Direct-to-consumer startups are all trying to make a mark, but, NJ-based Boll & Branch is truly being celebrated for changing the world. In just five years, the luxury bedding brand has emerged as the world’s largest consumer of Organic Fair Trade Certified cotton, ranked number one in the 2018 Textile Exchange Preferred Fibre and Materials Benchmark. The socially and environmentally conscious startup has used millions of pounds of raw organic cotton to make its luxury bedding products, and further holds itself to rigorous Fair Trade practices. The brand’s commitment is not only shaping the industry, it’s resonating with consumers, who have propelled the startup to exceed a $100 mn run rate in less than five years.
“Before selling a single product, we spent a year and a half ensuring we built out a transparent and ethical supply chain,” said Boll & Branch CEO and co-Founder Scott Tannen.”From the very beginning, we made the conscious choice to use only 100 per cent organic cotton and worked very hard to ensure Fair Trade — meaning safer working conditions, no child labour, and fair treatment and pay for all of our workers. I am humbled and proud to be recognised amongst brands I admire, such as Patagonia and Nike.”
By setting the benchmark and encouraging others in the industry, Boll & Branch is committed to helping the Earth and humanity by leading the industry in the use of not only organic, but Fair Trade cotton. The luxury brand is steadfast in its commitment to its farmers, who earn premiums that can be allocated as cash, used for a collective social investment, or both. In a region of the world where the inhumane treatment of workers, unsafe work environments, forced/bonded labourers and unfair wages have become hallmarks of the conventional cotton supply chain, Boll & Branch supports the livelihoods of thousands of textile workers by mandating fair wages and business practices.
“With the disastrous effects of climate change becoming more and more prevalent, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of our impact on the planet,” added Tannen. “We are meticulous in regard to our production process, ensuring we are doing right by the world, every step of the way.”
Boll & Branch has built its brand and staked its reputation in part on the elimination of harmful toxins from its products and from its entire manufacturing process. The company is careful to make sure its cotton is grown in ways that develop healthier soil and protect natural resources by being watered with rain and fertilized with manure, and by using marigolds as pest deterrents. This creates a safer alternative for farmers, factory workers and the environment as a whole – not to mention the end product, which is free of pesticides, insecticides and GMOs.