbon negative 
  • Upcycles material byproducts 
  • 1% for the Planet 

AVOCADO MATTRESS / 


Nimble: What is a B Corp?

8. nimble

  • Sustainable tech company 
  • Utilizes recycled materials 
  • Take-back program for old electronics 
  • Plastic free packaging 
  • Climate neutral 
  • 1% For The Planet 

SHOP NIMBLE / 


Kypris: What is a B Corp?

9. kypris

  • Sustainable skincare brand 
  • Wild crafted, organic, locally sourced ingredients
  • Glass packaging
  • 100% Post Consumer Recycled unit cartons and gift boxes 
  • Pact Collective partner for recycling difficult to recycle components
  • 1% for The Planet
  • Cruelty free and vegan 

SHOP KYRPIS / 


Captain Blankenship: What is a B Corp?

10. captain blankenship

  • Sustainable haircare and skincare  
  • Recycled packaging 
  • Leaping Bunny Certified and vegan 
  • Fair trade 
  • 1% For The Planet 

SHOP CAPTAIN BLANKENSHIP / 


Beeswrap: What is a B Corp?

11. beeswrap 

  • Reusable beeswax wraps that replace plastic wrap  
  • Vegan options available  
  • Cruelty-free  
  • Compostable and biodegradable  

SHOP BEESWRAP / 


on the go

These brands create products that help you reduce waste while you’re traveling, eating lunch or on the move.

U Konserve: What is a B Corp?

12. u konserve

  • Reusable food containers and equipment 
  • Stainless steel and silicone lids 
  • Free of BPA, phthalates, and lead 
  • Ships in recycled packaging 
  • 1% For The Planet 

SHOP U KONSERVE / 


Eco Lunch Box: What is a B Corp?

13. ecolunchbox

  • Sustainable lunch gear 
  • Woman owned business 
  • Safe and fair labor 
  • 100% food grade stainless steel lunch boxes 
  • Lunch bags made from GOTS organic cotton 
  • Annually offsets the CO2 equivalent of 4.7 million pounds of coal burned 

SHOP ECOLUNCHBOX / 


A Good Company: TenTree: What is a B Corp?

14. a good company

  • Sustainable journals, pens and water bottles 
  • Utilizes recycled and upcycled materials 
  • Produced via renewable energy sources 
  • Plants a tree with every purchase 
  • Climate positive 

SHOP A GOOD COMPANY / 


Patch: What is a B Corp?

15. patch

  • Compostable bamboo bandages 
  • Come packaged in recycled cardboard 
  • Organic content 
  • Vegan and cruelty-free 

SHOP PATCH / 


Terra Thread: What is a B Corp?

16. terra thread

  • Sustainable backpacks 
  • Handmade from organic GOTS certified cotton 
  • Fair trade certified  
  • Each purchase gives back to Feeding America 
  • Made without GMOs, toxic dyes or chemicals  
  • B Corporation  

SHOP TERRA THREAD / 


market places

These online market places sell a wide array of supplies that help you live a more sustainable life. For more information, check out my blog post 23 Amazon Alternatives for All Your Online Shopping.

Full Circle: What is a B Corp?

17. full circle home

  • Eco-friendly home, kitchen and bathroom supplies 
  • Made from natural and recycled materials 
  • Replacement heads available for certain products 
  • Plastic Bank partner 
  • Plastic free packaging 

SHOP FULL CIRCLE HOME / 


Grove Collaborative: What is a B Corp?

18. grove collaborative

  • Sustainable home and cleaning products 
  • Plant-based ingredients  
  • Cruelty free  
  • Certified B Corporation  
  • Carbon offsets for each shipment  
  • Plastic neutral   

/ SHOP GROVE COLLABORATIVE


Earth Hero: What is a B Corp?

19. earth hero

  • Eco-friendly online marketplace 
  • Defines every product with sustainability feature icons 
  • Carbon neutral 
  • 1% For The Planet 
  • Plastic free shipping  

SHOP EARTHHERO / 


United By Blue: What is a B Corp?

20. united by blue

  • Sustainable outdoor essentials marketplace 
  • Recycled and natural materials 
  • Made in the USA 
  • Pledged to remove one pound of trash for every item sold 

SHOP UNITED BY BLUE / 


personal and financial wellness

These brands help promote wellness of self physically, mentally and financially – without harming the planet.

Aspiration: What is a B Corp?

21. aspiration

  • Eco-friendly bank 
  • Online only, nationwide 
  • 100% fossil fuel free investment and retirement funds 
  • Option to plant a tree with every purchase 
  • Member of 1% for the planet 

SHOP ASPIRATION / 


Mega Food: What is a B Corp?

22. megafood

  • Sustainable vitamins and supplements 
  • USDA Certified Organic 
  • Committed to regenerative agriculture 
  • Fair employment practices 
  • Lobbying to ban glyphosate 
  • Vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free 

SHOP MEGAFOOD / 


DivaCup: What is a B Corp?

23. divacup

  • Menstrual cup 
  • Made from medical grade silicone 
  • BPA free with no added dyes, plastics or chemicals 
  • Donates DivaCups to women in need to end period poverty 

SHOP DIVACUP / 


Pukka: What is a B Corp?

24. pukka herbs

  • Organic herbal teas and supplements 
  • 100% compostable teabags with organic cotton string 
  • Tea boxes are made from FSC certified card, printed using vegetable-based inks 
  • Supports regenerative organic agriculture 
  • 1% For The Planet 
  • Fair for Life certified 

SHOP PUKKA HERBS / 


Ando Money: What is a B Corp?

25. ando money

  • Sustainable online bank
  • Supplies a debit card made with 80% less plastic 
  • Impact center where you can invite friends 
  • Your money will fund things such as clean energy, sustainable transport, green buildings, etc. 
  • Mobile banking 

SHOP ANDO MONEY /  

Which of these B corporations are your favorite? Did we miss any? Leave your picks in the comments below. 

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