TRACEY Bailey believes that if every person understood the true social and environmental cost of every product they bought, we would all be living in a very different world.
The eco entrepreneur and founder of green business Biome has made it her life's mission to create a complete element of transparency when it comes to her own products.
Bailey's unparalleled vetting process includes investigating where each of her products are made, how they are made, whether they are ethical and cruelty-free, whether they are single-use or reusable and whether there is any conceivable impact they will have on society or the environment.
Due to this process, Bailey recently became the first retailer in the country to receive international B Corporation certification, an award granted to businesses around the world which adhere to the highest environmental and social standards.
Bailey believes the certification is a testament to her team, and proof that Biome is a heavy contender in the eco space.
"I think getting B Corporation certification will be a really effective way of helping convey the message to our customers that we are the real deal," says Bailey.
"We're not just an average retail store; we've been fully transparent and have gone through rigorous assessment to establish that we think about the way we operate our business, and all of the different things we offer to our customers."
The ingredients of each Biome product are made clearly visible to Bailey's customers, as is the manufacturing process, to promote informed purchases.
Today, Biome's large range of products includes lunch boxes, water bottles, beauty products and eco gifts, however when Bailey first launched the website 14 years ago, she admits it was a harder grind.
"It was pretty tough back then because [online stores] were still a fairly new concept conscious consumerism and being transparent with customers about your packaging was alsoquite new," says Bailey.
"Online shopping was still very unusual. In the early days, I went to companies and said, 'I would like to stock your product but I only have an online store', and those companies really turned their nose up at me.
"First, I had to find the products, because there weren't that many available at the time, and then I had to ask the hard questions."
Bailey opened her first bricks and mortar store in 2005, after earning the trust of her customers amid a sea of "greenwashed" competitors who weren't scrutinising products at the same high-level.
While Bailey might be dedicated to changing things on a large scale, she still believes any small act done to avoid careless consumerism makes the world a better place.
"We're all treading a path every day to try and live more responsibly. I believe everybody does, but we're all at different points onthe continuum," she says.
"There's only so many things that certain people can do [to live an eco-lifestyle], and I think that whatever people can do is great."
Business News Australia
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