“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
When I started Atayne almost 2 years ago (I can’t believe it has been that long), my vision was to not only change the destructive model of the textile and apparel industry, but also to create a model for a new type of company. A vision is important, but unless you take actionable steps, it can just be window dressing.
Although we are small and underfunded, we can’t lose sight of our values. I am proud to report that Atayne is now a certified B Corporation. What’s a B Corp you ask? Think of the standard corporate structures, S-Corp or C-Corp. Now throw them out the window. B Corps (B stands for Beneficial) are companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
That has a nice ring to it. But it goes much deeper than that. Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on the long-term interests of their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment. The ultimate goal of the certifying organization, B Lab, is to create a new, legally recognized corporate form (like a C-Corp or S-Corp) with tax incentives, procurement preferences, and a social stock exchange for sustainable businesses.
As a start-up, why was it important for me to spend the time, money, and resources to go through the certification process? It is simple–actions speak louder than words. It is one thing for us to preach our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. It is yet another thing for us to back up those words. This was an important step to communicate to the Atayne community that we mean what we say. We are legally bound in by our operating agreement to do so. Straight from our operating agreement, and I apologize in advance for all the legal jargon.
In discharging his or her duties, and in determining what is in the best interests of the Company and its Members, a managing member shall not be required to regard any interest, or the interests of any particular group affected by such action, as a dominant or controlling interest or factor. He or she shall give due consideration to the following factors, including, but not limited to, the long-term prospects and interests of the Company and its Members, and the social, economic, legal, or other effects of any action on the current and retired employees, the suppliers and customers of the Company or its subsidiaries, and the communities and society in which the Company or its subsidiaries operate, (collectively, with the Members, the “Stakeholders”), together with the short-term, as well as long-term, interests of its Members and the effect of the Company’s operations (and its subsidiaries’ operations) on the environment and the economy of the state, the region and the nation.
Check out the list of other B Corporations and whenever you can, give them your business. By doing so you know that you are doing more than adding to their bottom line. You are adding to the bottom line of your community and planet.