What it Means to be a B Corp: Descalza

Company: Descalza
Headquarters: North Carolina
Industry: Apparel
Final B Corp Score: 90.2

Descalza is a handcrafted, made to measure, clothing brand that collaborates with artisans in Latino America and local seamstresses in North Carolina to create vibrant statement pieces that celebrate being “de aquí y de allá.” We recently asked Carolina Arias, founder and CEO of Descalza, to share their B Corp story and this is what she had to say.

Why was B Corp Certification important for you?

When I first launched the company in 2017, there was a tweet made about us that we were “appropriating our own culture.” I knew that tweet was the opposite of what I was doing, but it hurt me knowing that anyone would ever think I would appropriate my own culture or anyone else’s. That’s why this certification was important. I wanted to go through the process to prove to myself and others that we are a business that will forever put people over profit. Our intentions are genuine and this certification helped validate them to our future customers and stakeholders.

What did you learn from the certification process?

I learned that the B Corp community genuinely wants to see you succeed. When I first did the assessment I was overwhelmed and intimidated by the questions and the required documentation. That’s when I reached out to a friend who told me about the B Clinic at NC State. From there I kept meeting more people in the B Corp community and eventually created a small but mighty tribe who were cheering us on to get certified and helping us in any way they could. Through this experience, I learned that even though the documentation may seem intimidating, the community is the opposite. They’re great people with kind hearts that want to see you achieve certification!

How did your company change through the certification process?

Now that Descalza is certified, we definitely have a better system for documenting our impact and storing it in one location. We also have a strong foundation of well-thought-out policies for when we welcome employees to the company.

In your own words, what does it mean to be a B Corp?

For me, B Corp means that you’re making a promise to the people you work with, the land that you live in, and to yourself that you’re going to continue to use your business as a force for good. That no matter what, in the good times and in the bad times, you’ll always lead with the intention to make our Earth a better place for everyone who calls her home.

What advice would you give to others considering certification?

I would tell them to give it a try and go through the process. It’s a lengthy one filled with all sorts of paperwork, but that’s why you should go for it. As the founder, you’re challenged to think critically and intentionally about your choices and how you run your business. Also, you don’t have to go through the process alone. There are so many great people and resources that can help you along the way. That’s the beauty of the B Corp community. They want to see you get certified!

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

Just that I greatly appreciate the entire Cultivating Capital team for believing in us and being our rock through this entire process!

Join the Community

Whether you’re just learning about B Corps or are already far along your journey, you’ll find opportunities to improve your impact as a business by getting certified or recertified as a B Corp.

If you have questions or would like to talk about B Corp certification, please get in touch with us using the form below.