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What Does B Corp™ Certification Mean For TWOTHIRDS?

5 min read

What Does B Corp™ Certification Mean For TWOTHIRDS?

TWOTHIRDS recently became a certified B Corp™; an important milestone in the history of our sustainable brand. We’ve spent the last 12 years honing our craft, perfecting our production system and building a broad community. Now a highly creative and committed team of about 60 ocean lovers, we believe we are a frontrunner for sustainable fashion in Europe! 

That said, sometimes belief just isn’t enough. In an era of rampant greenwashing, it can help to get certified by an outside source. We’ve long been interested in what the B Corp movement is doing, and saw it as a good opportunity to connect with other like-minded businesses. 

What is a B Corp?

B Corps are businesses that seek to have a positive impact on society. For B Corps, purpose is key. The whole concept of the B Corporation came from a desire to shake-up the ‘shareholder’ model that ruled - and ruined - many industries by focusing solely on profit. Instead of being led by the short-term desires of a handful of beneficiaries, the co-founders of B Corp wanted businesses to be of “Benefit for all” (the ‘B’ in B Corp) over the long-term. The idea of a unanimous benefit was expanded to include “all people, communities and the planet”.

Third-Party Certification

B Corp certification is now a badge of honour for ethical and environmental businesses who seek to have their actions verified by a third-party. This isn’t just virtue signalling; it can also forge trust between a business and its customers, by confirming that what the former says is true. Many of the world’s most forward-thinking companies are B Corps, so we are proud to be counted among them. 

Being a B Corp means that - 

We meet high environmental and social standards

Being a B Corp means that you comply with high environmental and social standards. Brands that mass produce clothing using the most damaging materials while paying shockingly low wages? That’s not the B Corp way - in fact, it’s just lazy. We believe corporations can and should do way better. 

The B Corp certification is famed for being “holistic” - and it therefore privileges no single impact above any other. That’s why certification requires disclosure of “your company’s business model and information about your operations, structure, and various work processes, as well as review of potential public complaints and possible site visits.” B Corps are legally required to create benefits not only for shareholders and investors but “all business stakeholders - workers, customers, communities, and the environment.”

Companies must answer about 300 multiple-choice questions, provide evidence, and resubmit that evidence following B Corp’s advice (if they want an improved score). You can view the full report as well as TWOTHIRDS’ score breakdown here

We are transparent and accountable

Sharing all your internal information and data with a third-party is a pretty transparent thing to do! B Corp certification therefore goes against the way the fashion industry has historically worked: behind closed doors with a protective and competitive approach to business. This made many brands completely unaccountable for their actions. But that’s no longer good enough for the majority of consumers - they rightly demand accountability and transparency. Knowing that a sustainable company is B Corp certified can help. 

We use business as a force for good™

B Corp certification is presided over by B Lab™, a non-profit organisation that seeks to reboot the economy in favour of the planet and people. In line with this goal, they only certify companies who use “business as a force for good”. One of the ways B Lab™ measures this is by determining if the company is “mission-locked”, and how well that mission trickles down through every company decision. TWOTHIRDS’ mission is to protect the ocean, so our business model is constructed around this aim. All our staff are aware of our targets and expectations with regard to sustainable fashion, which helps to prove that we are indeed “mission-locked”. 

We demand constant improvement

We’ve always seen sustainability as a fluid process rather than a fixed state. That’s perhaps why being a B Corp came naturally to us. B Lab™ writes: “B Corps are by definition also focused on continuous improvement, leading to their long-term resiliency.” 

This platitude also applies to the B Corp certification itself! We like that it is always evolving, and we hope that in the future they will recognise our industry-leading PRE-ORDER system. This did feel like a limitation of B Corp, and is a major reason we didn’t end up with as high an “environment” score as we would have liked.  

We believe in togetherness and community

On the other hand, B Corp promises community and togetherness. Each B Corp must sign a Declaration Of Interdependence, signalling their belief in a collaborative economy that favours cooperation over competition. Generally, this reflects the pre-existing attitudes of companies that meet B Corp requirements - who recognise that they alone cannot change the economy for the better. No business is an island. 

The Guardian newspaper, a B Corp, put it this way in 2020: “it's a rigorous certification and if all major companies did it then everything from labour standards to environmental performance would be a lot better!”

B Corp assessment and certification is therefore seen as a way to raise the bar across every area of the global economy. 

Final Thoughts…

We’d have to say that while we’re super happy with our B Corp certification, it’s not the B all and end all! TWOTHIRDS will continue to focus on innovation and sustainability, bringing you the best clothing we can make, with the lowest possible impact. Watch this space.