Spring has officially sprung, which means that the need to clean is upon us. Last year we introduced you to five products for the eco-conscious home, but this year we want to change things up…
Since you have the tools you need to spruce up your home or business, we want to encourage you to spring clean the most important part of your life: you!
Here are five B Corporations that have everything you need to keep you and your business spring cleaned all year round in the most environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and self-pampering ways possible.
Before we dive in let’s review why B Corps are so special. To be a B Corp your business has to be a force for good that meets high standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. There are just 2,700 Certified B Corps worldwide, including business leaders such as Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, and Eileen Fisher.
B Corp: BEAUTYCOUNTER
If you had to make a choice between safe and clean skincare, what would you buy? With B Corps like Beautycounter, you don’t have to choose. Beautycounter’s mission is to “get safer products into the hands of everyone,” and that focus is what has driven them to become an industry safe skin care and clean cosmetics leader.
Beautycounter grew from the desire of founder Gregg Renfrew to offer responsible and safe alternatives to the loosely-regulated personal care products saturating the market. “Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including, but not limited to, asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals,”— said Renfrew. “[This can occur] in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home.”
To make a meaningful industry impact, Beautycounter has risen to the B Corp challenge by sticking to the following fundamentals:
They Have Rigorous Ingredient Screening
Whether you are reaching for their face lotion or lipstick, rest assured that Beautycounter has taken the time to pack their products with the safest, most effective ingredients. They pay close attention to hazards that can cause cancer, developmental toxicity, hormone disruption, and infertility.
They Have Bans
Beautycounter bans ingredients that exist on The Never List™. This list is comprised of nearly 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients that the company strictly prohibits from use. This includes almost 1,400 ingredients that are banned in the European Union.
They Source Responsibly
Beautycounter is picky about their products. Once they weed out the best ingredients they then choose only the “best organic, natural, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our standards.” It’s no surprise that more than 80 percent of Beautycounter’s products are made from natural or plant-derived ingredients.
They are Transparent
If you want to know exactly what you are buying, Beautycounter is the company for you. They promise that “every formula ingredient, including known components of fragrances, flavors, and intentionally added preservatives, are listed on our product labels or on Beautycounter.com.”
In addition to their meticulous product standards, Beautycounter is relentlessly striving to be better through stricter contaminant policies, a reduced chemical footprint, and the addition of an in-house Community Expansion Department intended to represent all voices when it comes to better beauty.
B Corp: ETHIQUE
If you take a look at your home or work bathroom products, chances are you’ll see a common denominator. The majority of these products come in plastic containers. But thanks to B Corps like Ethique, they don’t have to!
Ethique (French for ethical) more than lives up to its name. Founder Brianne West, who got her beauty industry start by making natural bars as a way to #giveupthebottle, has created the first zero waste, the full range beauty brand that has stopped more than 3.3 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills since 2012.
Today, Ethique ships over 40 products to the United States, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. This is an impressive reach, but what really makes Ethique stand out is that they are certified climate-neutral and cruelty-free and that they give back (two percent of revenue, or twenty percent of profits—whichever is highest) to environmental charities.
So, what makes their bars so special?
They are Biodegradable and Compostable
To make their hair, face, and body bars, Ethique uses biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging to cut down on their carbon footprint. This also gives their products that zero-waste appeal.
They are Plant-Based and Vegan
Ethique is the self-proclaimed “herbivore of the beauty world.” Their plant-based and vegan bars are made with wholesome ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter. You will never find preservatives or palm oil on their ingredient lists.
They are Never Tested On Animals
Ethique is proud to say, “We love animals as much as the Earth so don’t test any of our products on anything other than willing humans. We are certified cruelty free by three independent organizations; CCF, PETA and SAFE.”
They are Sustainable and Ethical
In addition to being New Zealand’s highest-scoring B Corp, Ethique is also a carbon neutral and living wage employer.
According to Ethique, each bar lasts 2-5 times longer than bottled beauty products because they’re super concentrated. They even have a fan who claims that a single bar lasted them an entire year!
B Corp: MELIORA
When it comes to clean it doesn’t get much better than Meliora (meh-lee-OR-ah), and that isn’t because Meliora is Latin for “better!” This Chicago-based B Corp was founded by Kate Jakubas, an Environmental Engineering student who believed cleaning product ingredient lists should be fully transparent.
Here’s how they do it.
Their Ingredients are Listed on the Label
True to Jakubas’ initial beliefs, all ingredients are listed on their products. They believe in this practice so strongly that they lobbied in support of the cleaning product Right-To-Know Act in the California State Legislature. These efforts, in combination with others, have resulted in California being the first state to require ingredients to be listed on all cleaning products.
Their Ingredients are the Best
Meliora is pretty picky about the ingredients they put in their products. This high level of scrutiny is why the items they sell are MADE SAFE® certified. Meliora has also been acknowledged by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Whole Foods Market Eco-Scale for their commitment to excluding synthetic fragrances, dyes, optical brighteners, and preservatives from their products.
They are Focused on People, Animals, and the Planet
Meliora knows that they are only as strong as the organizations they choose to stand by. This is why they only work with others who can be part of their global vision. They are proud to say that their B Corp Certification “highlights strengths in company ownership and governance (woman-owned), labor practices (living wages), and our product itself (low impact products and packaging).” They also have praise from Leaping Bunny, which holds the highest standard when it comes to no animal testing.
They are Made in the USA
Meliora makes all of their products in their factory on the West Side of Chicago. This closeness to production allows Meliora to monitor their environmental impact with great detail. This also allows them to invest in the city they love—all of their workers are paid a living wage and they claim that “more than half of the total dollars spent in our operating costs stay in the Midwest, to companies operated here in the Chicagoland area.”
B Corp: EO
Pure essential oils can nurture your mind, body, and spirit. But if they are not sourced and manufactured responsibly they can do more harm than good.
EO (Essential Oils) was founded when Brad Black and Susan Griffin-Black were asked to create aromatherapy blends for Bloomingdale’s 1995 holiday gift guide. Today this powerful B Corp operates with a lot of love, social commitment, and environmental responsibility to create safe, natural, and effective products.
From the moment Black and Griffin-Black were able to formulate the very first sodium lauryl sulfate (a widely-used but potentially-harmful ingredient that creates a lather) free foaming shower gel, they were bonded to creating products in a healthier way. This shaped their “six cornerstone beliefs;” transparency, originality, poise, relatedness, imagination, and journey. These beliefs are what have driven their company consciousness to do the following:
Making Every Ingredient Matter
Decades of manufacturing have honed EO’s ability to focus on product creation using ingredients they see to be safe, natural, organic, and sustainably-farmed. In fact, many of their products are good enough to be EWG VERIFIED™. If you aren’t sure what’s in a product, just flip it over. Every ingredient is clearly listed on the label.
Seaking Responsible Global Sourcing
EO is a company without borders when it comes to finding the best ingredients. Over the last 23 years they have developed direct farmer relationships in France, Australia, and Morocco, to name but a few. Ingredients are often distilled onsight to ensure minimal processing.
Aiming to Be Sustainable
EO guarantees sustainability through their up-close-and-personal product research, development, testing, blending, bottling, marketing, and shipping, since all products are created in the same place; their “family-owned, zero-waste factory.” They also recycle “non-recyclable” items, such as hairnets, nitrile gloves, and label backing. In 2017, EO claimed to have recycled 265 tons of plastic, cardboard, metal, and wood material.
Aiming to Be Organic
EO seeks certification for all organic and non-GMO ingredients, since personal care products and cosmetics are often lacking in these distinctions. In 2004 the company was certified as an organic manufacturer, with all EO products carrying a seal indicating that 95 percent of any product’s ingredients are certified organic.
Eliminating Toxins from the Waste Stream
EO works to keep people-and earth-harming toxins out of the waste stream through their elimination of the use of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances, aluminum, propylene glycol, polysorbates, phthalates, and artificial colors and dyes in their products.
EO is incredibly animal friendly. Leaping Bunny have certified that EO ingredients and products are never tested on animals.
Being Community Focused
Because giving back to the community is so important to them, EO creates local job opportunities and makes monetary and personal care product donations to community-focused organizations.
B Corp: WHITE & ELM
Just because a product is plant-based and eco-conscious doesn’t mean it can’t still cater to the beauty needs of the “savvy modern woman.” If there is a company that is proving this is possible, it’s White & Elm. Since its conception, White & Elm has been focusing on using their business as a “force for good.”
According to Founder and CEO Sherelle Reed, “[White & Elm] recognized early on that the reach and impact of our operational decisions had an amplified effect on our community and the environment. We had the power to do some good in the world and it became very important for White & Elm to be socially and environmentally responsible in every possible way. Becoming a B Corp was a natural fit for us. We are excited to join the B Corp community and will continue to impact the Indie Beauty space in a positive way. ”
This is how they are staying B Corp strong:
Sustaining their Environment
If you pick up a White & Elm product, chances are you will see and feel the value, but what you might not see is the passionate force driving the sustainable production of their natural, non-toxic, plant-based, certified vegan skincare. This sustainability is equally focused on the global environment and the personal one and is just one of the reasons they are EWG VERIFIED™.
Balancing Good Business with Social and Environmental Responsibility
While a healthy bottom line is important, White & Elm doesn’t want one without a healthy connection to the world around them. They are committed to creating vegan and cruelty-free products that come in eco-conscious packaging to decrease environmental impact.
White & Elm’s belief of business having a higher social purpose is reflected in their high social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability standards. This is why you will never find phthalates, parabens, carcinogens, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, additional fragrances, microbeads, or unnecessary preservatives in any of their products.
What you will find is 100 percent recyclable glass packaging, fully compostable packaging filler, cruelty-free products that are never tested on animals, and products that are 98 percent USDA certified organic.
Editor’s Note: References made to businesses/companies in this post are not meant to convey affiliation or endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.
Read more about what it means to Rubicon to be a Certified B Corporation!