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All About the B-Corp – the New “It” Certificate for Fashion

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“Fashion is drowning in industry initiatives, certifications and standards,” says Sonia Hylling, a Circular Economy and Sustainable Supply Chain Strategist. As The Dreadful 20s (just coined it) roll on – the climate burns; social and worker issues simmer; the spectral pandemic looms; and global supply chains creak – it seems we are dying a death from a thousand cuts, and a better framework is needed. Is B-Corp’s holistic philosophy the standard that we have been waiting for?

A lot of B-Corp certified fashion brands – Finisterre, All Birds, MUD Jeans, and  – have always strived to be progressive, so becoming a B-Corp didn’t require much change. It is fashion’s recent cohort that’s more telling. In October 2021, Chloe announced their certification; a large, legacy brand taking demonstrable steps to reinvent and reshuffle itself. Couple this with the interest from Prada, as expressed by Lorenzo Bertelli in a recent Business of Fashion interview, and high street brands calling B-Corps to chat about the certificate, this stirs up some questions. Is it the symptom of a larger cultural shift? Why this one certification? And wait, are B-Corps cool now?

The B-Corp certification was set up in 2006 as a way to rigorously analyze, formally approve, and legally bind companies that looked to move beyond using profit as the sole measurement of success and switch to a stakeholder model. To be approved, brands use the B Impact Assessment tool which houses five key areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. Vanessa Barboni Hallik, CEO and founder of B-Corp luxury fashion brand Another Tomorrow likens it to “an architecture for accountability.” Brands have to field questions like: “Does your company source from and/or provide support to populations in low-income, poor, or very poor markets through your supply chain purchasing practises,” and undergo deep questioning, data presentation and supplication of hard evidence to support their answers. Only 4,395 applicants from 143,085 have been accepted in its 15 year lifespan.

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“What I love about B Corp is you have to back up factually what you say you do, [and] you really don’t have anything that’s so holistic across environmental, social and governance factors. I think that that really does set [B-Corp] apart,” says Barboni Hallik. Once approved, scores are shown publicly for comparison and every three years, they must reapply to hold onto the status, each time it getting more stringent. Finisterre’s Positive Impact Manager, Adele Gingell took them through their revaluation and she says “it should… we’re facing a climate emergency.”

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Barboni Hallik readily admits that “B-Corp probably needs to be more stringent in certain areas, particularly in terms of brand accountability for working conditions and liveable wages.” Every three years, B-Corp adopts stricter principles and manipulates the framework to better reflect the world at that current time. This is in the hope that the magic word, credibility, is retained. Laura Vicaria, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Manager at MUD Jeans says that in the sustainability sector, consumer trust is hugely important because it “can easily be shattered.” The B-Corp certification acts as a broad stroke mediator, questioner and enforcer of values between brand and consumer, but also, helps simplify consumer choices. As Barboni Hallik puts it: “You shouldn’t have to have a PhD as a customer to screen out which companies are really doing the work.”

Capitalism? Completed it, mate. Well, not so fast. Hylling points out some problems. The certificate is not legally enforceable, and it is a market driven solution for a market created problem. She suggests general legislation might be more effective (see: Green Claims Code, effective in UK from Jan 2022), and that she hasn’t seen evidence of B-Corp consulting legislators to enforce wider change.

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Hylling questions whether high fashion is “really ready to commit to a supply chain decision that prioritizes ethics over cost, or to implement a non-consumerism approach to marketing and sales.” Plus, Michael O’Regan in The Conversationist makes the point that, “certified companies can simply walk away if they feel being a B Corp no longer suits their profit-making aims, or if it threatens short-term shareholder profitability.” But the optimist in me considers what an impact it’d have if a brand like Prada did succeed longterm considering their footprint and influence, not to mention the panache it would bring to the B-Corp Christmas party.

For the over-saturated, confused, but concerned consumer, B-Corp Certification at its heart is really about aligning values. If you like its mission of better governance, higher environmental standards, open-sourcing, education, better workers’ rights and pay, increased diversity— A dam Smith’s hand reaching out for a hug — then approved brands will be notched up in your estimation.

Last summer at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, Finisterre teamed up with Seas Seven, an ocean activist training camp to try to put the oceans on the agenda. Finisterre reached out to the B-Corp community and mustered up a 12 million person reach on social media. Adele said it might have been weird, that a Solicitor firm, or a tampon manufacturer was sharing a clothing brand’s content but “everyone just joined forces, I was blown away by the collaboration on that.”

Vicaria from MUD Jeans says collaboration between B-Corps “comes about because it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re a B Corp. Cool.’ It is a symbol that you’re doing your due diligence. The whole aspect of going beyond profit, and using profit as a means to a bigger end.” Collaboration is the bedrock of the modern fashion brand and is built into the assessment structure, as it’s open for all and useful for those beginning their journey to betterment. B-Corp wants to lift up and educate even if brands don’t end up certifying.

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Maybe “cool” has been the wrong word all along. It’s a rigorous assessment, combined with a somewhat enforceable legal status, that boldly looks to address the current crises of our times. So, “important,” “fastidious,” and “ambitious” might do better. However, it embodies a new wave of value-based expectation that consumers are beginning to impose on brands. In our 2020 report “Culture, Culture, Culture,” it states Gen Z consumers will make up 60% of the market by 2026, and will demand brands be credible, grasp with social issues, and foster community; all which the B-Corp initiative checks out on. And while the consumer might not know too much about it yet, Barboni Hallik says it’s already been “influential in talent and hiring” with an “immense number of people saying ‘I want to align my energy with my values’ and switching jobs.” In short, she say, “Gen Z gets it.”

B-Corp is about putting your values (and data) out there to be scrupulously analyzed, working tirelessly to live up to the high standards, and being damn proud of that. It might not be cool… but, no, fuck it… yeah it is.

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Tips To Keep Your Luxury Home in Pristine Condition

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Owning a luxury or high-end home offers many advantages. However, they can also be challenging to maintain. The maintenance and repairs required by luxury properties vary greatly compared to traditional homes, which is why some new luxury homeowners aren’t prepared for what they encounter.

From exclusive issues such as a problem with the heated floors to a more common issue like the need for a simple plumbing repair, understanding what to do to keep your luxury home in pristine condition is a must. Here are some helpful tips and insights about luxury home maintenance and repairs.

Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

A huge mistake made by many luxury homeowners is waiting to handle standard maintenance tasks. While maintaining any home can be expensive, stressful, and tedious, putting it off will only lead to more issues.

With any luxury property, the best way to deal with small repairs – particularly those that may get worse – is by handling them as soon as they are discovered. For example, call a plumber at the first sign of a leaking pipe and seal holes in walls before more damage occurs. It’s also recommended that you try to repaint well-used areas in your home regularly, to maintain their pristine appearance.

Keep Things Clean

Another step to take when it comes to maintaining your luxury property is to clean it regularly. Having a cleaner house means it will look more well-kept and luxurious. Make it a habit to keep every room in your home tidy and organized. Larger houses require more patience and time to clean, and if you don’t think you can handle this yourself, hire someone to do it for you.

Get into the habit of regularly tidying up at the end of the day, and encourage this behavior in your family members as well. Keep a schedule of cleaning tasks that need to be completed, including deeper cleaning jobs such as steam cleaning floors and carpets. If you get into a routine, cleaning your house will be something you can handle quickly and easily.

Adopt a Minimalist Mindset

If your goal is to maintain your luxury home’s pristine appearance, then adopting a minimalist mindset is highly recommended. Most high-end homes come with plenty of space; however, this doesn’t mean you have to fill up every nook and cranny with “stuff.”

With a minimalist mindset, you can eliminate excessive and impulsive purchases of décor and furniture. When you do this, you can strategically use the items you have. Maintaining a minimalist perspective is a great way to ensure your home maintains an elegant and sophisticated look.

Follow the Latest Home Design Trends

When it comes to luxury properties, there are always high expectations. If you are thinking about making upgrades down the road, you should stay updated on the most recent trends. This will ensure you always know what is in style and what types of changes or enhancements you can use to increase your home’s value.

One example is installing energy-efficient appliances. This will help you reduce energy costs while increasing your property’s value. Another example is the installation of smart home technology. With these, you can have features like phone-controlled thermostats, lights, and locks, which also increase your home value.

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Maintaining the Look and Feel of Your Luxury Home

Buying a luxury home is a huge investment. Keeping it in pristine condition should be a top priority if you make this investment. While this may seem like a daunting process, it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips to help ensure your luxury home maintains the luxury appearance you want, and that it increases its value over time. This will pay off and help you enjoy all owning a luxury home offers. 

Carol

Information sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.

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Foot Locker’s Sole List 2022 Recipients Announced

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Celebrating Black innovators in photography.

Foot Locker has officially announced the recipients for its Sole List campaign for 2022.

The retail chain announced today that it has used the sophomore campaign to highlight three photographers who are positively impacting and uplifting Black people and their respective communities. This year’s beneficiaries include Andy JacksonFlo Ngala, and Joshua Renfroe.

As part of the campaign, the photographers snapped images that highlighted product from Black-owned brands from Foot Locker’s Home Grown program to collectively reshape what Blackness looks like from their viewpoints. Foot Locker launched Home Grown in 2019 as a way to connect local communities connect with its local communities along with brands throughout the country. Through the program, Foot Locker strives to elevate and support up-and-coming designers who are shaping the future of streetwear.

According to Foot Locker, it plans to showcase the content from the photographers in an upcoming art gallery exhibition in February but specific details regarding the showing have not yet been announced.

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Comme des Garçons Homme Brings Its Black/White Appeal To The New Balance 550

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post-desclaimer-iconThis post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The opinions and information provided on this site are original editorial content of Sneaker News.

Since its official debut release with Aimé Leon Dore in early 2020, the New Balance 550 has been the “it” sneaker to watch on the scene. On both the in-line general release and collaborative front, the 550 hasn’t failed to impress for its retro spirit and attractive colorways and brands across the globe are lining up to get their opportunity on what will be one of the big sneakers of 2022.

Considering Comme des Garçons Homme’s long-standing partnership with New Balance, this release isn’t a surprise. Revealed as part of the AW2022 collection are two takes on the model that exemplify the signature black/white aesthetic championed by Rei Kawakubo’s menswear sub-label. Both are constructed in cowhide leathers, with the CdGH and new balance co-branding placed on the heel.

Expect both to release later in 2022 as part of the fashion label’s AW2022 collection. If you’re craving for more 550s to anticipate in the new year, check out the Size? New Balance 550 Cordura set.

Photos: fashionsnap

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