We know that setting up a business with a socially conscious ethos is beneficial to the environment, your local community and your people, but doing good can also help you do well.
As people become more aware of and invested in the social responsibility of brands, making your business socially conscious can often help you to achieve business success.
We interviewed budding entrepreneurs about their business success stories, finding out more about how they have made their businesses more socially conscious, and how this has contributed to their success
1. Sustainable operations
A key part of social responsibility revolves around sustainability and making your business operate in a more environmentally friendly way.
Making more sustainable choices throughout your business strategy and supply chain is crucial to reducing your overall carbon footprint. There are various ways to do this, including using responsible suppliers to source your materials, using renewable energy where possible, recycling schemes and more.
Lucie Halley, owner of sustainable activewear brand EYO Active, focuses on using recycled materials, selling sustainable activewear ‘made from ocean and landfill waste’.
2. Supporting Local Communities
Supporting local communities is a rewarding way to make your business more socially conscious. This can involve anything that sees you using your influence, profit or products and/or services to give back to the community.
For Charlotte Cochrane, owner of ‘thoughtful furniture’ brand Twisted Loom, this came in the form of using local suppliers to source all her materials. Charlotte describes her approach as ‘hyper-local’ as she uses materials and resources from ‘within 50-mile radius of the studio’ in order to support local businesses and reduce her carbon footprint.
Sonny Drinkwater, co-owner of grocery delivery service Welleasy, also sees the importance of giving back to the community and does so by ensuring his service is accessible to all. ‘For every member, we sponsor a free membership for NHS workers, teachers, students and more’ says Sonny.
3. Team Culture
Being socially conscious isn’t just about supporting local communities, it also means to support and protect your own employees. Creating an environment and team culture in which everyone can thrive is pivotal to your people’s wellbeing and, most likely, their productivity
Alessandro Savelli, owner of homemade pasta delivery service Pasta Evangelists, emphasised the importance of creating a team culture, but also noting it as one of his biggest obstacles. Alessandro advises ‘get(ting) your team involved’ as much as possible, however that looks for your business.
4. Reduce Waste
Reducing waste is a key way to make your business operations more sustainable and socially conscious. Our entrepreneurs minimize their waste by improving the longevity of their products and encouraging recycling, both in their operations and in consumer behaviour.
Twisted Loom owner Charlotte specialises in producing high quality furniture pieces that are made to last. By creating products that are built for quality and longevity, Charlotte aims to encourage more ethically conscious spending and combat ‘fast-furniture’ trends.
Lucie, owner of EYO Active, also wants to fight wasteful, ‘fast’ attitudes, but in the fashion industry. By producing high quality activewear, Lucie encourages her customers to move away from fast-fashion brands and invest in longer-lasting, high-quality clothing.
5. Empowering Mission Statement
Your mission statement is the guiding and driving force of your business, so curating a mission statement focused around social value is a core way to ensure your business is built upon a socially conscious ethos.
Sonny’s grocery delivery service Welleasy aims to promote and provide better access a healthy lifestyle by providing ‘the best healthy and organic groceries at unbeatable prices’. Sonny launched his business with this mission after realising that ‘the food system here in the UK makes it incredibly difficult, inconvenient and expensive to make healthy choices’.
Nadia Simpson, owner of natural haircare brand Nu Elefa Naturals, ensures her business is socially conscious by following her mission statement to ‘create the best natural products that work for all while remaining socially driven’.