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Doing Well While Doing Good

January 20, 2014

“Once you know, you know.”

It’s a simple phrase, but its complexity encapsulates why Boll & Branch exists at all. Sure, we sell beautiful sheets and blankets at a great price – it’s an endeavor that we’re very proud of. Luxury linens may be what we sell, but what we do goes far beyond that.

We kept asking and kept learning — and what we found was often startling.

My wife Missy and I set out to create Boll & Branch in early 2013 by learning everything we could about textiles — an industry that was new to both of us. We asked questions and as outsiders, we realized the questions we asked were ones that many ‘insiders’ were at best unable to (or at worst, unwilling to) answer. Naturally, we kept asking and kept learning — and what we found was often startling.

Textiles are largely made from natural products. No we don’t eat cotton, but it’s grown just like many other crops that we do eat. The difference is that much of the cotton we use comes from the developing world. And the people in those countries responsible for transforming cotton from a seed into a garment or textile are hurting — and they’re hurting badly.

Once we knew, everything changed.

The farmers get sick from ingesting the massive amounts of pesticides and insecticides often used on cotton. Their families are finding themselves in serious debt due to the cost of the chemicals and the unpredictable crop yields. In textile mills all over the world people (often children!) are being forced to work in horrendous conditions with little other choice. The lack of hope among the people — who make the products that bring us joy — is a juxtaposition that we couldn’t just forget about for the sake of the bottom line.

Once we knew, everything changed.

We realized that Boll & Branch had a unique opportunity. Unencumbered by “the way things have always been done,” we set out to build Boll & Branch as a company that values and cares for people. We support safe, sustainable organic farming and buy our cotton at fair prices that ensure the farmers and their families can live debt-free. We ensure that all of our gins, weavers, dye-houses and mills are Fair Trade certified — that means the workers are treated well, do not work excessive hours and are paid a fair living-wage.’

You can do well and do good at the same time.

On top of that, we’re open and fair with our customers. We’re transparent about our pricing and since we only sell online, our prices are a fraction of those of most other luxury brands.

Today, Boll & Branch is one of the fastest-growing textile brands in the world. The company exists as proof that an ethical business can also be a successful one. We hope to inspire others to think differently about the communities that make their businesses thrive and their livelihoods filled with joy and comfort. You can do well and do good at the same time.

We’re proud to introduce the Boll & Branch Blog a blog that’s focused on embracing, sharing and amplifying stories of inspiration. We’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of Boll & Branch while highlighting the people and companies that inspire us. And we hope that you’ll join us all the things that inspire you too.