Bare Kind’s Blueprint for B Corp Certification and Growing Sustainably  (episode 481)

Lucy Jeffrey is the Founder of Bare Kind – a seller of bamboo socks that save endangered animals. Bare Kind is based in the UK and sells globally mainly via Shopify and wholesale platform Faire. Founded in 2018, last year they hit £530,000 total sales about 20% of which was wholesale. 

Lucy Jeffrey Bare Kind on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[02:43] Changes in the business.
[04:40] Focusing on profit ahead of growth.
[07:52] Positives from bringing her partner into the business.
[11:36] Fear of doing the certification process because it’s too much work.
[14:41] A checklist for making your business better.
[19:10] Leverage the B Corp network and put the work in.
[24:03] Lucy’s Top Tips!

Transforming into a Family Business 

Lucy says bringing in her partner, Andy, to join her in the business was significant. Andy’s leadership and financial expertise have been crucial in driving the business towards greater profitability and structure. Communication is key in their working relationship, Lucy explains. They have weekly sessions to discuss roles and improvements. She adds that continuous effort and adaptation as they balance individual roles within the business and their personal lives are important. 

A Shift Towards Profitability Over Growth 

Lucy believes that focusing on profit instead of growth was the correct decision for Bare Kind. She anticipates further benefits from this strategy due to changes in the supply chain and other factors. The shift was crucial, especially after a challenging year that significantly impacted their profitability. By closely monitoring their finances and making strategic decisions, they ended the year with their highest sales yet. The move has also allowed them to allocate resources more effectively. This shows the importance of a disciplined financial strategy in building a resilient and sustainable business. 

Becoming B Corp Certified 

Lucy decided to pursue B Corp certification after years of hesitation due to its reputation for being labor-intensive. Sarah, a mentor and the founder of a highly rated B Corp encouraged her to start the process and build evidence over time. Lucy was inspired by the idea of joining a global community of businesses committed to positive impacts on people, the planet, and profit. Despite the challenge, the increasing inquiries about why her business wasn’t B Corp certified pushed her to undertake the certification. She saw it as a natural progression for her business, which was already striving to make a positive impact in its operations. 

The Impact of Being Certified 

Becoming B Corp certified has had a positive, though less tangible, impact on Bare Kind. It hasn’t directly led to an increase in sales, but it has opened doors for collaboration. The certification is being leveraged in marketing materials to build trust and recognition. Lucy believes that being part of the B Corp community not only aligns with her brand’s ethical values but also creates a “halo effect.” Over time, the impact is going to grow and contribute to the brand’s reputation and credibility. 

B Corp Advice for Businesses 

Lucy advises anyone considering B Corp certification to start by completing the questionnaire to identify gaps in their business practices. Aim for over 100 points during the initial submission because the certification process is stringent. It’s also common to lose points for various reasons. Achieving a higher initial score provides a buffer to still meet the 80-point requirement for certification despite potential deductions. 

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Facebook ads

Tool Top Tip

  • SaneBox email management software

Carbon Top Tip

  • For the long-term, brands must focus on creating circular products. For immediate action, use Ecosia as a search engine, which plants trees based on search numbers. 

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Getting your first 400 wholesale accounts with Bare Kind’s Lucy Jeffrey (episode 402)
  • Your B Corp Questions Answered with Hannah Cox (episode 430)
  • Serving 160k Customers Custom Fit Fashion with Jess Fleischer, Son of a Tailor (episode 456)

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