As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognise the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women across the world. The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BreaktheBias, this campaign calls for solidarity against gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. In the workplace this includes the need for gender parity, equal pay, inclusive work practices, and education opportunities.
Inclusivity is one of the key principles in the B Corp movement, centred around the idea that a business’s impact should focus on the planet and community benefit and not only shareholder profit. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to showcase some of the B Corp movement’s most inspiring certified founders using business as a force for good.
KRESSE WESLING CBE
Kresse Wesling, an award-winning environmental entrepreneur and Young Global Leader, is the Co-founder of apparel brand Elvis & Kresse. After a chance encounter with the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Elvis & Kresse was launched to use London’s decommissioned firehoses that could not be repaired.
Elvis & Kresse donated 50 per cent of the profit from its first line to the Fire Fighters Charity and now donates 50 per cent of its profits to various charities related to waste management. It collects from 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships, including a five-year partnership with the Burberry Foundation. Their dedication and passion for sustainability has garnered both public attention and a high B Impact score of 147.6 points, which is 67.6 points higher than what is needed to qualify for B Corp Certification.
Jo-Anne Chidley, a sustainability advocate, is the Co-founder of Beauty Kitchen UK. She has won a variety of industry awards, including the ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty’ and business award, ‘Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year’. Her goal behind the creation of Beauty Kitchen UK was to be a pioneer in sustainable beauty, creating products that are effective but also work in harmony with the natural environment.
She inspects everything, including the efficacy of the products, where ingredients are sourced, and ensures that all packaging is sustainable. The product line includes compostable pouches, FSC approved cardboard, vegetable inks, and pre-cycled containers that can be returned for reuse. Every aspect of the business process is transparent, ensuring that stakeholders can see the hard work and care that goes into the product line. This has contributed to the business’ overall B Impact Score of 139.8 points.
Pip Murray is the Founder of Pip & Nut, the fastest growing Nut Butter brand in the UK, after realising that current products on the market were lacking a healthier and more playful brand alternative. Although nut butter was not new to the market, Pip’s creative spin was the differentiator needed to launch a successful product. Pip & Nut is now stocked in over 7,000 stores across the UK, including Tesco, Morrison’s, ASDA and Holland & Barrett.
Pip & Nut is committed to leaving a positive environmental and social impact, sourcing ethical chocolate from Colombia and supporting community initiatives in the country. It has also committed to transitioning to net zero by 2023 and has prohibited the use of palm oil in its production process to protect rainforests. Based on their B impact assessment, Pip & Nut earned an overall score of 81.2 points which is almost double the median score for ordinary businesses who complete the assessment.
Amelia Harvey is Co-founder of The Collective Dairy UK. Amelia had past success in the FMCG sector before joining The Collective team. She started her career at Kellogg’s and L’Oréal before a segue into the start-up sector with a sales director role at Gü Puds. Amelia loved working in a high-growth business and felt ready to start something new. So, when she met Angus Allan and Ofer Shenhay, creators of The Collective Dairy New Zealand, she knew this was the perfect product to bring to the UK market.
The Collective’s aim is to create great tasting yoghurt and leave a positive impact on the environment. Its climate friendly initiatives include the creation of the UK’s first carbon neutral dairy yoghurt, and it has committed to a carbon neutral production process by 2025.
Michal Alter is the Founder of Visit.org, a platform created for social impact travel experiences that allows users to discover, support and interact with organisations that leave a positive impact on their environment, both virtually and in-person.
As one of the first female pilot cadets in the Israeli Air Force, a Computer Science Engineer and the Director of Refugee Affairs at the City Government in Tel Aviv, Michal was able to use her skills in technology and social development. This subsequently led to her idea to combine the two and create an online platform that helps HR, CSR, and D&I teams in enterprise companies engage their employees.
Carolina Miranda is the Founder and CEO of Cultivating Capital, a company that helps small businesses implement sustainable business practices. As a B Corp consultant, she specialises in helping companies align their business operations with their values by integrating social and environmental responsibility into business processes. She has helped organisations such as Pixar, Bayer, the City of Emeryville and the California Department of Transportation develop sustainable action plans, while also leading training sessions and providing coaching and mentoring services.
She served on the executive committee for the B Corp Women CEOs ‘We the Change’ movement and supports B local activities in the San Francisco Bay area. She was awarded the 2020 Community Builders award from B Lab for her contributions to the community.
Brianne West is the Founder and CEO of Ethqiue, a regenerative beauty and lifestyle brand. In 2020 she was named one of the ‘One Young World’s Entrepreneur’ of the year, and in 2019 the Ernst & Young ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’.
The concept behind Ethique was to create a product that would help eliminate plastic from the global beauty industry, proving that beauty brands can be environmentally proactive while being financially sustainable. Ethique is described as a regenerative brand because its purpose is to give back more than it extracts. All the products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free and are wrapped in compostable packaging.
Dame Anita Lucia Roddick DBE was a British businesswoman, human rights activist, and environmental campaigner. Most recognised as the Founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company that sells natural beauty products which shaped ethical consumerism, Anita built the brand on empowering women and integrated this purpose into each business decision.
The Body Shop’s mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives by retailing good-quality products that use natural ingredients. Its most recent campaign, “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics”, was a collaboration with Dove, PETA, CFI, and over 500 leading animal protection organisations. Its aim was to campaign for urgent action against animal testing requirements in Europe, highlighting its ongoing commitment to better business.
This month at Gong, we will continue to reflect on gender bias in the workplace and the role of businesses in a changing world – because we can use business as a change for good. We are committed as a B Corp to keep striving for an inclusive, equitable business that keeps people, community, and planet at its centre. Follow our B Corp Month campaign and International Women’s Day celebration on our social media channels:
While there is so much to celebrate this month, we want to acknowledge the deeply saddening and difficult crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring territories. Refugee Support, who we work with on a pro-bono basis to publicise their work supporting refugees across Europe and the UK, are working to help the humanitarian emergency facing the people of Ukraine. You can help them to support those fleeing Ukraine via the Just Giving page below. By donating you are also supporting the border communities that are receiving the people who have fled, as all the funds will be spent locally: