Starting any kind of business can seem daunting. It can be hard to take those first steps into the unknown and leave your comfort zone on a journey into the unexpected.
Eve Bell is the founder of reusable nappy brand Baba+Boo, which is on a mission to help parents live simpler more sustainable lives by tackling the issue of plastic pollution from single-use nappies.
As a purpose-driven business, Baba+Boo are dedicated to doing everything in their power to stay true to our values and ensure our business benefits people and the planet. With rising consumer pressure on brands to be cleaner and greener, we are seeing a rise in ethical companies who are all taking a stand to be better, whether this is taking steps to help tackle climate change, or striving for diversity and equality within their business operations.
Eve highlights 5 tips to help ensure your business is truly doing good, staying clear of ‘greenwash’ and helping to influence consumers to buy less and buying better.
Make sure its a passion
If you’re truly going to run a purpose-driven business that you’re committed to, it’s important you start with something you’re truly passionate about. Running a business can be hard, so ensuring you love what you do will help you push through when it gets tough. For me, I’ve always been an environmentalist and was taught by my dad to really think about what I throw away. This is why I found binning single-use nappies so hard, and its a mantra which really keeps me going.
Start with the basics
You’re a brand, you sell products and you make products. However, it’s important that the products you’re making are being created with people and the planet in mind. Ensure you truly know your supply chain, you’ve carefully picked your manufacturers and you’re doing everything in your power to be the best you can be. Hey, you might not be perfect, we know we aren’t, but it’s important to be on the journey to be better.
Transparency is probably the word we use most here at Baba+Boo. If you’re going to start a brand which prioritises people and the planet it’s vital you’re as open and transparent as possible, this means being transparent with your customers, your suppliers, your employees and everyone else in between. You won’t get everything right straight away, but being honest will show that you’re doing it for the right reasons and striving to be better. In short, if you’re telling your customers you’re a sustainable company, you need to show them how.
Start with one thing
We know sustainability can be focusing – landfill, carbon, diversity – there are so many elements that your company could champion to help make the world a better place. Yet, trying to tackle them all will dilute your message. It’s better to focus on one element and get this nailed, then work on the others slowly. You’re not going to become Patagonia overnight, but you have to start somewhere.
It sounds obvious we know, but to start a purpose-driven company you have to genuinely care. We’ve seen many ‘sustainable’ brands come and go because the foundations and the true passion for the planet wasn’t there. If you’re starting the business for the wrong reasons, your customers will soon see through this.
Being purpose-driven means not being afraid to stand up and make your voice heard, even if other brands are staying quiet. Use your power for good by putting your weight behind causes which truly mean something to you. We know being the first can be scary, but try leading the way for other brands to follow suit to help bring some serious positive change. You’ll be amazed how many other brands stand up with you