What's a B Corp?
Merry Go Rounds has always existed to create positive social and environmental impact. Now, we’re making it official.
This spring, we’re applying to become a Certified B Corp, a designation that verifies our commitment to positive impact. Through the process, we will be blogging about our experience to share, as transparently as possible, our planning process and timeline, the challenges and roadblocks we face along the way, and our learnings and advice for others.
B Corp certification is done by an independent third party, B Lab. It’s a rigorous process, and only a small fraction of businesses meet the requirements. Prospective B Corps must meet certain criteria to demonstrate that their business model and practices are sustainable and equitable. These criteria are in the areas of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. We’ll get into each of these in more detail in future blog posts.
We’ve been inspired by other businesses that have formalized their commitment to impact by becoming Certified B Corps. There are more than you’d think (over 2,500 in 50 countries, in fact). Big names like Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Allbirds, and Danone are all B Corps. Some of our favorite startups and local businesses, like Hugo & Hoby, Ox Verte, and Walden Local Meat, are certified or pending B Corps. And another resale business, Seams to Fit in Portland, Oregon, holds the title of being the world’s only consignment store to be certified as a B Corporation. Hopefully they’re the first of many, including us!
Why are we doing this?
This blog series will follow our progress as we navigate through the Certified B Corps application process. We decided to blog about this process for a number of reasons:
- We want to share some of the inner workings of being a sustainability-focused business with our customers and supporters.
- We hope that documenting the sometimes-complicated application process may be helpful to other small businesses considering B Corps status.
- We want to supplement existing B Corp application how-to guides with the human side of what it looks like for a small business to work towards such an important yet challenging certification.
Who is doing this?
The two of us, Alli Chlapaty and Melissa Mazzeo, will be leading the application process and blog series. We’re classmates at Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and we’re both passionate about using business as a force for good. Alli has a background in and passion for helping businesses become more sustainable and was instrumental in helping Bigelow Tea become B Corp Certified in 2019. She will be assisting in our certification process and comparing her experience working with our small business through this process to that of a large company. Melissa is co-owner of Merry Go Rounds (along with her mom, Beth) and will join the company full-time after graduating this May.
Thanks for following along with us on this process. We hope it’ll be informative, inspiring, and fun!