What would it be like if businesses worked to have a positive impact on the world? Imagine companies coming together to solve the social and environmental issues facing us today, while creating a better world for future generations. Lucky for us, one organization is bringing people and companies together to make change. It’s called B Corp, and we’re proud to be among the growing number of companies that are B certified.
From the very beginning of gDiapers back in 2005, Kim and I have always challenged the status quo. Move 10,000 miles to start a company? Sure. Never run a consumer packaged goods company? No worries. Onsite daycare for the gTeam? Why wouldn’t we? And on and on. From our Disposable Inserts which are flushable and home compostable (wet ones only) to our outrageously long paid time off (4 whole weeks per year and 3 months paid maternity leave), we relish doing things differently.
We wanted to build a company where:
Family and business go better together so people can be at their best as people and as employees
Products are made following the Cradle to Cradle (CM) approach so they are re-generative rather than following the old take from the planet / make / waste paradigm
We were successful financially
In Australia we call it Fair Dinkum: being genuine with everyone you work with.
So when B Corporation (www.BCorporation.net) launched in 2006, we were so very excited. Here was a certification that perfectly fit our view of what a company should be. We were one of the very first companies to get accredited although it took us until 2011 to finally change our Articles of Incorporation (a topic for another blog). The accreditation scores a company out of 200, looking at how you treat your people, the planet and profitability.
A company needs more than 80 points to gain accreditation. Our first score was 82 which we were not happy with at all. When we rectified, we found we were still stuck on 82. So this year as we prepared for recertification, we put our most experienced (OK, she’s been with us the longest – about to celebrate 10 years no less!) gTeamster on it. Michelle took on the challenge with great gusto. Lo and behold after a huge amount of effort across the board we pushed our number up to 99. It turns out that most of the gains were found in documenting the things we already did.
We have always been very strong on the environmental piece of the assessment. This year we scored 40 compared to a median across all B Corps of just 9. That shows just how powerful our Disposable Inserts’ Cradle to Cradle certification is. We are on par with other B Corporations when it comes to our people and a little above average in terms of governance. The area where more work needs to be done is how we work with our local community. The median score of all B Corporations is 32. We scored just 23. So there is more to be done. But we love the challenge of ever improving. Of never settling.
The way we see it, B Corp is Fair Dinkum written right into our articles of incorporation. It’s the future of business, and it’s already here. When you support B Corp, you’re putting your money behind your values and helping to shape the world in which your gBabies will grow up. And we truly believe that in a B Corp world, the future looks bright.
It’s hard to find the right analogy to express what it is exactly that we’ve witnessed over the last 10 years at gDiapers. We built the dock, and our neighbors supplied the lake? We brought the soup kettle, and our dinner guests brought all the ingredients? Or maybe it’s just as straightforward as this: We designed the diaper, but the community, that was all you.
You showed us early on that you had a passion for this re-defined disposable diaper with the cute gPants on the outside, and we couldn’t help but fall right back in love with you. And that good energy was the thing that made this magnet — this nucleus of good vibes — draw in other mothers, fathers, babies, grandparents, aunts, uncles and more. Those good vibes soared out on the air like the wispy seeds of a whitened dandelion. They made things happen, they made more good vibes grow.
Good Vibes for Mason
In July of 2011 one of our gMums, Jenni, shared this update about her brand new baby, Mason:
“Please keep Mason in your prayers. We have admitted him to the hospital for possible bacterial meningitis. We’re waiting on the results from the spinal tap.”
Immediately, Good Vibes for Mason went viral. Hundreds of moms and dads, people who had never met Jenni and her family, changed their Facebook profile pics to our Good Vibes gPants, sending all the good vibes they could muster to help heal newborn Mason. Kim and Jason signed a gTote and it was auctioned off with all proceeds going to support Mason’s growing medical bills. A scary and vulnerable event became the gathering point for a community committed to a baby they had never met. Today Mason is a thriving and healthy 4-year-old, and the good vibes are still going strong.
A New Take On “It Takes A Village”
When gDiapers first opened office in Portland, OR, we had onsite childcare for our handful of employees. We called it The Village, inspired by the dear-to-our-hearts adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But eventually we began to see The Village emerge under a whole new light. We saw you, this blossoming and energetic community, hosting gTeas in your own towns, up-cycling old gPants into new and wonderful things, raising your hands to help other gMums, gDads and their families achieve goals, ease transitions, and recover from disasters. The Village was actually you. You were raising each other, as well as raising us.
UK gMum Michelle shares a story of how the The Village rallied around her and her family in a time of need.
In September 2014, just as I was about to return to work following Maternity Leave we were burgled. They came into the house and took among other things my change bag before driving off in my new car (2 weeks old).
I was devastated. You don’t quite appreciate how much you have in your change bag until it’s gone. With 2 in cloth, mine had a significant gStash in it (8 complete gPants with gCloths plus extras), alongside my gSippy and my ringsling. At the time, the only thing my daughter would drink from was the gSippy.
I turned to the gCommunity to let off steam and moan to people who would understand. What happened next brought me to tears.
A few days later I received a package in the post from gNappies, with a little note saying they had heard about our sad news and hoped their little gift helped us out. The package contained a selection of gorgeous brand new gPants in both my daughter’s and my son’s sizes. I was speechless.
A few days after that I received another package, this one however was from the gCommunity itself. A bunch of mums and dads who chat on the Internet about kids and nappies had come together to help one of their own. People had donated nappies to replace the specific prints stolen, others had donated funds to purchase a new gSippy, I even received a new change bag! I was completely overwhelmed. The generosity and genuine care shown was very touching. Both children are starting to potty train now so we will soon be moving away from gNappies but I have made some great friends in the gCommunity and I will always be living by the g ethos in life.
Inspiring Each Other
When communities come together, it’s like reinforcing a bridge. We connect, we communicate, we share, and that bridge just gets stronger. It has been your passion and commitment to each other that inspires us to pursue and nurture partnerships that make effective, tangible change and reinforces that bridge. We’re now in this amazing cycle where we all keep inspiring each other, around and around, creating an electric buzz of positivity amongst us. With our recent Every Mother Counts partnership, two mamas were inspired to get more involved and offered up their own unique talents as a way to give back both to the gDiapers community and to EMC.
See what these mamas have done:
“Throughout our time using gDiapers, we have admired the consistent partnerships that gDiapers has made with such great charities and worth causes. The newest partnership with Every Mother Counts has inspired me! Although my husband and I experienced the struggles of infertility and needing to spend quite a lot of money and time going to doctors in order to help our dream of becoming parents come true, we still had the means to access the medical community to help us with that dream. So I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it is for so many women who have no access to hospitals at all, to go through labor and deliver their babies without the help they need. EMC helps these women get the medical attention they truly need! My favorite g word is genuine, and 100% of the profits from each gMum mug that I make will go directly to Every Mother Counts!”
We were first introduced to gDiapers when Hana turned 2 months old, and we then exclusively used gDiapers up until her recent potty training journey. We fell in love with not only the fantastic product and customer service, but also with the community of parents and children that came with it. I’ll always be grateful for gDiapers for the lasting and lifelong friendships I’ve made!
From our love of healthy living and cloth diapering formed a small work at home business called Jae’s Gems. Here at Jae’s Gems our philosophy is to help others therapeutically through holistic gemstone therapy. We strive to make community connections often with others whom have the same healthy mindsets and goals. When we learned of gDiapers and EMC teaming up, we knew it was a cause we would stand behind, and continue to support. We are very thankful to be able to show our support with two incredible organizations to help bring action and raise funds for maternal healthcare.
We can’t make this stuff up! Our hearts are just so full. Our Facebook page is brimming with your photos and stories and uplifting words toward each other. You have joined the gDiapers community at every parenting stage, from first pregnancy to baby #4, from waiting on adoption to bringing baby home. And so many of you have stuck around long after your children stopped needing diapers altogether! You continue to nurture the new families in our community, reinforcing that bridge, spreading those good vibes. There’s no analogy necessary. We designed the diaper. But you? You designed the gDiapers community. We are eternally grateful.
Father’s Day is upon us again. A time for dads to reflect on their role in their children’s lives. The shift from being a spouse or partner or just a bloke playing rugby to being a dad is one of the biggest in a man’s life.
For me, it happened 12 years ago here in our little place in North Bondi, Sydney, Australia. The same place gDiapers was born. Like all parents, that moment was pretty surreal. Life had just been created – in our living room no less. I was staring into the eyes of my son asking many questions: “How did that just happen?” “Who is this tiny soul in my hands?” “Will he like Vegemite?”
As I look back over the 99 pairs of gPants we have created, I can’t help but reminisce over the details of each story. For the vast majority of them, Mimi, Karen and I would start looking out into the world to see what inspired us for the next season. We would go back through our trusted files of things we had collected over the years to see what might be the perfect fit. We all loved this part of our jobs, and as the collection would start to take shape, we would be giddy with excitement for the final sign-off and the much-anticipated photo shoot. The company’s mission may be around the Disposable Inserts, but the company’s heart and soul is in the pants.
It’s been 10 years since we debuted the gDiapers brand with our first ever gPants. We have done everything from our early classics like grateful red and great orange, to the more hip glam black and grubby knees grey. As we grew, we added more colors and limited edition prints like the highly sought-after gCycle and gDarling.
We now have 99 gPants to our name, and we have our community to thank. Without the support of our gMums, gDads and parents who have shown us that we can build a better world, one diaper change at a time, we might still be outfitting babies in just red and orange. So as a thank you, we’d like to invite you, our talented and creative community, to help design the 100th pair of gPants.