The Future of the Eco-Friendly Promotional Products Industry
with Denise Taschereau & Sarah White of Fairware
What does the future of the eco-friendly promotional products industry hold? This is the question that co-founders Denise Taschereau (CEO) and Sarah White (COO) of Fairware are pondering during this unique time in our history. Fairware helps businesses to better engage their customers, employees, and partners through the creation of sustainable custom-branded products. They ensure that a business’s promotional merchandise helps tell their story and animate their brand.
While working as the director of sustainability for Canada’s largest outdoor retailer, Denise recognized a major gap in the promotional merchandise space. She noticed how difficult it was to source promotional merchandise that reflected the environmental and social concerns of many of the brands she personally admired.
Fairware officially launched in Sarah’s garage in 2005. Fast forward 15 years to today, they now have a bustling community in Vancouver, British Columbia, enhanced by the B-Corporation community, of which they have been a part for a decade. Not many organizations can say they have had that certification for so long, which demonstrates that they are clearly an example of a leading socially responsible business.
Certified in 2010, Fairware is proud to be a founding member of the Canadian B Corp. They’ve been committed to business as a force for good since day one.
They are also deeply involved in the activism side of the B-Corporation community. Sarah in particular has been heavily involved in We the Change, a movement that focuses on promoting women- and LGBTQ+-owned businesses. While they have always prioritized climate change action, they are now interested and hopeful to see how the future will promote businesses that are focused on both sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In our episode, we discuss what Denise and Sarah have taken away from being a part of the B-Corp community for 10 years as well as tips they can provide from having gone through their certification and re-certification processes.
We talk about their thoughts and philosophies regarding ethical sourcing and where they believe this industry is headed. We also reflect on the early days of Fairware. What helped them to gain early traction? How did they grow as a business to create what is the immense and admirable social and environmental impact they have today?
Want more episodes focussed on leading B Corp e-commerce companies? Listen to:
- #80 – How to Stop Mindless Consumption in E-Commerce with Anders Ankarlid, CEO of A Good Company
- #82 – How Sustainable Product Design Creates a Circular Economy with Jeremy Lang, Founder of Pela Case
- #61 – From Wall Street to B Corp: The Transition from CPA to CEO of a Thriving Conscious Company with David Kahl, CEO of Fully
Fairware co-founders Denise Taschereau (left) and Sarah White (right)
“You can sell a great ethically made, sustainable T-shirt, but if they don’t have a great experience in how that gets delivered from beginning to end of the sales cycle, they don’t necessarily come back if the T-shirt was great. Don’t forget the basics because that is what will really keep you going over the long haul as a company.” -Denise Taschereau
- Fairware’s involvement in the activism side of the B-Corporation community
- Insights they’ve gained from being a certified B Corp for 10 years
- Tips on the B Corp certification and re-certification process
- Their thoughts and philosophies on ethical sourcing
- The beginnings of Fairware and their evolution in the past 15 years
- The urgency to address the intersection between sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s political climate
Our Latest Episodes & Show Notes:
Listen in to one of our recent episodes with a change-makin’ social entrepreneur.
#104 – The Past, Present, & Future of Positive Social Change with Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief of Stanford Social Innovation Review
The Past, Present, & Future of Positive Social Change with Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief of Stanford Social Innovation ReviewBonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: Eric has held the post of editor-in-chief of the Stanford Social Innovation...
#102 – What is Storytelling & Why is it So Important for Social Entrepreneurs? With Adam Force, Co-Founder of Change Creator
What is Storytelling & Why is it So Important for Social Entrepreneurs? with Adam Force, Co-Founder of Change CreatorBonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: After having worked for WebMD as the director of strategic marketing for ten...
#101 – How Social Enterprises Can Scale Impact Through Corporate Partnerships with Mark Horoszowski, CEO & Co-Founder of MovingWorlds
How Social Enterprises Can Scale Impact Through Corporate Partnerships with Mark Horoszowsk, CEO & Co-Founder of MovingWorldsBonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: Nearly a decade ago, MovingWorlds originally began as an organization seeking...
#98 – How to Start, Fund, & Grow a Social Enterprise with Tom Dawkins, Co-Founder & CEO of StartSomeGood
How to Start, Fund, & Grow a Social Enterprisewith Tom Dawkins, Co-Founder & CEO of StartSomeGood Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: Tom Dawkins is co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood, a global crowdfunding platform and education...
#94 - How to Build an Adventure Volunteer Tour Companywith Adam Kunes, Founder of Have Fun Do Good Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: Coming out of college, Adam Kunes was working for the Man on that 9-5 grind that just provided him with...
#92 – How Conscious Investing & Spending Impacts Our Environment with John Treadgold, Communications Consultant & Founder of the Good Future Podcast
#92 - How Conscious Investing & Spending Impacts Our Environmentwith John Treadgold, Communications Consultant & Host of the Good Future Podcast Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: How can our choices around spending and investing impact...
#91 - How to Boost Giving in the Workplacewith Rachel Klausner, CEO & Founder of Millie Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: Millennials may not be the most fiscally responsible generation, but they are certainly socially responsible and...
#88 – How to Turn a Sustainable Product into a Sustainable Movement with Matt Wittek, Founder of Fill it Forward
#88 - How to Turn a Sustainable Product into a Sustainable Movementwith Matt Wittek, CEO & Founder of Fill it Forward Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: How do you turn a sustainable product into a sustainable movement? This is the...
#86 - How Just One Percent Makes a Differencewith Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet Bonus Material: Download the Companion for this EpisodeSubscribe: In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created 1% for...