Balancing Profit and Purpose – feat Vivobarefoot

Our Q&A with Charlotte Pumford, Sustainability Manager at Vivobarefoot.

The purpose of our series “Balancing Profit and Purpose” is to feature fellow B Corporations, to hopefully inspire many more to join the movement. We showcase those companies that meet rigorously verified standards of social and environmental performance, those that use business as a force for good. As a collective, B Corps are accelerating a global cultural shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

ADLIB: For some background information, who are you as a business and what makes your business offering unique?

Charlotte Pumford: Vivobarefoot are the outsiders of the footwear industry. We reject the broken footwear and fashion industry and we’re fighting for a more natural future, by reconnecting people and planet. Sedentary & cushioned lifestyles are making people and the planet sick, and the short-term comfort of foam and air is having a long-term effect on our health. At Vivobarefoot, we want to change this by making footwear that makes your feet stronger. Using wide, thin and flexible design principles that allow your feet to do their natural thing.

We strive to create footwear that uses the most sustainably sourced natural, bio and recycled materials. Created by two cousins from a long line of cobblers, Galahad and Asher’s goal is to create alternative footwear that protects the planet, for those who want to feel.

ADLIB: What got you interested in joining the B Corp movement and what does being a B Corp mean to you?

Charlotte Pumford: Companies in the B Corp community meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance and accountability, using the power of business collectively to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

These values are at the core of Vivobarefoot and everything we do. 

B Corp looks at the bigger picture and, ultimately, how much transparency we have across our business. We have plenty of room for improvement and being a part of B Corp shines a light on both what we need to improve as well as what we need to make more visible.

ADLIB: Can you share a little bit about your B Corp story, what the process was like for you?

Charlotte Pumford: We became a certified B Corp in September 2020, entering the community with a score of 98.8. It took us over a year to go through the certification process, spending a lot of time making sure we took every aspect of the programme seriously. It allowed us to put a lot of structure in behind the scenes (creating policies and procedures) and these helped to take our sustainability programme to the next level. It is both an important part of our integrated corporate reporting programme which holds us accountable against a range of industry standards and our initiatives to engage with our global consumer community.

ADLIB: In your case, what does it mean for your workers, customers, community and environmental considerations?

Charlotte Pumford: Many brands see B Corp status as the ultimate end goal. However, for our wider regenerative mission, we hope to use this certification to show that there is a better way for businesses to operate, that moves beyond sustainability, towards regenerative business impact. To do this, we’ll continue to work in partnership with our wider Vivobarefoot community and with other B Corps, to implement the B Corp principles in every aspect of our business and across the footwear industry more broadly.

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