Today, we released our first annual Impact Report.
In the spirit of transparency, our team spent several months researching and auditing the effect our first five years in business has had on the communities and locales we interact with. Do ethical business practices have a net positive effect on farming and manufacturing communities? Does organic farming really help the planet? We asked ourselves these questions to be transparent, and also to keep ourselves honest in our mission as we plan our road ahead.
We’re happy to have good news to share.
In the five years since Boll & Branch’s inception, our company has become a notably positive agent of disruption in the textile industry. By building a unique supply chain with unprecedented levels of control and traceability, we’ve been able to ensure that the manufacture of our products has had a favorable impact on the lives of all involved. This effort succeeds largely because of our direct-to-consumer business model; by avoiding multiple resellers and markups, consumers pay a competitive price for our linens and home goods. On the other side of that, we can pay a living wage to the farmers and workers they employ.
Choosing sustainable materials has driven much of our positive impact, too: in 2018, we bought 2.4 million pounds of organic, Fair Trade certified seed cotton, which helped to keep 12,800 Indian cotton farmers out of the debt that conventional cotton farming is known to incur.
“Our sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, and mattresses aren’t like anything else on the market because we went through the rigor of questioning every single choice that goes into making them," said Missy Tannen, founder and chief design officer. "We always ask ourselves ‘what’s the RIGHT way to make this?’ and that question has really been our guiding star. It’s wonderful that treating people better along the way will consistently lead to a more beautiful, more memorable final product.”
Because our business was built to treat people (and the environment) better, we’ve always had a set of non-negotiable standards for every product, packaging and transaction we make. Internally, we call it the “100 club”.
Our commitment to the future
Recognizing the need to encourage growth within U.S. factories and employment, we at Boll & Branch have made a hefty commitment to double our finished good production in the United States. We have also pledged to double our premium contributions to factory workers to ensure that everyone in the Boll & Branch family has the necessary tools at their disposal to develop both professionally and at a desired standard of living. Lastly, we’re committed to ensuring that 99% of our procurement of organic cotton will be Fair Trade certified in the year ahead.
This report will be released annually going forward. “This isn’t about placing our flag on the mountaintop” said Scott Tannen, our co-founder and CEO. “Building an ethical brand means committing to the practice for all the years ahead. We look forward to checking back in on our progress every year, and challenging ourselves to consistently better results. We also strongly encourage leaders and businesses in other categories to do the same.”
You can view and download our full Impact Report here.