Employee-owned schoolwear manufacturer Rowlinson Knitwear has announced its B Corporation certification.
Rowlinson met the highest verified social and environmental standards representing its commitment to goals beyond shareholder profit, joining a global movement dedicated to using business as a force for good.
Rowlinson is the only organisation in the schoolwear industry to achieve B Corp certification.
B Corp certification addresses a company’s entire business operations covering governance, workers, community, environment and customers. The stringent certification process demands that applicants reach a minimum benchmark score of over 80, and provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.
Rowlinson’s B Impact score of 107 makes the company the highest scoring Certified B Corp in the north of England and Scotland. Among B Corps in the clothing and apparel industry, Rowlinson is ranked first in the UK, second in Europe and 14th worldwide.
Donald Moore, chair at Rowlinson, said: “Becoming a Certified B Corp is a truly defining moment in our history. It’s testament to our longstanding focus on responsible practices, and will motivate us to achieve even more positive and enduring change. We hope that our commitment to doing business more responsibly will inspire others and help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”
Neil Ward, managing director at Rowlinson, added: “Being a B Corp gives us the lens through which we view our world, sharpening our focus on what matters most today and for future generations too. We’re very excited to part of a global community of change-makers. We plan to deliver even more impact with the products and services we create, the programmes we launch and the people we work with.”
Councillor Elise Wilson, leader of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “Congratulations to Rowlinson Knitwear on becoming the first B Corp in Stockport. This is the result of a great deal of work on behalf of the organisation, which actively puts people, the environment and their customers at the forefront of their business.”
Kate Sandle, director of programmes and engagement at B Lab UK, added: “We are delighted to welcome Rowlinson to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe business really can be a force for good. We know that Rowlinson is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.”
Rowlinson is now part of a community of 3,400 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK represents a broad cross section of industries and sizes, and comprises over 330 companies and includes well-known brands including The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop, Ben & Jerry’s and Jamie Oliver.