At Kester Black we are dedicated to creating positive change in the world. That’s why we’ve built social and environmental sustainability into every practice and process of our business. Our Kester Black Supports series shines a light on other individuals, businesses, and charities that are also going the distance to ensure our global future is a bright one.
TOM Organic is changing the game for Australian women and our environment. This amazing company empowers women to make conscious choices about the products they use at their ‘Time Of the Month’.
Yep, they are awesome. We also love them because, like us, they are one of Australia’s certified B Corporations.
What’s a B Corporation, you ask?
B Corps use business to create a positive social and environmental impact on our world. Qualifying for B Corp isn’t easy. Each company has to pass a rigorous test that assesses governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. As a result, B Corps volunteer to hold themselves to a higher level of accountability. That’s right. B Corps are the good guys.
We spoke to founder Aimee Marks, about why she chose to make TOM Organic the beautiful, ethical company it is today.
Building an ethical business is not always the easiest road for a small business. What inspires you to create and maintain an ethical company?
I was actually inspired to create TOM when I was in high school. It started out as a purely functional design project; ‘How do I solve the issue of tampons falling out in my handbag?’ It quickly grew into something else when I read the ingredients list of conventional tampons.
I realised that they were made from ingredients like synthetics and pesticide sprayed cotton. Basically everything but organic cotton.
We use over 15,000 tampons in a lifetime, and they come in contact with the most absorbent skin in our bodies. I felt a responsibility on behalf of Australian women to ensure all women have access to a pure, organic alternative.
It is the women and the stories they share with us that keeps our engine running.
Why did you go for B Corp certification?
TOM’s mission is to change the way this industry runs and give women an alternative that doesn’t compromise their health or the environment.
I was determined from the start to ensure that TOM would go the extra mile to gain certifications like B Corp, Australian Certified Organic and PETA certified. The B Corp certification specifically means we choose to meet strict standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency and show that ethical values are at the heart of our business.
It’s so fulfilling to know that I have created something that is a force for good in the world.
How has B Corp certification impacted your business?
The B Corp certification forces us as a business to think about our global impact on people and the environment.
The majority of conventional feminine hygiene products are made from a combination of conventional cotton and synthetics like rayon and polyester. Conventional cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops in the world. The chemical treatment of synthetics also leads to environmental destruction.
TOM Organic products are made from pure certified organic cotton. They are hypoallergenic and biodegradable. Organic cotton ensures we are supporting sustainable farming practices that keep synthetic pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified materials out of the air, water and soil.
Further to this, we physically work in the same building as many of Australia’s founding B Corps. So I like to think that we all feed off each other’s good practice and belief in business with purpose.
Why do women love your products?
Our mission is to empower women to live healthier, more fulfilled lives – through buying and living more consciously.
We are transparent about what goes into the products so women can be confident about the choices they make for their health.
The amount of feedback we received in the early days, and even more recently, where women share stories of irritations, rashes and sensitivities that they always thought were the norm at time of month and since using our products have gone, add fuel to our fire.
What’s in the future for TOM Organic?
As a parent, I find myself constantly questioning the world we live in, and the world I want to help create for my children.
We launched Tooshies by TOM our eco baby range last year. We like to think of this as closing off the loop on the next generation right from day dot. I’m constantly inspired to develop innovative new products that make sense for health and the planet.
We want to shape the world we want to live in. A world where women can thrive in every field. A world where unconscious consumerism is not the norm, but instead essential products are directly linked to positive social and environmental impact.