Why I love Kiwi businesswomen
In a couple of days, I’m going to be a guest speaker at the BNZ Women’s Networking Breakfast at the Community101 hub in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand.
For 10 minutes, I get to take centre stage and talk about B Corp. My nerves and insecurities regarding public speaking will keep for another blog so I’ll gloss over that for now and get to the point.
In preparing my Powerpoint slides for this presentation, I’ve taken a look at some of the amazing and inspiring female entrepreneurs of this region, whose businesses are also B Corp certified. My goodness, there are some fierce females out there who are roaring in a way that would make 70’s sensation Helen Reddy cry with pride (watch this vid Gen Z).
Local business women who are shaking things up and changing the world with their focus, determination, tenacity, sheer single-bloody mindedness, creativity, and sense of purpose. I am inspired, in awe and deeply grateful for them all at the same time.
So, this blog is an open letter of love to some of these women. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for battering down the obstacles and cracking the invisible and visible ceilings. Thank you for holding the torch high and lighting the way. Thank you for leading by example. Thank you for demonstrating what’s possible. Thank you for committing to continual improvement of your social and environmental impact. Thank you for your vision of business based on a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Here’s a short summary of some Kiwi women awesomeness… with an unashamed focus on Canterbury women and B Corps.
First, let me give a ‘yay you’ to founder of Ethique Brianne West. At this very moment, I have a bar of Ethique shampoo in my shower, a stick of lip balm in my handbag, and a Poppy lipstick in my make-up bag. #lovethisbrand
While still a uni student back in 2012, Brianne created her first shampoo bar on her kitchen table. It was called ‘Mintasy’ and Brianne was motivated by the desire to help rid the world of plastic bottle pollution #giveupthebottle. Fast forward to today, she’s been tweeted by Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher and built a business now said to be worth about $US100 million. I mean, whaaaaat!? Boom. Mic drop. Anyway, Brianne recently stepped away from running Ethique so she could focus on her latest venture, Business But Better, which is mentoring for mission-driven entrepreneurs who are building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges. Brianne’s ethos is that business done right, done fairly and equitably, will create a better world for all, and a healthier environment. Which is the same message we have here at Grow Good about becoming a B Corp. And yes, Ethique is a rock solid B Corp.
Next, Monique Kaminski founder of wellness and beauty brand Jeuneora. Like Brianne, Monique also started her business from home, selling collagen powder as a “side hustle” to supplement her income in 2016.
Now the Kiwi collagen queen, Monique built a website, manufactured her first run of Renew+ Marine Collagen Powder and launched it on social media with no marketing budget. Now the brand is said to be worth more than $7 million. Also a B Corp, Jeuneora has been hardcore about its social and environmental impact from the get-go but this seems to becoming ever more integral to the brand’s evolution. For example, the marine collagen used in Jeuneora products is ethically and sustainably sourced from France. It’s made from fish skin that would otherwise go to waste as a by-product of the fishing industry. The brand is fiercely cruelty-free and recently got Leaping Bunny status, which is the most rigorous certification that proves no testing on animals in any ingredients.
As well, the packaging of Jeuneora products (packaging is always problematic for any business) is 100% Sugarcane plastic and they have a free Terracycle returns programme. This means you can order a return envelope for free on their website and then send your empties back. Jeuneora ship product with DHL GoGreen Carbon Neutral programme. As well, $1 from every sale goes to charity. So far they’ve supported Australian Bush Fire Relief, the NAACP Legal Defence Fund, Wellington City Missions, and HagarNZ (for survivors of trafficking and slavery), and more.
Gourmate Pet Co
Next, a big shout out to Laura Wilkinson and Stephanie Mearns of the Gourmate Pet Co. I’m delighted to say that Gourmate Pet Treat Co. was New Zealand’s first B Corp Certified Pet Business. It all started because Laura and Steph were on a mission to create the best dog treats humanly possible.
Why is that a thing? Because apparently some pet food manufacturers were getting away with putting some really awful, even toxic, stuff into pet food because the legal standards are so much lower than for human food. Why would anyone want to feed toxins to their fur family?
So Gourmate uses only organic, wild, or low density free range proteins from premium local suppliers. In particular, organic Green Lipped Mussels, which are one of the most sustainable animal proteins available. As well, Gourmate advocates for better animal welfare practices within the pet industry. They care and share with local charities through the donation of treats, financial support, and awareness raising.
Another fabulous and gorgeous Christchurch brand, and a B Corp, is Untouched World, the founder of which is Peri Drysdale. It is a sustainable lifestyle brand that celebrates living in harmony with nature. I am currently saving up for one of the beautiful jumpers created by Untouched World. I have an envelope held onto my fridge door by a magnet. When I have a spare fiver or tenner, I put it in the envelope. One day, I will take home one of these stunning garments. Until then, I settle for buying coffee in the Untouched World cafe.
Untouched World was the first fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability. Its logo is a representation of a Maori Kite, which is the emblem of an ideal relationship between people and nature. The company uses ethically and sustainably sourced fabrics like ZQ certified merino, organic cotton and Ecopossum, all of which will naturally return to the earth and break down without contributing to landfill.
The majority (92%) of garments are made in Christchurch.
The Chia Sisters
Okay, so these amazing women aren’t from Canterbury, they are based in Nelson. I don’t care, I’m still going to shout to them because they’re so awesome. Chloe and Florence Van Dyke are the brains and brawn behind Chia Sisters superfood drinks, which are formulated to nourish your mind and body.
New Zealand’s first solar-powered juicery, Chia Sisters have also achieved Living Wage, Climate Positive, Zero Carbon, and B Corp Certification. They are also ranked among the top 5% of B Corps worldwide for environmental efforts. Their latest brainwave is to transport their juices in kegs for the hospitality industry, an innovation borrowed from the beer industry but which has never been done for juices. This innovation will save a massive amount of single-use plastic bottles that were ending up in landfill.
These fantastic female entrepreneurs are just the tip of the ice-berg of female talent we have in Canterbury and Aotearoa New Zealand. There are so many more I could mention, some B Corp and some on their way to being B Corp Certified, including… Cathy Gillespie of Like-Minded Learning, Helen Townsend and Anthea Madill of Sustained Fun, Jemma and Corinne Turner of Mylk Made, Sarah O’Connell of Soul Studio Hot Yoga, Sally Wynn Williams of Brannigans, Kendall Flutey of Banqer, Kaila Colbin of Boma, Jo Blair of Brown Bread, Caroline Thalund of S360, and more.
Just as exciting, is the up and coming female entrepreneurs of Canterbury. Some of whom are being nurtured through the University of Canterbury’s Centre of Entrepreneurship. I wish that had been an option when I was a student at Canterbury, about a zillion or so years ago.
B Corp businesses like these, through small and massive changes and actions, are weaving a future when business as a force for good is the way everyone does business. They are using the B Impact Assessment as a framework for continual improvement of their social and environmental impact. Because that’s what the BIA is. It’s an ESG framework as well as a certification.
If this is a movement you think you’d like to be a part of, drop us at Grow Good a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book in a free discovery call.
Are you Ready to B Better?
Ready to take the plunge towards becoming a B Corp business? Let the Grow Good team guide you through the process either through 1:1 coaching or group coaching on one of our regular cohort programmes.