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ME to WE named a Certified B Corp: Highlights

After an intensive and rigorous, yearlong process, I’m thrilled to say that ME to WE is now a Certified B Corporation—the 150th Certified B Corp in Canada!

Joyce Sou, Director of B Lab Canada, told us: “We are seeing an unprecedented amount of interest in this movement from Canadian companies as the global community continues to grow.  ME to WE is a great Canadian example of an innovative business model for positive social change.”

Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability than other businesses. So to be at the top of that impressive group is well, humbling.

B Corporation certification is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee or LEED is to a building.

Let’s just say it was an extensive and long process, but we loved the outcome.

Over more than a year, the B Lab, which conducts the certification, required more than 25 documents from us. In some cases, we had to create new processes, tracking systems and templates to fulfill these requests. But we were determined to meet and master their processes.

Our amazing team had to solicit answers and documents from all departments, including human resources, consumer engagement, the leadership team, facilities team, accounting and finance, which had to answer upwards of 50 questions each to complete the B Lab’s application.

It was darn hard and something we should be proud of. In one case, we had to provide a list of suppliers to show how much of our cost of goods (COGS) sold went to artisans versus other suppliers. This was reporting we’d never done before but incredibly fulfilling when we realized the impact our manufacturing standards have.

In the end, we were gratified to find out 76 percent of costs of goods sold (COGS) went to artisans. Seventy-six percent of ME to WE’s Cost of Goods Sold is spent on providing opportunity and paying fair wages to small-scale, independent suppliers in “low-income, poor or very poor markets.”

This is extremely high. It is interesting in that ME to WE donates its profit to Free The Children, but it also makes an impact through its costs and expenses (which are subtracted to determine profit).

Being a B Corp requires a different mindset and process, rigour and discipline and ensuring you are actually doing things better.

I want to highlight some of the areas where ME to WE received a flawless score, meaning 100 percent of available points in a category. B Lab found that ME to WE:

ME to WE is in impressive company. The Canada B Corp community includes companies such as the Vancouver-based tech company HootSuite, Business Development Bank of Canada, and Ontario craft brewery, Beau’s Beer.

We can now compare ourselves to other socially and environmentally impactful organizations—and we compare very well.

– Russ McLeod, Chief Operations Director, ME to WE


Women empowering women: Natalie Portman’s journey to Kenya


With a string of beads in one hand, Natalie Portman threw her head back and laughed, flashing her contagious smile while sitting cross-legged with a group of Maasai women under the Kenyan sun. The layers of beaded necklaces encircling their necks jingled softly as they made jokes and exchanged stories of motherhood. This jewellery is made from the same beads Natalie held in her hands and like these women have been taught from their mothers, she learned the tradition of beading the Maasai way. It’s been a part of preserving their culture and it’s also been a way to earn a better life. Through our Artisans program, each woman makes a sustainable source of income from beading, allowing her to afford things she never imagined like fixing a leaky roof and paying for her children’s school fees. There are many similarities that connect us all as women, but Natalie also learned we share a common goal: to make the best possible life for our families.

Sitting down with Natalie, we realized she’s known as much for her advocacy as she is for celebrity. She’s been a long-time friend of ours as a Free The Children ambassador through the Power Of A Girl project and supported the Kisaruni All-Girls Secondary School in Kenya. She even donated her Rodarte designer gown—worn at the premier of Black Swan. In 2012, the proceeds of Natalie’s Dior lipstick went toward 24 full scholarships for each of the students attending Kisaruni. Earlier this year, she travelled to Kenya with us to meet the very girls who received those scholarships and learned how our projects are empowering both the current and new generations of women.


What was it like to bead with the Maasai women?

It was really wonderful to bead with all the women from the women’s empowerment centre who have been making these Rafikis for generations upon generations. Free The Children has enabled them to find a market for their Rafikis and extend the benefits of this old art form.  It was also interesting to hear how their lives have been changed and how this business empowers the family to be able to earn more collectively as a group and send more kids to school, eat better, have better health care and better shelter, and generally improve their family’s position.

What do you think about their traditional style of beading?

That’s the beauty of this project—it’s preserving and encouraging a cultural tradition rather than trying to impose any sort of external values or aesthetics on the society. And they have such a beautiful aesthetic, so colourful and so traditional. This work really just continues that tradition.


What was it like visiting Kisaruni and meeting the students you supported?

It was so inspiring to meet these young women, they’re so motivated and just really squeezing every ounce of possibility out of this opportunity—it’s impressive. I keep saying it, but it’s crazy they are studying nonstop. They have to drag the girls out of the library so they get some sleep! They take so much pride in what they’re doing. They’re ambitious and when you ask them what they want to be, they say, ‘doctor, lawyer, engineer, journalist.’ All of them said that they would want to be president one day. They all want to come back to their own communities and improve them. American kids who ever complained about school—myself among them—you think, if only I had known what a luxury school is, I’d never take it for granted.

Why do you believe it’s important to support girls’ education?

There’s been so much research about how once girls are educated, the whole society blooms because they get married later and are not child brides. Their work potential rises, their ability to care for their own and their family’s health improves, their own and their family’s nutrition improves, the ability to provide for their family improves. Investing in a girl is the best seed to plant a complete, thriving community. If you want to help an entire community, it’s the simplest seed you can plant that will really bear fruit. Being a woman and once having been a girl, it’s personal—you relate in a different way.


What does it mean to have the chance to travel to Kenya?

I think it really could be a life changing, really important experience for a lot of people and it’s a totally safe, beautiful, comfortable, environment. I’ve done a lot of trips to developing parts of the world and this is by far the most comfortable—I would bring my kids here.


Follow in Natalie’s footsteps—learn more about ME to WE Artisans and ME to WE Trips.



Terms of Service



This Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) sets out the personal information practices for ME to WE Social Enterprises and its affiliates (collectively, “ME to WE” or “we”), including and (collectively, the “Sites”). These practices seek to balance an individual’s right to the privacy of his or her personal information and the need for ME to WE to collect, use, disclose, retain and otherwise manage the personal information provided through the use of the Sites and information submitted to ME to WE for various services offered by us. We may update this Policy from time to time. publish an updated version of the Policy on the Sites. You are responsible for reviewing the most current version of the Policy. This Policy was last amended on the date shown at the end of the Policy. By continuing to use the Sites, you accept any updates to this Policy.

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is any information that can be used to identify you as an individual, including your name, address, credit card details, passport information, medical history and any other personally identifiable information you choose to provide to ME to WE.

Children: If you are under 18, please obtain your parent or guardian’s permission before you send any personal information to ME to WE, or anyone else, over the Internet. We strongly encourage parent or guardian participation and understanding of their children’s online usage and to be aware of the activities in which their children are participating. If you are under the age of 13 and live in the United States, you must submit the parental consent form (available here) to [email protected] prior to providing any personal information to us.

We do not intend to collect Personal Information of visitors to the Sites who are under the age of 13. If you are under the age of 13, you must either (a) disable cookies in your browser and use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on to disable tracking by Google Analytics; or (b) submit the parental consent form (available here) to [email protected] If you are under the age 13, do not reveal your age in any content you provide on our through the Site unless required by us to do so.


If you use the Sites or apply for or request information about products or services offered by ME to WE, you consent to the collection, use, disclosure and management of your personal information in accordance with this Policy.

How Does ME to WE Collect My Personal Information?

ME to WE collects information from you by asking you to provide personal information such as your email address when you register to receive correspondence. We also collect personal information such as your name, age, address, email address, credit card details, passport information and medical information where required, when you request products or services, such as scholarships, fundraising ideas and trips offered by ME to WE.

Certain other information may be collected on the Sites without you actively providing the information by using various technologies, as described below:


While you use the Sites, certain information is collected without you actively providing it, including information about your IP address and type of operating system, the time you spent on the Sites and which pages you visited. This helps us improve our Sites. This data is not used to identify individuals. We track IP addresses for: (i) troubleshooting issues; (ii) voting events, to confirm people are not voting for an individual more than once; and (iii) for all people who are filling out online forms for the purpose of spam filtering.


We have implemented Google Analytics features based on Display Advertising (Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting) that allows for the collection of non-personally identifiable aggregated user data; this includes aggregated gender, age, and interest behaviour data. We will use the data provided by Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting to develop the site and content around our users’ interests. You can opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads using the Ads Settings. In addition, you can use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-on to disable tracking by Google Analytics.


Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer, mobile phone or other device. ME to WE may use cookies to provide, monitor and analyze how services are used. Among other things, we use cookies to make the Sites easier to use, enable features and store information about you and your use of the Sites as well as to deliver, understand and improve advertising. Cookies can always be disabled by the browser you are using, but some functions of the Sites may not work if cookies are not enabled. Refer to your browser or device’s help material to learn what controls you can often use to remove or block cookies or block or remove other data stored on your computer or device (such as by using the various settings in your browser). If you do this, it may affect your ability to use the Sites or other websites and applications.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

We use the Personal Information we collect about you to provide services and features of the Sites to you and other users. This includes using information to:

  1. deliver quality services and features that you use on the Sites;
  2. keep our services secure and safe;
  3. provide you with location services;
  4. protect ME to WE’s or others’ rights or property;
  5. conduct internal operations (data analysis, troubleshooting, testing and service improvements);
  6. measure or understand the effectiveness of content;
  7. offer opportunities that we think will be of interest to you, like causes to support, events to attend, and opportunities and products of our sponsors;
  8. facilitate and process purchases you choose to make through the Sites;
  9. make suggestions for you and other users of the Sites; and
  10. comply with any legal obligations.

Personal information collected by ME to WE will only be used or disclosed for purposes described in this Policy or for other purposes that we have informed you of at the time of collecting that information. Before your personal information will be used or disclosed for a new purpose, we will ask you for your consent, unless use or disclosure without your consent in the circumstances is otherwise permitted or required by law, regulation or court order.

We may use or disclose your personal information to enforce or apply the Terms of Use of the Sites, to the extent that your personal information is required in order to determine whether the Terms of Use have been violated.

We use and disclose your personal information to fulfill your requests for information about and in the provision of certain products or services, process purchases, contact you in response to requests for information and to respond to voluntary comments. We may also use personal information to customize the Sites to your preferences, to improve the content of the Sites and to research site usage patterns.

As discussed in this Privacy Policy, we may share information we receive with our affiliates, which are businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that ME to WE is part of, or that become part of that group. Likewise, our affiliates may share information with us as well. This sharing is done in compliance with applicable laws including where such applicable laws require consent. We and our affiliates may use shared information to help provide, understand, and improve our services and their own services.

We give your information to the people and companies that help us provide, understand and improve the services we offer. For example, we may use outside vendors to help host our website, serve photos and videos, process payments, analyze data, conduct and publish research, measure the effectiveness of ads, or provide search results. In all of these cases our partners must agree to only use your information consistent with the agreement we enter into with them, as well as this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service.

Please be assured that your Personal Information, trust and privacy are very important to us. Unless required by law to do so, we will never disclose your Personal Information to others unless we have (1) obtained your consent to do so, (2) notified you via this Privacy Policy that we will do so, or (3) removed your name and any personal identifiers from the information before disclosure.

We may also disclose your information to:

  1. our affiliates;
  2. parties to whom you have made donations through ME to WE for the purpose of processing your donation, issuing receipts and so they can communicate with you about their organization;
  3. parties whose campaigns or causes you have agreed to join for the purpose of facilitating your participation;
  4. parties with whom we have contracted to process data, including parties who are located in countries or jurisdictions other than the one in which you reside. When this occurs, your information becomes subject to the laws of those jurisdictions;
  5. parties to whom we have agreed to provide anonymized and/or aggregated data, though we will remove personal identifiers before we do so; and
  6. parties in the context of a sale or potential sale of our business or reorganization, provided that they agreed to be bound by this Privacy Policy with respect to your personal information.

We may access, preserve and share your information in response to a legal request (such as a search warrant, court order or subpoena) where we believe we are required to do so. We may also access, preserve and share information when we have a commercially reasonable belief it is necessary to: (1) detect, prevent and address fraud and other illegal activity, (2) to protect ourselves, you and others, including as part of investigations, and (3) to prevent death or imminent bodily harm. Information we receive about you may be accessed, processed and retained for an extended period of time when it is the subject of a legal request or obligation, governmental investigation, or investigations concerning possible violations of our terms or policies, or otherwise to prevent harm. We also may retain information from accounts disabled for violations of our terms for at least a year to prevent repeat abuse or other violations of our Terms of Service.


We store and transmit your digital information using modern security standards such as SSL Encryption. Your information is stored and protected with up to date username and passwords which are mandated to be secure, and use two-factor authentication where possible. Your data may transfer and be stored on a number of servers and storage locations including but not limited to the USA, Canada and UK. The transmission of this data is always secure and encrypted. These servers and cloud-providers are independently operated and secured. Any breaches or data loss as a result of a failure of these providers are not the responsibility of ME to WE and its affiliates.


If you provide us with your email address, you may occasionally receive emails from ME to WE and WE Charity. We may use your email address submitted through the Sites for the following purposes: (i) when you are registering for a program, we may sometimes confirm your email address is accurate; and (ii) we will send a thank you email when you sign up, or register for an event or if you subscribe to our newsletter or weekly column. We hope you will find these emails interesting and informative. Of course, if you would rather not receive this information, you can contact the Director of Communications to opt-out at the contact information at the end of this Policy. In addition, such communications sent to you will also contain a message on how to opt-out of that type of communication in the future.

You may refuse to provide personal information and may, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice, withdraw consent at any time to the continued use and disclosure of personal information previously collected. Refusing or withdrawing your consent in respect of our handling of certain personal information may result in us being unable to provide you with ME to WE products and services. You can withdraw your consent at any time by writing to the Director of Communication at the address at the end of this Policy.


When you provide personal information through the Sites, we protect your personal information by encrypting the personal information that is transmitted between you and the Sites. We will employ security measures to protect personal information in our care appropriate to the level of sensitivity of the information. We will retain your personal information only for the time it is required for the purposes for which it was collected or as required by law.


You can ask to view personal information about you held by ME to WE by writing to the Director of Communications, whose contact information is provided at the end of this Policy. You can request that corrections be made where you can show that the personal information about you we possess is incorrect or incomplete. Please note that under certain circumstances, you may not be permitted to view your records, such as where the disclosure of your records would cause security, legal or confidentiality concerns, and including where ME to WE is permitted or prohibited by law to disclose that to you.


The Sites may contain links to other websites. While we try to link only to websites that share our standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of other websites. We strongly encourage all visitors to the Sites to review the privacy statements and policies of all external websites.


Please contact ME to WE’s Director of Communications, at [email protected] or in writing to ME to WE, 225 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2L2, Canada, with any questions or concerns you have about this Policy or about ME to WE’s handling of your personal information.

Effective: August 1, 2015