B Corp: The Real Lowdown – Plus Extra Tips to Shop Sustainably!

Discover the ins and outs of B Corp Certification in the beauty space and leave with some tips on how to shop sustainably without falling for greenwashing!

We’ve been there… scrolling through our favourite online stores, desperately trying to find that perfect, eco-friendly product that makes us feel as good as it looks. Then, we spot it – the B Corp logo, shining like a beacon of hope in a sea of sustainability confusion. But hold on a minute, you’ve also heard some people say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be so what are you supposed to believe?!

Some of our brands have the certification and we’re extremely proud of them for it so let’s try and help by diving into the world of B Corp certification, separating the beautiful truth from the greenwashed nonsense, before you hit “add to basket”. And don’t worry – we've got you covered with extra tips on how you can try and identify truly sustainable brands, even if they don't sport that coveted B Corp logo.

What's the B(ig) deal about B Corp certification?

B Corp certification can be seen as a stamp of approval for companies that are doing their bit for people and the planet. It signifies that a business has met a certain standard of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. In the beauty and lifestyle industry, this can include anything from responsible sourcing of ingredients to fair labour practices and eco-friendly packaging. Sounds good, right? Well, there are a few caveats...

The Pros: 

  1. Trust in the Logo: For eco-conscious consumers, B Corp certification offers a level of trust that a product is better for the environment and society than its non-certified counterparts. No more deciphering cryptic labels or scanning ingredients lists with a magnifying glass!
  2. Sustainability Made Simple: With a certified B Corp product, you can rest easy knowing that you're supporting a company that prioritises sustainability. It's quick and easy, like having a personal sustainability shopper.
  3. A Force for Good: By supporting B Corp brands, you’re helping to drive change in the industry. The more companies that jump on the B Corp bandwagon, the more pressure there is on the beauty sector to clean up its act.

The Potential Cons:

  1. Greenwashing Galore: Unfortunately, some brands might use their B Corp status as a smokescreen for questionable practices. They might excel in one area (like eco-packaging) while neglecting others (like responsible ingredient sourcing). Sneaky, huh?
  2. The Certification Challenge: The certification process can be time-consuming and expensive, which might deter small businesses with limited resources from pursuing it. This means that some genuinely eco-conscious brands might be left out in the cold, B Corp logo-less.
  3. Lack of Industry-Specific Standards: While B Corp certification considers various aspects of a company's operations, it doesn't have specific standards tailored to the beauty industry. This means that, in some cases, a B Corp-certified beauty brand might not be as "green" as a non-certified competitor that focuses solely on eco-friendly practices within the industry.

The B Corp Bottom Line

In a nutshell, B Corp certification can be a useful tool if you’re looking to shop more sustainably, but it's crucial to stay vigilant and do a little extra homework before adding a brand to your all time favs. Just remember: not all B Corps are created equal, and not all non-certified brands are eco-villains. 

Extra Tips: How to Spot a Sustainable Beauty or Lifestyle Brand?

  • Transparent Ingredient Sourcing: Look for brands that openly share the origin of their ingredients and prioritise using those that are sustainably sourced. A truly eco-conscious brand will provide clear information about their supply chain and efforts to minimise their environmental impact.
  • Cruelty-Free and Vegan Options: Brands committed to sustainability often ensure their products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals and do not trade in places where that’s a requirement. Many also offer vegan options, avoiding animal-derived ingredients altogether. Look for certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA's "Cruelty-Free and Vegan" logo to verify these claims.
  • Eco-friendly Packaging: Sustainable brands pay attention to the packaging they use, opting biodegradable materials and prioritising their innovation and this space. As a minimum they’ll be using recyclable, or reusable materials and making sure you’re informed on how to ensure they’re recycled.
  • Energy and Water Conservation: Companies that are genuinely committed to sustainability will implement measures to reduce energy and water consumption in their production processes. Look for brands that disclose their efforts in this area, such as using renewable energy sources, water-saving technologies, or carbon offsetting programs.
  • Social Responsibility: Sustainable brands don't just care about the planet – they also care about people. Look for brands that prioritize fair labour practices, pay fair wages, and support local communities. Some companies even donate a portion of their profits to environmental or social causes.
  • Third-Party Certifications: While B Corp certification is one way to identify sustainable brands, other certifications can also provide valuable insights. Keep an eye out for labels like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or COSMOS organic/natural to ensure that a brand meets specific environmental and social criteria.
  • Avoid 'Greenwashed' Marketing Claims: Some companies will use vague or misleading language to make their products seem more eco-friendly than they actually are. Be sceptical of terms like "natural," "green," or "eco" unless they're backed up by specific information about the brand's practices.
  • Do Your Homework: Nothing beats a little research to determine whether a brand is truly committed to sustainability. Visit their website, read their mission statement, and search for any information on their environmental and social practices, if it’s important to them they’ll make sure it’s easy for you to access. And don't hesitate to reach out to the company or us directly to ask questions!

So, next time you're browsing don't be blinded by the B Corp logo. Look for brands that are transparent about their practices and committed to sustainability – big changes are needed at the top to make things better but we believe all of us doing our bit daily to make the world a little greener and a whole lot more beautiful is a brilliant thing.