Five Amazing New York Companies
You may not have heard of a B Corp, but these are some really special organizations, redefining business thinking and values. They are companies certified by the independent, nonprofit B Lab (www.bcorporation.net) as meeting exceptionally high standards of social and environmental transparency, accountability and performance. The Benjamin is pleased to introduce you to a few B Corps in our city that we think you will find inspiring. We know that they make us even more proud to be New Yorkers.
Rescue Chocolate, Brooklyn, NY
As a dog-friendly hotel, The Benjamin has an extra soft spot for this company. Rescue Chocolate makes vegan, organic, kosher and fairly traded dark chocolate bars and truffles (for human consumption only). 100% of net profits are donated to animal rescue organizations. How can you pass up a candy bar named “The Peanut Butter Pit Bull?” A list of local retailers can be found here.
Etsy, Brooklyn, NY
Etsy has built a thriving global marketplace for micro-businesses selling handmade and vintage goods and craft supplies. In contrast to the trend towards huge retailers selling mass-manufactured goods under one roof, Etsy has made commerce more personal again and provided a forum for artisans and entrepreneurs. Etsy is no small venture. Their gross merchandise sales in 2014 were $1.93 billion. Yet even in spite of rapid growth they haven’t lost sight of their values. The company gives employees five paid days a year to volunteer in their communities and they recycle and compost in every office; in Brooklyn, they bike their compost to Red Hook Community Farms every week.
Greyston Bakery, Inc., Yonkers, NY
On the home page of the Greyston bakery website, is this quote: “We don’t hire people to make brownies. We make brownies to hire people.” Since the company’s founding, Greyston has been focused on creating something previously very scarce in its Yonkers community: good jobs that can help people and families move themselves out of poverty. They have an “open hiring” policy, which means individuals are considered for employment without regard to educational attainment or work history, no questions asked. Through training, mentoring, promotion from within and fair compensation, including profit-sharing, Greyston delivers real opportunity. The business has thrived. In additional to contract manufacturing and selling brownies through its own website, Greyston is the long-time supplier of gourmet brownies to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Warby Parker, New York, NY
Warby Parker sells affordable, fashion-forward prescription eyewear. For every pair sold, Warby Parker makes a donation to their nonprofit partners that enables a pair of glasses to be donated to a trained local entrepreneur in a developing country. These individuals give eye exams and sell affordable glasses in their communities. To date, more than 1 million glasses have been supplied to those in need, better enabling them to read, learn and work. Warby Parker’s NYC boutiques are at 121 Greene St. in SoHo, 1209 Lexington Ave. on the Upper East Side and 819 Washington St. in the Meatpacking District.
S.W. Basics, Brooklyn, NY
All of S.W. Basics’ skincare products are made with five ingredients or less, making them ideal for sensitive skin. Better yet, all of their ingredients support organic, fair trade and small farm sources: artisan-distilled witch hazel is harvested and produced on a family farm in Missouri; sea salt from the Gulf of Maine is hand harvested by a local couple; and Grade A shea butter comes from a fair trade women’s collective in Ghana. The selection of face care and body care products includes vegan and organic lip balms and a fabulous hibiscus mask. For a list of S.W. Basics retailers in the city, click here.
Why not go on a little B Corp NY shopping spree? You can pick up some amazing products and do a little good at the same time. To make The Benjamin home base for some meaningful online and in-store retail therapy, click here for online reservations.