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What is a Triple Bottom Line Business?

Ever hear the term Triple Bottom Line, but not sure exactly what it means?

In economics, it basically refers to companies that commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. TBL theory posits that instead of one bottom line, there should be three: profit, people, and the planet.

In 1994, John Elkington—the famed British management consultant and sustainability guru—coined the phrase "triple bottom line" as his way of measuring performance in corporate America. The idea was that a company can be managed in a way that not only makes money but which also improves people's lives and the planet.

When you shop fair trade, you are already supporting this way of doing business.

The Fair Trade model is based around Two big ideas.

The first is commodity certification, so that any business, regardless of its broader purpose, can buy raw materials like cocoa, cotton and coffee on Fairtrade terms (click link in bio to learn more about these), therefor making sure their supply chains are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

The second big idea is the social enterprise model: the idea of building an entire business around a social mission. Apart from practicing Fair Trade principles, fair trade certified brands and products also use the majority of their profits to benefit workers, farmers and artisans, and their legal structure makes sure that their social mission comes first.

Leather Earrings from Lucia Imports


Lavender Soap from Zambeezi


Dr. Bronner Liquid Soap

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For a comprehensive list of sites to shop fair trade goods, visit The Fair Trade Federation, a trade association of fair trade enterprises fully committed to equitable and sustainable trading partnerships. The FTF strengthens and supports all of their members in order to grow the global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labor, dignity, and equality of all people.They have hundreds of certified brands offering everything from beauty and wellness to handicrafts, coffee, honey and more!

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