Shift Change

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life, Change The World

On this, our second edition of “Make a Difference Monday,” we are excited to announce that we have achieved Pending (Start-up) Status as a Certified B Corporation!  “B” comes from Ghandi’s assertion to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And at Catalyst, we are doing just that!

What is a Certified B Corporation?  And why does Catalyst have “Pending” status?

Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performances. It means that our entire company is set up to promote a sustainable and ethical model of business. It's like fair trade, but instead of a product meeting a certain criteria, it's our entire business. It's an intensive performance assessment that not only looks at a company's goods, but also its treatment and impact on all of its workers, its community, and our world. All Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider this impact.  A company cannot be fully certified as a B Corporation until it has been in business for one year, but we have met all other standards of transparency and sustainability as judged by an independent organization.  It was very important for us to achieve this status early on in our company's growth, so that you as a customer can have full faith that we are "walking the talk!"

 

Why is this so awesome?

From the very beginning, it has been our mission to be transparent with our customers. We love sharing with you who our partner artisans are and how they make the products you love. Being a Certified B Corporation puts that third party stamp of approval on our business practices. Catalyst uses business and partnership as a force for good and that's exactly what B Lab - the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations - is all about! With the addition of the B label on our website and products, the assurance of our quality business practices can be quickly seen and understood. It means that you can be sure that our company will continue to be held accountable to our beliefs, to our mission, to our partners, and, most importantly, to you, our customers. Other famous B Corporations include Patagonia, Method cleaning products, Dansko shoes—we’re in great company of organizations truly making a difference!

To learn more about how B Corporations and why they matter, click here!

 

 

 

 

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"Do the best you can until you know better.  Then, when you know better, do better."  

--Maya Angelou

              One of the first comments typically brought up in a conversation about ethically-sourced items is “they are always much more expensive than the ones at [fill in your favorite bargain store here].”  And it’s true, paying fair wages, choosing higher-quality materials and sourcing labor to resource-poor areas  makes these items cost more.  It’s important to know what “bonuses” you might be getting with your cheaper purchase.
               As an example, consider the “buy one get one free”  tank tops that can be purchased for a whopping $5 at lots of bargain brand stores.  Take away the store’s cut, the cost for marketing and merchandising, shipping, and factory costs…and it’s a good bet that the person making those tank tops wasn’t paid a fair wage, if they were paid a wage at all.  It’s also a safe bet that the worker would have to work longer hours and more days per week just to support her family.  She might have unsafe working conditions, or be treated with no dignity at her job.  But we don’t see that listed on the label with the price.
                How can ethically-sourced products compete next to their bargain brand counterparts?  The answer is simple:  they are not competing.  Ethically-sourced companies are not competing to “race to the bottom” with the bargain leaders--that is a race where, ultimately, everyone loses.  Rather, ethically-sourced brands realize that when people are equipped with knowledge about their purchase and equipped with ethical alternatives, they will make better choices.
                To truly change the world and lift people out of oppression and poverty, we must be willing to make changes within ourselves.  Buy less, and buy better.  Realize the true “bargain” is one where the purchase has a greater purpose.
                This video is two years old, but unfortunately not much has changed, and it is an important look at the true cost of cheap fashion.  Know better, do better, shop better.