Certified B Corporation Badge


Is that a B Corp in Y.O.U(R) pants?

1 September, 2023

The highest B Corp impact assessment score ever recorded in the UK was 160.5. For some context, the average business scores just 50.9 in their first assessment, and the threshold for certification is 80 points. You might not be a maths whizz, but it should obvious to everyone how impressive this is. Even more impressive is that at the time of the assessment, Y.O.U Underwear (the high-scoring debutantes, featured before in Friday 5) had only three employees.

So how did Y.O.U score so highly, how did they do it with so few people, and what could this mean for small or family run businesses? Helpfully, they sat down with B Lab – the creators of the B Corp Certification – to help us all understand.

The B Corp certification is awarded based on an agglomeration of five scores that evaluate a company’s overall sustainability. Sarah and Jess, the founder and sustainability head (yes, the three-person startup has a sustainability head, what’s your excuse?) reckon that the two factors that helped them the most were their community outreach, and – strangely enough – their small size.

“As a small company, we were able to implement policies in an incredibly agile way” Sarah says. By using the assessment criteria as a guide, the team of three used their small size to their advantage, effectively, speedily and stably streamlining their business model to conform with B Corp assessment guidelines. Their community outreach is also impressive, and this contributed 76.5 points out of their total score.

It seems a high impact business model is largely responsible for this. “Giving back is at the core of Y.O.U Underwear’s Business Model” Sarah reveals. So far, the company has donated over 20,000 pairs of underwear to charity and aims to help more stakeholders in the future. Her overarching advice to small and large businesses alike looking to gain B Corp status however, is to “do it before you’re ready” and just get stuck in.

By Isaac Lockwood

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