Thursday, August 18, 2011

To B or Not to B: Why We Became a Certified B Corp

Tees at Risk is very proud to have passed the certification requirements of B Labs, and is one of the first apparel companies to become a Certified B Corporation.

You are probably familiar with the two common categories of companies: non-profits, and for-profits. But what type of company is a company like Tees at Risk, which is technically not a non-profit (we don’t raise donations from anyone, and therefore we don’t need to be what’s known as a “501(c)(3)”, or tax-exempt company), but serves a social purpose?

A “B Corp”, or Benefit Corporation, is a new type of company whose corporate charter contains a mandate to do some good for society, some social benefit, even if that mandate doesn’t directly help (or in some cases hurts) profitability. There’s no tax benefit for “being a B” – so why do it?

In our case, we wanted to call attention to our unique business model, of literally giving away a portion of the sales proceeds from every shirt we sell, to a worthy charity that services youth. Contributing to society is in our corporate DNA. We went through hoops to get certified by B Labs, because we wanted the external validation that our “cycle of benefit” business model which empowers artistic at-risk youth and drives money to youth causes, met the rigorous criteria established by B Labs to identify companies like us that truly help society.

When we created Tees at Risk, we wanted to “do well by doing good.” Being a B Corp helps us project that message.

Click here to visit our company’s profile on the B Labs website.


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