When Gianna Caravello founded MODHER, she already knew that she wanted her business to be better than the status quo.
"I didn’t know much about the fashion industry or handbags, but I knew two things," she said. "First, I knew that there was too much plastic in our garments that quickly ended up in landfills and our oceans, and second, I knew that I wanted to run a company that respected people and our earth."
With every business decision, Gianna’s values were her guiding light. She made sure her materials sourcing was ethical, her workers were treated well, and her products were crafted meticulously. One year ago this month, Modher became a B Corporation, solidifying Gianna’s ideals with an impactful certification.
About B-ing a B Corporation
If you’re new to the idea of B Corporations, here’s a quick and dirty explanation of what B Corps are and why we’re proud to be one:
All of us are watching our world — our communities, ecosystems, workers, political and economic systems — experience compounding crises. The challenges humanity faces are enormous. And while decades of mass marketing campaigns have attempted to put the responsibility for setting things right on individuals, the truth of the matter is that we need the big fish — namely businesses — on board in order to realize substantial, lasting change.
To that end, a nonprofit organization called B Lab created the concept of B Corporations. These are businesses that put their social and environmental impact into their definition of “success.” Businesses that wish to become B Corps fill out lengthy assessments that address their environmental impact, treatment of workers, impact on their communities, and leadership. After the assessment, businesses are given a score based on their responses, and those with a high enough score eventually become B Corps.
All B Corps must re-certify every so often in order to maintain their B Corp status. Many B Corps strive to improve their B Corp score with every new certification. Thousands of businesses worldwide, including MODHER, have achieved B Corp certification, and the community is constantly growing.
MODHER became a B Corp one year ago, and our anniversary feels especially celebratory, as this month is also B Corp Month — a chance for B Corps to share their stories, uplift each other’s voices, and bring new folks into the fold.
What We’ve Been Working on for the Past Year
Becoming a B Corp was a clear way for MODHER to celebrate its achievements, but it was also a way for Gianna to consistently hold herself accountable. Upon MODHER’s first certification, Gianna was able to pinpoint several areas in which she could grow and improve. Today, we’re excited to look back at our efforts as part of the B Corp community, and look forward to years of doing business — better.
We know that MODHER customers aren’t one-size-fits-all individuals. While we’ve been so proud of our work with ethically tanned leather, we were thrilled to be able to introduce our first vegan handbag this past year. Not only does this bag serve a broader customer base, but it’s also constructed from an innovative material that is completely plastic-free — a groundbreaking accomplishment in the world of vegan leather.
Within the last year, we’ve taken steps toward carbon neutrality by offsetting the carbon emissions of all of our products, from production to packaging to delivery. Our offsets are operated through EcoCart and support the protection and management of the Garcia River Forest. Our program has produced the offset equivalent of saving more than 1,200 trees.
The people we work with around the world have made our dreams come to life. Therefore, every relationship we establish at MODHER is handled with gratitude and care. We go to great lengths to ensure our craftspeople in Italy operate in excellent working conditions with fair pay and ethical safety standards. We visit them as we’re able to keep our relationships strong and verify that we’re doing right by them.
Finally, within the past year, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to transparency. We’re regularly telling stories about our products, collaborators, and materials on our blog and sharing these stories with everyone we can reach. We know that in order to be trusted, we have to be willing to communicate. We look forward to sharing many more stories in the years to come.