Boody’s B Corp journey to top of the world in environmental impact
4 October 2022 at 2:52 pm
After achieving B Corp status Boody didn’t rest on its laurels, and it continues to take further steps in sustainable, ethical clothing production.
As consumers look for more sustainable products in all facets of their lives, bamboo apparel brand Boody has taken that vibe and run with it.
Along the way, the company has proven itself in the sustainability stakes, achieving multiple certifications including B Corp status.
It’s been a long ride for the clothing company, which was founded by two friends, David and Neil, who combined their experience in fashion and pharmacy to produce sustainable clothing basics.
“David and Neil thought with a great fabric — bamboo — and an amazing channel that is all about convenience — pharmacy— they could launch a product to the market that oozed qualities of comfort, convenience and sustainability — three things they cared for,” explained Shaun Greenblo, managing director at Boody and son of founder David.
Boody began humbly, with underwear and socks, but has now moved into sleepwear, loungewear and activewear. They’re still sold in pharmacies, but the brand now also has an online and global presence.
Bamboo was chosen deliberately for its comfort, breathability and softness for garments that sit close to the skin.
“Our mission is to ‘champion a future fit for all’, so we emphasise quality, simplicity and sustainability in everything we do. We bypass trends and fads as we believe they lead to overconsumption and waste. Everything we create is made to make our community feel good,” Greenblo explained, adding the company invests in clothes that are simple and functional.
But the mindset driving the company is about more than just clothes. According to Greenblo, Boody looks to “embrace sustainability and mindful decision making as well as a focus on self-wellness and health”, sharing wellness tips like yoga poses and low-waste recipes with customers through its social channels.
The path to B Corp
With sustainability in mind, the team behind Boody sought out B Corp status.
“Just short of two years ago, I pitched a plan to my rather nervous team to become the first underwear business in Australia and New Zealand to become B Corp certified,” Greenblo recalled.
“I was met by excitement, but nervousness, understandably. It was a tough ask. Becoming a B Corp was a hefty project touching every corner of the business, in the midst of so many initiatives already taking place.”
But he said the team quickly got behind him as they recognised how game-changing the plan was.
Boody entered the B Corp list with a maiden score of 101.6 for its environmental and social impact, placing it in the top echelon of first-time entrants, according to Greenblo.
“Saying that we’re the first first underwear brand in Australia and New Zealand to wear the B Corp badge is huge and an amazing reinforcement of all the hard work we’re doing. In joining the global B Corp community, we solidify our promise to balance purpose and profit and consistently use our business as a force for good.”
Just a couple of months ago, Boody was also recognised in B Corp’s Best For The World 2022 list as one of the world’s top five per cent of B Corps in the environmental impact area.
Winning the award felt “pretty good”, Greenblo said.
“As a brand built on sustainable values, B Corp has always been a constant reminder to do things differently, with people and the planet equally top of mind.”
Taking it further
B Corp isn’t the only certification that Boody has sought out.
Elements of its production process also have certification in a number of areas. The yarns used in the products are certified by Ecocert, for example, and the finished fabric has Oeko-tex certification to assert that it contains no harmful chemicals.
Each supplier that works with Boody is also required to sign a code of conduct stipulating that they will “acknowledge, share and act on” the brand’s four key pillars of respect, fair, sustainable and safe.
Boody’s finished garments are not Ecocert or Forest Stewardship Council certified, however Greenblo said this was not a focus for the company as it would require what’s known as full chain of custody over the production process.
“This means all of our suppliers, including our seamfree and cut and sew garment factories… would need to hold and maintain a certification that focuses on specific farming practices etc. A lot of the time, this isn’t relevant,” Greenblo explained.
He said the company is instead focusing on those certifications that are most relevant, such as Oeko-tex and ISO140001, the latter of which sets requirements for effective environmental management.
“We’re not perfect but we’re always working towards being the best we can be – following the right process that benefits people and the planet,” Greenblo said.
Certification is just part of the Boody story. As part of the company’s mission to be a leader in social impact, it partners with other organisations that are creating change.
For example, as a 1 per cent For the Planet member, Boody donates one per cent of its online sales to not for profits that protect the environment.
Boody also has a relationship with Thread Together, a not for profit that collects end-of-line stock from fashion retailers to donate to those in need.
Greenblo is part of the Thread Together advisory board. As a basics brand, Boody doesn’t have end-of-season garments, so instead it donates current stock.
“This partnership came out of people coming together with common goals. [There is] no real criteria [to working with other charities] other than simply caring and being driven with the same end goal when it comes to giving back,” Greenblo said.
Leading the pack
Now a decade old, Greenblo said Boody has watched other brands become more sustainable over the years and sees this as “a huge win” for consumers and the planet.
“I think it is great that there is a growing desire and interest to care about sustainability. It is definitely a journey, jot a trend, and is something that is so important and something that we at Boody are so passionate about,” he said.
At the same time, consumers have become more educated about sustainability and are actively seeking out more information about where their favourite products come from as they look to make more ethical purchases.
For Boody, this has allowed the company to expand its range to meet customer demand, Greenblo said.
“I think the future of fashion is transparency and certifications like B Corp that monitor this,” he mused.
“Sustainability has no destination, it is an ongoing journey and we commit to continue to push the boundaries as to the positive impact a business can have on the world we live in.”