Menstrual cup brand The Hello Cup has just received B-Corp accreditation, joining LilyBee Wrap making two Hawke’s Bay businesses out of only 3,700 B-Corp companies in 74 countries — and 38 from New Zealand — to earn the social and environmental endorsement. 

It’s another milestone reached for The Hello Cup, having now saved more than 200 million single-use sanitary items from landfills and waterways across the globe. Co-founder Robyn McLean says they are “incredibly proud” to have reached the 200 million milestone.

Globally, the B-Corp movement is acknowledged as a key driver in the global shift to redefine success in business, away from strictly numbers on a balance sheet. The B-Corp community works towards reducing inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose.

McLean says The Hello Cup wanted to get B-Corp certification because “it makes it easier for the customer to know your company is values based” and that you are mindful of how you do business and that profit is not at the expense of the environment or the people who work for you.

“We’ve always been a bit anti-business in the way we operate in terms of wearing our hearts on our sleeve and making decisions based on what sits well with us. Our customers and our staff are genuinely important to us. We have always paid at least living wage. We also have staff ‘duvet days’ where staff can take a day off at the last minute because they just need some ‘me time’. 

“It’s a rigorous process to get B-Corp accreditation but it’s so worth it to show your customers you are genuine about being transparent and doing the best you can.”

B-Corporations celebrate social enterprises that use business “as a force for good”, giving consumers a steer on businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible. 

LilyBee Wrap owner Stacia Jensen says she always knew she wanted to pursue becoming a B-Corporation.

“B-Corp is very prominent in the US and a lot of businesses I admire are certified. Our business was already aligned with a lot of what B-Corp is about so a massive shift wasn’t needed. It’s a rigorous standard and as soon as your business doesn’t align with the values of B-Corp, you have to reapply for certification. 

“B-Corp helped us solidify our thinking; commit it to paper. It’s about being accountable and not just paying lip service to words like sustainability or social enterprise.”

B-Corporations are also legally obliged to consider the impact of their business decisions and incorporate them into constitutions, and there is an expectation any business will continue to evolve. For Stacia, this is crucial in keeping her accountable. 

“More than anything, B-Corp is about evolution. So much of what we already do shares B-Corp’s ethos and practices, but we know we can do more. It’s a natural extension of what we do and who we are.”

Adds McLean: “There are only 38 Kiwi businesses that have B-Corp accreditation, but hopefully there will continue to be more of us.”

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