As one of the first businesses in South Africa to be certified as a B Corp™ company we are very proud to join this global group that envisages a global economy that uses business as a force for good™.
Wren’s journey to become a B Corp™ started mid 2020 when I stumbled across the logo whilst browsing sites of favourite brands. I spotted the logo in a few places and did some research. Having investigated registering as a Fair Trade, for various ISO and or other certifications but never feeling that that any of them were quite the right fit for the business that I was trying to build. I was excited to discover the global B Corp™ certification that resonated with what I have been trying to achieve since starting WREN in 2008: to make a holistic difference by doing business differently.
What is this difference?
The difference that WREN is in all areas of the business – from product design to skills structure and calculations of profit.
Product: Wren selects its raw materials based on their sustainability. Moments of inspiration come from local experiences and connections (read more about that here).
Wren’s main raw material is reclaimed paper that is re-routed from recycling plants where energy would be spent changing it into a new resource. Rather, Wren uses it in its current form and challenges the perceived durability and use of paper with our patent pending process. Wren’s products also carry a guarantee making sure that are not simply for today but will last for a long time. We believe that sustainability and durability are one and the same thing and practice this in raw material and with an end product that serves practical purposes.
But there is more! Wren also packages orders in plastic-free ways and always seeks out the less known or profit rich option rather than choosing the most sustainable one. Read more about our materials here.
Ethical Practices: Wren also believes in doing business with an ethical heart and head. Creating employment that creates the opportunity for an improved lifestyle (for the entire family and if possible, community) and running a business that is not solely focused on profit but on sustainability in the sense of longevity and stability for those involved and connected with the company. Wren has partners in charitable organizations where art materials purchased from self-run campaigns are used to spark creativity in children [read more here].
Wren uses business as a way to make a positive difference in the lives of those in the business and those outside. Read more about our ethical practices here.
B Corps™ are about “using business as a force for good™” and doing this through their products, practices, and profits. Wren and B Corp™ is a natural match of values and so Wren began the journey to become the first design, craft and or manufacturer in Southern Africa to be certified.
Quick Links: What is B corp™ | How do I get certified by B Lab®
Applying for B Corp™ status is not something taken lightly, its a lengthy and very thorough process. We had to develop a Sustainability Policy which we found very useful and am excited to achieve the goals we have set out. Whilst doing this we discovered how many practices we had in place that are “good”. This is just one example of the kind of work we had to do for the certification. We had the knowledge, did the right thing but had not reflected and or recorded it in a formal way.
Why did we join? As an African based business there are many negative assumptions. Joining an association that is strict about its certification, affordable and acts as a stamp of approval, reassures customers of our good practices. When you buy from a Certified B Corporation® company you are guaranteed to receive quality in product and service, transparency in price and to be contributing to something good rather than just another profit driven CEO-led company.
Read more about working with us on custom or corporate products here.
There is also no better time than now to be a B Corp™ company with COVID-19 resulting in customers becoming more aware of how companies treat their staff and what environmental conscious decisions they make internally and with product. Wren is proud to be an example of a company that is purpose-drive and creates benefit for all.
Hopefully as more companies join the movement, other businesses will be pressured to prioritize these values. Together we can work for a better future.
Anyone can read our assessment report which will be available shortly here. This offers more transparency into how The Wren Design is run.