While B Corps haven’t carried cachet for brands for long, interest in the designation is ramping up as sustainability becomes one of fashion’s “It” item.
And the certification, which measures a company’s social and environmental performance, has hardly been adversely impacted by COVID-19 — ethical fashion, it seems, may be more covetable than it has ever been.
“In the wake of the pandemic, we’ve seen unprecedented growth,” said Anthea Kelsick, co-chief executive officer of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies companies deemed deserving, speaking broadly of the growth across industries. “We saw a 60 percent increase in certifications from 2018 to 2019, and we’re expecting that to be even larger in 2020.”
Fashion, though it still accounts for a small portion of the 3,522 certified B Corps spanning 74 countries — with just 150 companies in the community — is increasingly contributing to the growth. More and more, brands are looking to join leaders such as Patagonia, Allbirds, Athleta and Another Tomorrow in the B Corp club. Since March, B Lab said “around 1,000” companies in the fashion industry have signed on to use its B Impact Assessment, one key element of the certification process.