Sustainable Success: Exploring the Integration of Sustainability and Social Responsibility in Business Models

Join us as we delve into the unique perspectives of various industry leaders who have successfully incorporated sustainability and social responsibility into their business models. Discover the transformative impact these principles have had on their companies’ growth and brand image, and learn how your organization can benefit from adopting such practices in today’s environmentally-conscious world.

Lauryn Strobel

Title: Founder

Company: We have 2 brands: Love Khaos, & Ekoluxe

Linkedin: N/A

As the owner of a certified B Corp, I firmly believe that sustainability and social responsibility are not separate from business success, but rather, essential components of it. Valuing profit, people, and the planet equally is the foundational core of our business model. This ethos is reflected in every aspect of our operations, from achieving 100% carbon neutrality, to becoming our own manufacturer and paying a living wage and health benefits to our team, to making a majority of our collection in order to minimize overproduction waste.

We measure our growth and success by the positive changes we’ve made in the world. We donate a minimum of 2% of our profits to verified social and environmental programs every year. This ensures that we use business as a force for good and create meaningful impact. We also take pride in seeing our team and the local businesses we support thrive.

To me, sustainability and quality are synonymous; I believe that people should buy less and buy better. Our customers trust us because they know that every purchase they make with us contributes to a positive change in the world and is an investment in well-made, durable clothing that will last.

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Noah Cherkaoui

Title: Communications Manager

Company: Cullen Jewellery


Cullen Jewellery incorporates sustainability and social responsibility principles into its business model through various initiatives aimed at helping people, protecting the environment, and combating climate change.

People: Cullen Jewellery is dedicated to breaking the poverty cycle in communities affected by the exploitative diamond mining industry. They support humanitarian organizations and provide funds, nutrition, shelter, healthcare, education, and employment to marginalized communities.

Environment: Cullen Jewellery actively works to reverse the environmental damage caused by the mined diamond industry. Partnering with the Eden Reforestation Project, they plant 10 trees for every ring sold, contributing to landscape regeneration and creating local employment opportunities. They also exclusively use recycled precious metals sourced from certified recyclers, minimizing environmental impact.

Climate: Committed to reducing their carbon footprint, Cullen Jewellery offers only lab-grown gemstones and aims to achieve 100% carbon-neutral lab-grown gemstones by 2023. By transitioning to renewable energy sources, they are taking further steps to protect the planet for future generations.

These commitments to sustainability and social responsibility have had a positive impact on the company’s growth and brand image. By demonstrating their dedication to ethical and environmentally friendly practices, Cullen Jewellery attracts a growing number of environmentally and socially conscious consumers. Their unique positioning within the industry differentiates them from competitors who still rely on traditional mining practices, helping Cullen Jewellery stand out as a sustainable and socially responsible choice for customers.

Additionally, the company’s support for local causes, such as the Cancer Council, The Otis Foundation, Kew Football Club, Australian Red Cross, and Peter Mac Initiatives, showcases their commitment to giving back to their local community. This further strengthens their brand image and solidifies their reputation as a responsible and ethical company.

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Tatsuya Nakagawa

Title: CEO

Company: Castagra Products, Inc.


We incorporate sustainability and social responsibility principles in many aspects of our business. We have a roof coating material made primarily of sustainable materials (plant-based) and we integrate that message into our marketing and communications. Our team also created a scholarship program that encourages new ideas and growth in the area of sustainability and innovation in the roofing and building materials space. Due to the pandemic, the importance of health and sustainability have become a more critical buying criterion, leading to more growth and opportunities in that area. Our weekly Roofer Reflections live stream promotes social responsibility and highlights individuals doing good in our industry.

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Francesca & Mehdi from Keika

Title: Founders

Company: Keika

Linkedin: none

Keika’s approach to incorporating principles of sustainability and social responsibility into its business model is through the planting of trees for every product sold. By doing so, the company is not only offsetting its carbon footprint but also supporting reforestation efforts in developing countries. This initiative has a significant positive impact on the environment, social responsibility, and community development.

In addition, Keika’s commitment to transparency has helped to build trust among its customers. Customers appreciate the company’s dedication to sustainability and social responsibility, which has helped the brand to become an Amazon best-seller in the US and Canada. Keika’s approach to sustainability and social responsibility has also helped to differentiate the brand from its competitors, providing a unique selling proposition that resonates with environmentally conscious consumers.

Overall, Keika’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility has had a positive impact on its brand image, as well as its growth. By aligning its mission with its values, the company has been able to build a loyal customer base and establish a strong reputation in the market. By continuing to prioritize sustainability and social responsibility in its business model, Keika can continue to grow and have a positive impact on the environment and communities around the world.

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Max Justus

Title: CEO and Founder

Company: Grounded People


Grounded People is an entirely sustainable, ethically sourced, fair wage, and environmentally focused footwear brand committed to helping curb the harmful and detrimental impacts of waste created by the global fashion industry.

Grounded People’s co-founder and CEO, Maximilian Justus, is dedicated to incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into every facet of the company’s business model. From the beginning of his career, he saw the negative environmental impacts caused by fast fashion brands firsthand and was utterly shocked and inspired to do better. The global fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits of pollution, producing 26 billion pounds of textiles that end up in landfills each year. Grounded People’s mission is to break this shocking trend and to work with Mother Nature instead of against her.

At Grounded People, each shoe is made from sustainable materials, some on their second life, such as 100% recycled cotton and recycled car tires or volcanized natural rubber for the shoe’s extra-durable outsoles. The shoe’s production can be traced back from start to finish using retraced technology for total transparency. Grounded People offers an industry-disrupting 5-year warranty to further solidify the brand’s commitment to their shoes’ quality and craftsmanship.

In addition to manufacturing entirely sustainable and ethically sourced products, Grounded People also partners with global nonprofit organizations such as City Harvest, One Tree Planted, BC Children’s Hospital, and many more through the LACES (Learn to Achieve and Create Everlasting Sustainability) Program. The LACES Program is a way for Grounded People’s customers to give back with every purchase. By choosing from various colorful laces representing a charity, the proceeds are directly donated to the designated charity.

Last year, due to donations garnered through the LACES Program, partners such as City Harvest reported serving over 1,700 New Yorkers. One Tree Planted confirmed that Grounded People supported planting 1,734 trees in Brazil. These are examples of the social impact Grounded People has and will continue to pursue for years to come.

Our loyal and dedicated customers are heartwarming and will maintain our brand image and take us to the next level of growth through their passion for making a difference.

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Maria Wodzinska

Title: Brand Founder + Director of Brand Development

Company: Stoic Beauty Skincare


Sustainability & Social Responsibility are the DNA of Stoic Beauty Skincare. We founded our company as a mission driven enterprise committed to doing water justice. My mother, Dr. Jolanta Wodzinska, is an MIT & UofT trained organic chemist with over 20+ years of experience in small molecule drug development. This work meant she worked closely with toxicologists to assess the biodegradability of drug candidates and whether or not they posed a risk of bioaccumulating in aquatic life. In pharmaceutical development, while by no means faultless, the standards for toxicology are rigorous. My mother was dismayed to see no similar regulatory rigour in cosmetic formulations, which poses a big problem: every product you use in hair, skin and body care goes into our water systems. As a family that loves all things water — canoe trips, snorkelling, cold plunges, swimming my mother quickly recruited me to do something about this very alarming oversight. My background is in storytelling and activism. I’ve worked for 10+ years performing and directing outdoor theatre with environmental themes, often working with Indigenous youth and performers. This work led me to become passionate about supporting Water Protectors. Water Protectors are leaders from Indigenous communities advocating for land and water sustainability. As Canadians, we all share a responsibility to protect the 20% of the world’s fresh surface drinking water on our shared treaty lands. With UNESCO citing water access as the cornerstone of sustainable futures, and citing 2050 as a pinnacle year when water is predicted to be the worlds most valuable resource, we take seriously our responsibility to be part of the collective effort for sustainability. This spirit of ethics forward business practice has been a boon for us! At our Oct 2021 Media Launch, we found great enthusiasm for both our mission and our products. We’ve been featured alongside industry staple brands such as Clinique, Clarins, Uriage, Consonant, Biossance and more, as well as being featured in earned media in National Post, VITA daily, Elle Canada, Fajo, Clin D’Oeil, Coup de Puce and others. This heartening public response has allowed me to attend the 2022 Water is Life Legal Summit in Treaty 6 territory, as well as allowed our R&D lab to continue to develop new products to serve more complex skin concerns. While we know that first and foremost, our customers come to us for great products that work on their skin, when they hear more about our water-safe mission, we find our customers become more passionate about supporting our small business on a big mission!

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Jason Watson Todd

Title: Creative Director/Co-Founder

Company: Terravita


How do you incorporate principles of sustainability and social responsibility into your business model?

The three pillars of Terravita are Innovation, Creativity & Humanity.

We follow the principles of two of the most internationally esteemed design institutions — BREEAM the world’s longest established rating and certifying system on sustainability of buildings, and Passivhaus Institut, the German-founded, independent performance-based energy standard for construction.

The standard elements within our work are energy efficiency, solar power, water recycling, wildlife protection and optimising water-wise solutions in the landscaping.

We are also committed to developing solutions including inventing circular solar panels that can be incorporated into the design of the home & garden.

These factors are designed and implemented around the needs of our clients, and we are committed to finding solutions within them, in order to meet the client brief. For example, grass lawns are not water-efficient, but if a client requests a lawn, we look at all options including selecting a hardier type of grass and installing a ground source irrigation and recycling system.

We also have an in-house biologist who will look at the natural wildlife present in that area and incorporate elements into our designs to help it thrive.

Our design team have multiple project site visits every week, so we introduced a small fleet of electric cars, which helps enormously to minimise our carbon footprint.

What impact has this had on your company’s growth and brand image?

Our whole brand image is about marrying innovative design with sustainability, as it has been since I started the company with my brother 24 years ago and those values remain as strong today — the very cornerstones of the company.

Sustainability is Terravita — the company’s official business name is Terravita Thinks Globally, so it’s never not on my mind as to how we can build on our achievements and improve.

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Susie Hewson

Title: Founder

Company: Natracare


A company created to fulfill the objectives of my campaign, to address the then status quo in the period product industry, containing large volumes of plastics and toxic chlorine bleached pulp, and one which was mired in multiple cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome. My objective was to address both the ecological and health impacts by raising public awareness through my campaigning and by offering more ecologically designed, quality options. I did not start out to be a business, but what I had brought into creation was based on a framework reflecting my obligations to future generations and my need to give back. My design process and our business practices are interdependent because this reflects my environmentalist beating heart, to protect nature in the best way possible and to be fair and kind in all that I do. I had no need to bolt on CSR promises years down the line because I was doing the work in real time. My product development criteria follow a process which includes organic, ecological, and ethical protocols with a large dose of empathy delivered with as much renewable energy as we can generate.

Using raw materials that are grown and processed in accordance with organic and ecologically sustainable practices and independently validated as such. Our own working practices and that of our supply chain recognises human and labour rights. We support a diverse workforce and support self-improvement as an equal opportunity’s employer, and we encouraged our entire supply chain to green up their energy usage just as we have done. Through our Natracare community, we are collectively making a difference in supporting people and the planet as we give 1% of our annual turnover to support the most urgent environmental issues though 1% For The Planet. Amongst others, we also share our philanthropy with organisations seeking to improve lives and futures of girls and women around the world. That we continuously fulfil a score of 100% is significant in showing how responsible we are as a company.

I worked alone for the first ten years with the exception of assistance from my computer scientist husband. No investors to please, I started with a blank canvas on which to define the fundamentals of what kind of business I was prepared to become. Formulating environmental and ethical policy, meant defining principles, laying out objectives and implementing this to the best of our abilities.

In doing this from day one, we have been able to validate what kind of a company we are and how our brand, Natracare carries forth our flag that has been solidly planted in the sustainability and socially responsibility battle field. We know that other companies try to step into our shadows, but I doubt any could achieve the respect for the historical achievements that Natracare has done. This is the foundations of our success. Natracare set out to achieve objectives that put us in the here and now, resolutely standing up for a sustainable and socially equitable society and leaving barely a trace other than a very successful business satisfied in the knowledge that we always did the right thing.

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Vincent van der Holst

Title: CEO

Company: BOAS


I’m Vin, co-founder and CEO of BOAS, a marketplace for sustainable and pre-owned fashion.
My journey started while working for some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, such as adidas and Samsung.
Over the years, I grew my interest and understanding of the impact businesses have on the planet and society and decided to try and do as much good as possible.

Here are my top tips and learnings from founding a business that is 100% sustainable and socially ethical:

Commitment to donate a share of your profits

At BOAS we donate 100% of our profits to charities that save kids’ lives, but you don’t have to start by donating all profits. Commiting to donate a significant portion makes everything your business does align with social responsibility, because you’re using profits as a means, not an end.

Offset your carbon footprint

There are many apps and platforms these days that allow you to calculate and offset your emissions quickly. It’s an easy way to inject more responsibility into your operations.

Screen candidates for these principles

From executives to interns, if you make sure your new employees value these principles, it means everyone at the company inherently aligns with them. To guarantee your candidates are truly motivated by social responsibility, you can post your open position in dedicated forums and communities.

Sourcing sustainable and ethical products

From manufacturing to delivery, make sure the products you sell are meeting sustainability requirements and ethical guidelines. At BOAS, we work with validated and local brands. We recently also started selling circular fashion to limit our impact on the production of new items.

Working with influencers who share the same values

Whenever we have collaborations with influencers and thought leaders, we make sure they share our values.

All of the above might seem like a lot of effort, but I can guarantee it’s easier than it looks. It’s not about getting it right immediately, it’s about getting your business moving in the right direction step by step.

We saw very positive outcomes from our approach so far. Among the benefits are:
– Public recognition and press features in mainstream media
– Committed workforce that goes above and beyond
– Social media influencers willing to promote our business for less (sometimes even for free)
– 5-star customer reviews across the board
– Over 300% revenue growth year over year

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Matt Connelly

Title: CEO and Founder

Company: ihateironing



Despite scaling the business up, I have always made sure that sustainability and a conscious business model remains at the forefront of what we do. Within the laundry and dry cleaning industry, as well as the on-demand services industry, we’re well aware of the harmful impact that issues such as plastic waste, non-circular economies, and obsolete materials pose to the environment.

As a result, we’ve introduced several eco-initiatives to our operations to alleviate the negative impact we have on the planet and promote a more sustainable system.

Eco-slots: We’ve taken a number of different factors into consideration and calculated the collection and delivery times that result in the least amount of carbon emissions. Route planning, congestion and production times have all been considered to generate our eco-slots, which our customers can easily choose when placing their orders. Since its introduction in 2019, our eco-slots have been our more commonly chosen time slots.

Reusable covers scheme: We offer reusable premium ihateironing covers to replace single-use plastic wrapping for hanging items. Each cover can hold between 1 to 5 items, and customers can easily opt in through our renting strategy where they will be reached £3.00 for each cover used to package items, but the cost will be offset by returning the covers in good condition on their next order. Through this, we’ve been able to promote a circular economy, and have reduced our plastic waste by around 76,000 bags as of April 2023.

Electric vans: Our network is composed of local cleaning centres and dedicated drivers who carry out the collection and delivery of our orders. We have been integrating electric vans into our fleet to hopefully completely replace diesel vans in the next few years.

At the centre of our business model is our network of local dry cleaning partners. Rather than outsourcing the services we provide or having it operated through an ‘ihateironing factory’, we instead work alongside small local businesses. We’re proactive about supporting our dry cleaning partners to adapt, grow, and excel in an ever-changing economy.

In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, we had to completely shift our business model to adapt to the changing tides of lockdown. In the first 3 days of lockdown, our largest cleaning centre went from processing 1,000 garments a day to 200, with a similar decline across our entire network. In order to make sure our dry cleaners could continue operating despite the unprecedented shift in our everyday life, we turned the business model into a food delivery service rather than a laundry delivery service. By doing so, we were able to save 12 small businesses who were on the cusp of closing down, and ensured our partners could still enjoy a steady and dependable revenue.

Since then, we have been able to help our dry cleaning partners, increasing the jobs across our network from 100 cleaners and drivers in 2020, to over 250 dedicated staff in 2023, and doubling our revenue.

Society and community

Beyond providing a convenient service to our customers and make their life that little bit easier, I also wanted to extend our help to members of the local community using the network, resources and tools we have at our disposal. As such, we have been partnering with charities and local councils to offer support to low-income individuals as well as struggling communities during the cost of living crisis.

Workwear Scheme: Our Workwear Scheme is a collaborative partnership with Brixton Library and Lambeth Council, in which we facilitate the donation, free cleaning and lending of professional attire to low-income job seekers in South London. Professional clothes can be quite expensive, and we understand the financial burden that comes with the job hunting process. We collect donations directly from our customers and clean them entirely free of charge, and have built an inventory of over 200 garments in brand new condition and ready to be lended to those who need them. In February 2023, we held an in-person event at the library and were able to support several job seekers receive outfits for upcoming interviews to help them look, feel, and perform their best without the stressor of money on their mind. The scheme has opened up the door to new partnerships with local community organisations that provide support to young people in custody, such as DIVERT, as well as helped us reach a wider customer base of people who wanted to support the initative by donating clothes.

Madrina Oxfordshire: In our current cost of living crisis, many students and families are struggling to afford basic necessities, let alone the extra expenses that come with graduations and proms. As a result, we’ve partnered with Madrina Oxfordshire, a charity based on Oxfordshire that provides free prom dresses and suits to students to help them celebrate their academic success regardless of their financial situation. We are offering free cleans to the donated clothes to support the charity, and have since supported their very first event in which they kitted out 70 students across 2 schools in Oxford with formal outfits.

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James Thornton

Title: CEO, Intrepid Travel

Company: Intrepid Travel


Intrepid Travel, as one of the world’s largest adventure travel companies, is also the world’s largest travel B Corp. For those of you not yet familiar with B Corp’s — think Patagonia or Ben & Jerry’s — a growing movement of over 5000 companies that are independently assessed and certified as having the highest standards of social & environmental performance and public transparency.

This means we do things differently because we believe business can be a force for good. We still want to generate healthy profits, but as a member of the global B Corp community, we have a responsibility to act on the biggest issues facing the world.

We’ve been carbon neutral for more than a decade, we’re the first global tour operator to have verified science-based carbon emissions targets for a 1.5C future, and we’ve been a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world’s leading initiative for responsible business, since 2008. We have identified eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that align
to our key focus areas and we work to contribute to their health and value.

Travel marketing is overwhelmingly white.

In January 2022, we put a set of ethical marketing guidelines in place that aims to change the way tourism is portrayed in the marketplace. The guidelines contain five commitments and 23 measurable actions, including that at least 50% of Intrepid’s content partners identify as BIPOC, 10% as plus-size, 10% as LGBTQIA+, and 10% as Indigenous. Intrepid is also publicly releasing its progress on each of these goals, bringing notable transparency to the effort.

We have also been expanding our tours to Black and Indigenous communities.

In the U.S., we launched eight new tours that focus on BIPOC experiences and culture. In Australia, we offered 50 tours with a First Nations focus. Those numbers are significantly expanding in 2023, when we will offer more than 100 global Indigenous experiences.

And this isn’t just a case of a company parachuting in with tourism: Intrepid has been working with First Nations groups to design experiences that delve into communities’ art, food, landscapes, and more. These tours have a tremendous capacity to bring in travelers (and dollars) to under-resourced communities, all while shining a light on the history, culture, and traditions that are often pushed aside. It’s a continuation of Intrepid’s work with reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, which it started in earnest several years ago.

Turns out customers love us for this approach as evidenced by our NPS, and we are able to attract some of the very best talent in our industry because of these credentials.

How did we go from two mates who started out by creating an adventure travel business over 30 years ago to a global company that is mission locked to addressing systemic inequality and the climate crisis?

Something significant happened to Intrepid 17 years ago.

What happened changed the way we thought about the environment, and it started us on the climate change journey that we’ve been on ever since.

Co-Founder Darrell Wade got our leadership team to read Tim Flannery’s book “The Weather Makers” which detailed about the significant & potential impacts of Climate Change. He and our team then got worried. Really worried.

They were worried about the planet — but also worried about the future of Intrepid Travel — and indeed the whole global tourism industry.

They knew we had to do something. But neither Darrell nor our management team really knew anything about it.

So they got to work and employed an expert who knew where to start. They started by measuring the problem, developing an emissions reduction plan and abatement for emissions we couldn’t reduce.

At Intrepid we’ve been on a long sustainability and social responsibility journey, and it hasn’t always been easy — but taking real action is much easier now, as there’s so much new knowledge, innovations and new tools to help us advance collectively.

Of course, for some sectors, making real progress is very challenging and there won’t be immediate results.

But when I hear some businesses saying, “oh its expensive”, “why do I have to do this”, “what does it all mean”, “I’m no expert” — you are just burying your head in the sand, because inequities, climate change isn’t going away.

For anyone who is questioning whether you can afford to take real action on sustainability and social responsibility, I would ask, can you afford not to?

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Andi Cross

Title: Edges of Earth Expedition Lead & Growth Strategist

Company: Edges of Earth


In 2020, myself and Marla Tomorug (Design Lead) officially launched a consultancy called WILDPALM, helping build businesses and brands that fuel the future. We design growth strategies that enable founders and leaders to bring their vision to global stages. Working with startups, scaleups, agencies and enterprises, WILDPALM identifies how to evolve businesses depending on key growth measures, audiences and desired outcomes. We work with those who are seeking impact towards a greater good — be it protecting the ocean or helping people live a more fulfilled life.

The desire to focus on mission-driven businesses came from spending a decade in the big agency world. My typical clients included mega brands that we all know and love (or hate in some cases), predominantly selling products and services to the world’s 1%. Albeit an amazing training ground, my time in corporate wasn’t allowing me to contribute in any way to our planetary crisis. The news, my feeds, and even in my daily conversations — climate change and the ocean crisis were becoming more and more THE burning topics. I knew I needed to shift my focus, almost as if it were my obligation, especially as a growth strategist.

Once I left my corporate job in 2019, I started seeking partners that were either enterprise level with sustainable goals at the forefront of their strategies; agencies that teamed up with mission-driven clients or; founders and their teams who were dedicated to protect our natural world. This new focus allowed me to really dig into what it takes to build brands and businesses for the future, and ultimately was the birth of WILDPALM.

Since inception, we’ve been laser focused on creating a repeatable growth model — including branding, design and marketing — that is significantly more accessible and cost effective. Now, businesses and individuals that did not typically have access to these types of services can work directly with industry experts in an achievable way. This simplified model has allowed us to consider best practices in sustainable brand building and educate our partners on how to create with our planet’s future top of mind.

Marla and I attribute our own scaling and growth to focus. Only working with mission-driven organizations keeps our work streamlined and allows us to hone in on a specific approach. Because of this, most of our business comes via word of mouth and relationships. Since we started, we’ve had the privilege of launching, scaling and/or elevating nearly 50 brands, businesses and individuals.

This has enabled us to launch our next big project: an expedition for 24 months to 50 ocean-based destinations. Our aim is to take our repeatable model around the world — providing access to those on the frontlines of conservation in some of the most remote regions. Local partners in each location include ocean nonprofits, eco-tourism operators, dive professionals, tourism boards, individual scientists, researchers and explorers, as well as continuing to support mission-led forprofits. We are taking this repeatable model and bringing it to the edges of earth to help more people and enable more change — in hopes to highlight opportunities in conservation and restoration for generations to come.

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Joshua Smith

Title: Founder

Company: Hansel


We at Hansel are committed to incorporating principles of sustainability and social responsibility into our business model. We recognise the importance of reducing our environmental impact and promoting social equity while ensuring our business remains profitable. Hansel has implemented several initiatives to reduce waste and promote sustainability, such as sourcing sustainable materials, reducing energy consumption, and reducing packaging waste. We specialise in selling eco friendly gift wrap, and all products are 100% plastic free and 100% recyclable or biodegradable. Our products are also sourced from recycled materials which further promotes sustainability in our business.

We also prioritise social responsibility by supporting local communities and providing fair wages and benefits to our employees. These efforts have not only reduced our environmental footprint but have also improved our brand image and helped to attract socially conscious customers. It’s important for Hansel to promote sustainability for our customers because sustainability has become a core value for many consumers. Customers are increasingly looking to align their purchases with their personal values, and sustainability is a value that resonates with a growing number of people. By promoting sustainability, Hansel is not only meeting the needs of their existing customers but also attracting new ones who are looking for businesses that align with their values. Furthermore, promoting sustainability can help build customer loyalty by demonstrating that Hansel is committed to creating positive social and environmental impacts. Customers who feel good about their purchases are more likely to become repeat customers, share their positive experiences with others, and develop long-term relationships with the brand. Ultimately, by promoting sustainability, Hansel is not only doing its part to build a more sustainable future, but also positioning itself for long-term growth and success.

By prioritising sustainability and social responsibility, Hansel has demonstrated that it is possible to operate a successful business while also doing good for the planet and society.

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Title: Co-owner



Dirty Celebrity main focus was to create a brand that puts sustainability first rather than an aferthought. Today, companies create sustainability models to control thier own overproduction and waste. It does not address the practice of overproduction nor the use of petroleum based materials. It is a company’s social responsibility to think beyond profit and put the planet first. Companies also have a social responsibility to educate thier consumers on thier efforts and other efforts that they can do as well to reduce thier carbon footprint. My company’s main social principles is to control waste from the start with a zero waste focus, focus on quality rather than quantity and a future plan for the end of life of our materials and products. Sustainability in the fashion industry is a big talking point lately. We have grown quickly and this year we won the CFDA x Accessories launchpad fellowship and grant for sustainable companies. In just 3 years, we have received CFDA reconigition, have won a fellowship with Selfmade, been indoctrined into a venture capital fund for women (Corolus x PNC bank) and won a spot in the co-working space for women, Luminary. It shows how important sustainability has become.

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Celeste Frye

Title: Founder & CEO

Company: Public Works Partners


Thank you so much for speaking with me today. At Public Works Partners, we’ve incorporated principles of sustainability and social responsibility into our business model through our Process with Purpose methodology. This is a six-step process that guides how we move through projects, from the initial engagement to the implementation phase, and even beyond that. This is one of the reasons why we’ve grown so much even in the past few years alone because we position those that we work with to make continuous improvements even after the engagement is over. One example of this is designing efficient feedback-gathering processes. Our team is also big on creating solutions that work for each individual community, so there is flexibility built into this methodology that prevents it from becoming a one-size-fits all approach. We draw on equity-driven practices from a variety of areas to address the individual programs, policies, and spaces that a community is impacted by.

This methodology creates sustainability for our clients in their programs and organizational processes by incorporating forward-thinking tools into their evaluations. Just to name a few, these tools can include key metrics, KPIs, performance management strategies, and technical assistance. So for example, in regards to key metrics, it’s really important that clients know the types of data that they need to track and at what intervals to take stock. For key metrics and KPIs as well, we use a cyclical improvement approach so that as you’re tracking them, they align directly with actionable steps. This is because we want to work towards outcomes that are clearly defined, and this also means clearly illustrating the kind of impact it will have on the community. This is also where social responsibility comes into play, because we want to ensure that a program’s positive effects are geared for the long term, so then it has the best chance of making a sustained and meaningful impact in the lives of community members.

Process with Purpose has an inherent focus on sustainability and social responsibility because these values are core to our work. It defines the work we take on, and the reputation we have with those that we work with. One of the things that Public Works is known for is our drive to meaningfully collaborate with communities and stakeholders. We want to learn what’s happening on the ground, what their needs are, and how we can meet them in both the short and long-term. We’ll also apply this forward-thinking approach to lead equity-driven stakeholder engagements across all scales, from small nonprofits to large educational institutions. I’m proud of our success because it means we’ve had a positive impact. It isn’t just about succeeding as a firm, but strengthening communities to succeed as well.

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Jacquelyn Rodriguez

Title: Founder of Enlightened Styles and The Clean Beauty Biz Coach

Company: Enlightened Styles


As a salon owner and coach in the beauty industry, I know firsthand the impact of incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into a business model. It’s not just a buzzword or a trendy concept; it’s the way of the future.

At my salon, Enlightened Styles, we take sustainability seriously. Here are some of the ways we incorporate sustainability into our business model:

Eco-friendly products: We use hair and skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals and toxins and are eco-friendly. These products are not only better for the environment, but they’re also safer for our clients.

Recycling and repurposing: We make a conscious effort to reduce waste by recycling and repurposing materials. For example, we recycle with companies like Green Circle Salons that will recycle all of our waste including PPE, color waste, gloves, tubes, and more. We also repurpose our glass bottles into planters, crafts, or give them to local artists who can turn them into something amazing.

Energy efficiency: We use energy-efficient lighting and equipment, which helps to reduce our carbon footprint and save on energy costs.

Ethical sourcing: We support fair trade and ethical sourcing practices when purchasing products. For example, we use a supplier that sources its ingredients from small, sustainable farms.

Reduce all plastic: We use companies that are plastic-free and use glass, aluminum, and plant-starch-based materials instead.

These are just a few examples of how we incorporate sustainability into our business model. And it’s not just something we do to check a box; we truly believe in it and it’s reflected in our brand image.

Our clients appreciate our commitment to sustainability. They want to support businesses that share their values, and they trust us to provide high-quality services while prioritizing ethical practices. As a coach, I’ve seen the same with my clients. Those who incorporate sustainability into their business models often see an increase in customer loyalty and satisfaction, leading to growth and profitability.

So, incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into your business model is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. It’s essential if you want to stay relevant in today’s market. And clients are starting to demand it. They want to know that the products they’re using are safe for them and the environment, and they want to support businesses that prioritize these principles.

Let’s continue to work together to create a more sustainable and ethical future for the beauty industry. By doing so, we can not only benefit our businesses but also contribute to a healthier and more just world.

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Jeff Scult

Title: Clothing Designer, Fashion Pro-Activist, Eco-Systems Thinker, and Thought-Speaker on Regeneration

Company: One Golden Thread


In an extractive and over-consumed toxic industry, Jeff Scult and One Golden Thread is taking a stance against fast fashion. From a single Beech Tree, One Golden thread hand crafts 108 articles of clothing. With every purchase, a tree is planted through their reforestation partner, One Tree Planted. A measurable environmental impact of 1 to 108x. With over 50,000 trees planted, plastic-free packaging, and incredibly low returns, the conscious collective brand is devoted to minimizing carbon footprint through comfort threads fashioned by nature. Not to mention, a golden supply chain that positively impacts the fashion industry through ethical creation working practices which deliver a superior product made from love, made with love, and made for love — fair wage, eco-centric, child-free workplace.

One Golden Thread guarantees that you will be astonished by One Golden Thread or they promise to give your money back fully within 30 days of purchase.

Sustainability is challenging to define beyond ambiguity, is impossible to model & measure, and is contributing to the greenwashing plight of fashion as many brands hide behind this ambiguity. Further, at best, sustainability is maintainability, which is not going get us out of the toxic mess of fast fashion. Scult believe in an infinite loop of regenerative systems that give back more than it takes to create from nature. That is regeneration. It’s high time we realize we have a language problem. And it’s high time we explode the term of sustainability as a beacon, and pivot to the commerce container of measuring business against regenerative practices.

Scult and One Golden Thread is honored to continue disrupting the sustainability space, showing up as the brand taking on regeneration in the face of industry greenwashing, and continue to inspire other brand’s with reforestation and eco-conscious threads.

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Blima Ehrentreu

Title: Founder and CEO of The Designers Group

Company: The Designers Group


At TDG, sustainability and social responsibility are not just principles we follow, they are a reflection of my personal values as well. As the owner and founder of the firm, I am passionate about creating designs that are not only innovative and functional but also environmentally conscious.

To achieve this, we implement sustainable design practices such as utilizing eco-friendly materials, minimizing waste, and promoting energy efficiency. I believe that investing in sustainable design not only benefits the planet but also provides long-term benefits for our clients.

In addition to sustainability, we also prioritize social responsibility. Giving back to the community is an essential part of who we are as a firm. Our TDG Gives Back program provides complimentary design services to non-profits and charities, and we have launched TDG Furniture Exchange to match individuals in need of furniture with donors who have furniture to give. Seeing the impact of these programs on the communities we serve has been incredibly rewarding.

At TDG, we believe in celebrating diversity and empowering individuals from different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Our TDG Virtual Team is composed of talented professionals from across the globe, ensuring that we have a diverse range of perspectives when approaching design projects.

Our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility has positively impacted our brand image and growth, but more importantly, it reflects the values that drive us as a company. As a business owner, I firmly believe that we have a responsibility to make a positive impact on the world around us, and at TDG, we are committed to doing just that.