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JoJo Maman Bébé becomes a Certified B Corp

16 Septemper 2016


What is B Corp

B Corp is to business what Fairtrade has become to bananas. Becoming a Certified B Corp (better corporation or company) is a way of auditing and cementing ‘The JoJo Way’. Since the early days, the company has valued people and the planet above profit. Despite this, they are not ‘tree huggers’ and don’t wish to alienate customers who have good intentions but as busy new parents come to JoJo to buy gorgeous baby gifts, fashion and practical nursery products, rather than have ethical ideals thrust at them. The company ethos is the icing on the cake, not its raison d’être. The Founder, Laura Tenison MBE, was the youngest of a large family brought up by a frugal mother. They mended and made good, shared hand-me-downs and took care of each other. Laura states; “When I launched JoJo with just 2 employees they became my friends and support, we were a close knit team. 750 employees later and I still believe that the most useful thing an individual can do is create ethical jobs with fair salaries and a pleasant work environment.” She adds, “Our customers come to JoJo to buy adorable children’s wear and gorgeous maternity clothes; it’s little known that our ethos is to put people and the planet above profit. Becoming a Certified B Corp rubber stamps the hard work behind the scenes, we believe that business should be a force for good.”

Why now?

Part of being fair is that the company offers support and good packages to the teams and directors only get pay rises alongside their employees. Directors share the same staff facilities; drive the same pool cars and believe in a non-hierarchical culture where individuals from all levels feel confident to put forward ideas which are listened to. They offer a profit share at Head Office and a bonus scheme in store. They want the company to be a team effort.

Promotion from within is important and they love seeing employees do well and grow alongside the brand. They even opened a new store in Winchester in order to keep a great Manager in the business when she could no longer face the long commute to reach her job in Guildford. Many years ago they embraced the idea from their Brighton Manger to offer work placements to individuals with Down’s Syndrome and are proud to have several long term employees and are champions for the WorkFit program. They use a wide range of models, representing as many gorgeous babies and children as possible.

At JoJo philanthropic ventures are sensible and detailed. Instead of donating money and asking no questions to validate the tick box requirement of CSR, the board decided to get truly involved in a house charity. After hearing the horrendous statistic that infant mortality in rural Mozambique ran at 30% they concentrated on that area, partnering with a local charity and changing these statistics over the past 10 years, via health, education, feeding and sanitation projects. Their house charity is totally sustainable, employing 10 locals in Cabo Delgado where they are building their 5th school.

From an environmental perspective they have always eschewed waste. Whether this was down to a ‘waste not want not’ attitude when they launched, or because of eco champions within the business coming forwards with great ideas such as the company veggie garden. Recycling initiatives include using fabrics made from plastic bottles in their Polarfleece production and 55,000 JoJo coats, hats, scarves and mittens will be sold this winter, representing the purposeful re-use of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles. The renowned From a Mother to Another hand-me-down collection in the run up to Mother’s Day continues annually. Last year 50,000 pieces of good quality clothing and 22,000 pairs of shoes and wellies were potentially saved from landfill and given to those in need in the UK and Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey.

B the change

They felt that their ethos needed to be rubber stamped to build these values into the DNA of the company for longevity. By becoming a Certified B Corp they are joining a global community of other businesses who adhere to the principles of a Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet and Profit. Companies make a legal pledge that these values are embedded. The JoJo team do not want to take the risk of losing this culture from the business in the future.

B Corps may be a well-kept secret today, but you will hear of this movement soon. In the USA they are multiplying. There are currently 1,800 across the world and the pace is picking up. So many British companies have been decimated by short termist investors; looking to asset strip the business, under investing and leaving staff working in appalling conditions, at minimum wage or via agency employment schemes which guarantee them no rights. Investing in a business for a period of 3 years leaves little time to make a real change. Shareholders may benefit but at the expense of employees and environmental engagement. This trend has to be stopped and the B Corp stamp offers the ability to easily identify the truly ‘better companies’ (or B Corps), distinguishing them from those who greenwash their PR spin.

JoJo Maman Bébé now has 75 stores across the UK and Ireland, global websites and a rapidly expanding international trade department. This B Corp is looking forward to continuing its global expansion not just as an amazing business offering everything you need from pregnancy to pre-school, but as a business that will never have a conflict between doing well and doing good; a business to trust.


About JoJo

JoJo Maman Bébé was founded in 1993 by Laura Tenison MBE and has grown to become the UK’s leading mother and baby multi-channel boutique brand. We design and retail high quality, imaginative, practical clothing and products for pregnant women and families with young children.

JoJo was launched 23 years ago as a tiny kitchen-table business with the stock held in a shed belonging to Laura’s parents in Wales. The company has grown organically and now has over 74 stores as well as trade sales to 50 countries. Despite this phenomenal growth, JoJo continues to operate with small company values and places a huge emphasis on great quality, fantastic customer service, environmental sustainability and loyalty to all involved.


Contacts

For press samples or hi-res images please contact:
Alice Treharne, PR & Communications Manager
[email protected]
020 7622 6543 Ext 242


For interviews or further company information please contact:
Laura Tenison MBE, Founder & Managing Director:
[email protected]
020 7622 6543


JoJo Maman Bébé Press Office is at JoJo House,
Cloisters Business Centre, 8 Battersea Park Road,
London, SW8 4BG

www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk

For further information on our charity:
www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/charity.php



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