Together with the global B Corp community, we believe in putting people and planet before profit and that business should be a force for good.
B Corp Month happens every year in March and the focus for the first week is on the workers behind the companies.
We teamed up with Pala Eyewear and NewGround Coffee to share the stories about the workers who make their brands possible.
John Pritchard, Founder of Pala Eyewear (B Corp):
The health of our planet is inextricably linked to the impact on populations around the world. Climate change intensifies poverty and income inequality creating favourable conditions for urbanization and migration from low to high latitude countries.
The women who weave our recycled sunglasses cases live in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Drought has meant that the traditional straw they rely on is no longer readily available. By providing recycled plastic directly to the communities, we are ensuring that they don’t have to travel hours to source their material as well as help towards preserving traditional weaving skills that have passed through generations.
Their weaving skills are considered to be of the very highest standard in Ghana. Pala pays the weavers what is termed locally a ‘prosperity wage’, providing an income that helps them to empower themselves out of poverty and improve their standard of living.
Dickon Morris, Founder of NewGround Coffee (soon-to-be B Corp):
At NewGround, our goal is to “do good” from source to destination. The Zukuka Bora Coffee Project in Mt. Elgon, Uganda has always been a part of our story, all the way back when the idea of NewGround was formed. One of our friends visited Uganda as part of a project to work alongside local coffee farmers, equipping them with improved, organic production methods and top-quality cultivation principles. They help Ugandan farmers to re-imagine their product and drastically increase their return. By linking farmers directly to overseas markets and roasting companies like NewGround, they are able to obtain a better and fairer price for their world-class coffee.
Our friend has seen amazing work within the community over in Uganda and said to us “wouldn’t it be amazing if we saw life changing work happen in the countries where this coffee is drunk too?”.
These words sparked the idea of having a social enterprise in the UK, importing and roasting speciality coffee, including the sensational coffee from the Zukuka Bora Coffee Project, and using this business as a vehicle to run training and employment programs for ex-offenders.
The idea that something as simple as coffee can change lives all the way through the chain, from the farmers growing and processing it, to our staff roasting it is the real driving force behind NewGround.
Audrey Migot-Adholla, Founder of Yala Jewellery (B Corp):
Yala's ultimate goal is to financially empower the artisans we work with. They are survival entrepreneurs who operate in the informal sector, and they have wide nets of dependents who also rely on their income.
By ensuring that we pay them well over and above the living wage, we're giving them a chance to thrive and participate more fully in the economy in Kenya. This gives them dignity, choices and a sense of pride.
This is why we joke that Yala isn't really about jewellery at all - it's merely a vehicle to put money in the pockets of the artisans we work with by giving them access to international markets.