As the Oregon legislature considers establishing a legal framework for Benefit Corporations within our home state, we thought we’d share with you the top two reasons we chose to become a certified by the non-profit B Lab as a Benefit Corporation.
Last week almost 400 workers were killed and hundreds more injured in a garment factory collapse in Bangladesh in one of the worst industrial accidents in history. Worse, the supervisors knew the building was unsafe, and ordered workers to report to work anyway. Our hearts ache for the lives lost, and for the blatant disregard for the well-being of the workers.
People often ask us, “wouldn’t your products be cheaper if you just made them in Asia?” The answer is yes, the dollar cost to the consumer would be less, but the overall cost to the world would be far greater. We’re not willing to sacrifice the health of human beings just to compete on price. Our customers — the hundreds of thousands of smart, compassionate women who choose GladRags — understand this, and we thank them for it.
We choose to go beyond “do no harm” to the workers and communities we interact with. We want to actively create good for the people involved in our business. This is why we work with our employees and suppliers to ensure healthy, happy work situations for all.
It’s easy to see that our products are good for the environment. Cloth pads and menstrual cups keep tons of plastic trash out of our landfills, off our beaches, and away from our bodies. We think that’s great, but it’s not enough. Businesses should create products and services that do right by the world, of course, but our actions should reflect that, too.
GladRags chooses to support the environment in myriad ways, big and small. Every decision we make — from how to package our products to what kind of packing tape to purchase — we ask ourselves, how can we make the right choice for the environment?
Our customers will notice that their products ship in minimal packaging that is recycled, recyclable, biodegradable, or all of the above. You might notice that our marketing materials are printed on FSC certified paper with wind-powered printing, too. Behind the scenes, we commute to work by bicycle or by public transportation, and we’re proud that we rarely need to take out the trash more than a few times per month!
We choose to be a Certified Benefit Corporation because it holds us accountable for our actions, and encourages us to confront every opportunity with the questions: does this reflect our values? How does this serve people and planet?
Currently, 20 states are considering B Corp legislation, and 12 have passed bills recognizing B Corps as a corporate structure whose ultimate goal is to positively influence people and the planet. Here’s hoping Oregon soon joins the ranks!
About the author of this post:
Tracy Puhl is the owner of GladRags and is passionate about period positivity and empowering women everywhere. In her free time, she likes to volunteer, run around her neighborhood, and cuddle with her favorite cat.