Aisle: Standing Tall for B Corps
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Aisle: Standing Tall for B Corps

by Madeleine Shaw
Aisle: Standing Tall for B Corps

Aisle has never been a traditional business. 

Since 1993, when we created the first groundbreaking collection of professionally made cloth menstrual pads and period underwear, Aisle has put people and impact first. Becoming a Certified B Corp in 2012 was a natural step for us to quantify and demonstrate our commitment to a regenerative way of doing business. We wanted to become part of a global community of companies committed to using business to make the world a better place.

What is a B Corporation? 

For folks new to B Corps, we like to think of them as the ‘Jedi Knights’ of impact business. Star Wars metaphors aside, B Corps are for-profit companies that have undertaken a rigorous 360-degree assessment of their social and environmental impacts, and must achieve a threshold score to qualify. Aisle has proudly been a ‘Best for the World’ B Corp (top 10% of all B Corps worldwide) four times, and with a score of 117.3, is currently the top-ranked period care B Corp in the world. 

As a B Corp, our business philosophy isn’t focused on ‘winning’ by traditional business standards. Our focus is on offering world-class, ethically-made, sustainable, performance-driven products that deliver a better experience of menstruation for everyone who needs them.

The founders of Aisle standing in from of singage that reads "The 2016 Best For The World Nominees" at a B Corp conference in 2016

The Mother tree of period care

To borrow a metaphor from the work of renowned forest ecologist and author Dr. Suzanne Simard, Aisle is like a “Mother tree”, meaning that it has been foundational to the flourishing of an entire ecosystem: in our case the natural period care ecosystem. Mother trees support vast networks of offspring and other plants and trees, leveraging their strength and wisdom for the long-term best interests of the entire forest.

Dr. Simard’s groundbreaking insight was that trees in forests do not grow in a Darwinian-style competition with one another for sunlight, water and nutrients. Rather, her revolutionary 1997 research proved that trees are in fact enmeshed in a ‘wood-wide web’ of mutual support, sharing these nourishing elements, as well as information, via a vast, intricate network of fungi intertwined with the trees’ root systems. The forest’s health is thus predicated on mutuality, not competition. 

Equity and sustainability

Like Mother trees, for over three decades, Aisle has been dedicated to “menstrual justice” or “period equity” - advocating for social inclusion and equity so that all people with periods can menstruate with dignity. Rather than seeing our impact projects and mentorship of other leaders as a ‘give back’, we see the countless initiatives we have created and participated in as a central purpose.

All the while, we have been committed to doing more than just talking the talk when it comes to sustainability, transparency and supply chain ethics. We have remained steadfast in our commitment to sustainable textiles, ethical production and fair wages. 

Aisle period underwear,  menstrual cups, and reusable pads help divert waste and reduce energy consumption.

At this critical time in human history Aisle is committed to sustainable choices for the collective, long-term good. To us, taking a stand for a better future for everyone is what being a B Corp embodies.

- Suzanne and Madeleine, Aisle Co-founders 

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