B Corp (short for Benefit Corporation) certification is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee, or Energy Star to appliances. It’s a guarantee, backed by rigorous assessment, that a business is making a positive impact on its local and global community.

ME to WE has been a proud certified B Corp since 2015.

In 2006, American entrepreneur Jay Coen Gilbert founded B Lab—the organization behind the B Corp certification. He wanted to create a system for certifying companies that provide value to society beyond the mere product or service they sell. There are now more than 2,300 certified B Corps across North America.

Becoming a B Corp is no easy task. ME to WE had to go through an intensive year-long evaluation, submitting more than 25 documents scrupulously detailing every aspect of our operations and programs. They looked at our finances, governance and our human-resource policies. We had to provide a list of suppliers to show how much of our cost of goods sold went to our artisans in partner communities versus other suppliers. (In case you’re curious, 76 percent of the cost of ME to WE products is spent on providing opportunity and paying fair wages to small-scale, independent suppliers in developing communities.)

In the end, ME to WE scored 108 on our B Corp evaluation—double the median score for all other B Corps. Here are some of the criteria that ME to WE got a perfect score on:

  • Fair wages: ME to WE pays artisans who supply handmade accessories 2.2 times more than what is considered a fair wage by the B Lab.
  • Gender equality: ME to WE has extremely high numbers of women on its team, as well as women in management.
  • Financial accountability: ME to WE produces financials that are verified annually by an independent source through an audit or review.
  • Reaching out: Through its leadership programs, ME to WE reaches underserved and at-risk youth, including those in Indigenous communities.
  • Self-evaluation: ME to WE rigorously measures the outcomes that its products and services achieve to ensure it is having the impact it wants.

ME to WE scores among the top 5% of all Canadian organizations that are B Corp Certified.