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!

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to Catalyst’s first “Make a Difference Monday!”  We are excited to start kicking off your week with inspiring stories featuring those that are truly making a difference with their influence, whether on a global scale (like today’s celebrity), in their workplace, or in their community.  

If you’ve been anywhere near a TV or your smart phone recently, you have heard that Pope Francis made his American debut last week, speaking before huge crowds and holding intimate meetings with faithful supporters.  One family even made a 13,000 mile trip from Buenos Aires to New York in a VW bus to hear the Pope speak (the Pope was a fellow Argentine), and they were surprised with a private face-to-face meeting with the pontiff.

No matter your spiritual or non-spiritual leanings,  it’s undeniable that the Pope is a major political figure throughout the world, and Francis chose to use his platform to address another influential political establishment:  the U.S. Congress.  We at Catalyst were inspired by his calls to action, and thought it fitting to feature Pope Francis in our first Make a Difference Monday post.

The Pope chose to speak about cooperation to combat slavery and injustice: 

“It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.”

He encouraged all people of influence to bring opportunities to those who need them most:

“Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

And to help bring economic opportunity to those that are at a disadvantage:

“It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable.  Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.” 

Well said, Pope Francis.  Thank you for being bold and using your abilities to speak for those that need a louder microphone.  We hope his words will encourage you to find opportunities to make a difference in your Monday, and all week long!

Do YOU have someone you think should be featured on one of our "Make A Difference Monday" posts?  Are you making a difference and want to tell us about your journey?  Write to support@catalystscrubs.com, we’d love to hear your stories and feature you or someone you admire in an upcoming post.  And if you’re submission is featured, we’ll send some Catalyst awesomeness your way!

"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.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  

— Mahatma Gandhi

In the past decade "Be the change" has become a saying so commonplace that it has become a catchphrase, to the likes of Nike’s “Just do it.”  No one would argue with the message, but putting it into action involves more than just placing a bumper sticker on a car or magnet on the refrigerator.

Today, nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $1.25 per day.  22,000 children die each day as a result of poverty.  Poverty leads to limited choices, scarce resources and little opportunity to slow its vicious cycle.  Poverty provides a gateway for oppression, violence and abuse, perpetuating the problem and further stunting the ability of those affected to rise out of their circumstances.

Because you are reading this blog, you can consider yourself among the wealthiest in the world who have been educated and have access to electricity and the internet.  Have a stable job and a safe shelter to sleep at night?  Now you’re in the top tier of the most wealthy.  You are in the perfect position to help stop the cycle of poverty, to “be the change.”

In our land of plenty, it’s easy to approach this change as an opportunity to give our wealth to those that so desperately are without.  We have seen the telethons after major disasters, the celebrity-studded charity events to raise money for starving children in Africa, the popular “buy one, give one” models of trendy shoes and clothing.  And these are good things--charity is needed in a crisis.  After the earthquake in Haiti, immediate funds and supplies were vital in providing emergency assistance for those affected.  But what happens a decade later, when the infrastructure is still in shambles, the attention and funding has been diverted to the next disaster, and the people are still suffering and without basic essentials?  Charity is not a long-term solution, it is a short-term fix.  That kid in Africa that benefited from the pair of shoes you purchased is going to need another pair of shoes in three months, in six months…forever.  Charity is a great band-aid, but it doesn’t stop the bleeding.

 

But--there is a solution.  What if, instead of showering those in need with our own excess, determined by our charity and willingness to give…we empowered them to create their own?  What if we built industries instead of shelters, what if we gave parents jobs so they could buy their children shoes instead of relying on us to provide them?  What if we could transform communities and countries by the power of our consistent purchases instead of the amount of our one-time donation.

Spark Change.

Catalyst Scrubs was created as a vehicle for this revolution, to allow healthcare workers to transform the world through the power of their purchases.   We can give back and fight poverty and oppression with something that we wear every day.  We can display our commitment on our sleeves and share our fight with others who can join us.

We have partnered with women and communities in resource-poor areas to make beautiful, handmade scrubs and provide dignified income and opportunity to their families.  Your purchases allow these women to feed and clothe their children, to send them to school, and to pay for needed medical care.  Your commitment to change through consistent purchases from Catalyst will transform entire communities and reinforce to the women that make our products that they are creating value, that they have worth, that they are important.  You will change their future.

Can buying a pair of Catalyst Scrubs spark the movement to change the destruction of poverty?  We think so, and we’d love for you to come on this journey with us.  Our first round of poverty-fighting scrubs will be available in early autumn, and we plan for them to sell out and send a message that we are ready for change.  Join our movement and lead the change!  “Like” us on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/catalystscrubs , tell your friends and get ready to purchase the first poverty-fighting scrubs in the world.  Buy scrubs, spark change.