Purpose At Work: How Sk*p Beauty Is Challenging The Beauty Industry Even if It’s Inconvenient

In order to understand the genesis of the startup Sk*p, you have to start with its elder half-sibling, Farmacy Beauty.

And that starts, not in a boardroom, but out in the wild. Mark Veeder, co-founder of the three-month-old Sk*p brand of personal care products, has the rare distinction of having discovered a plant in 2008. It was a heretofore uncatalogued strain of echinacea that was blooming bright green. “I knew that green was a healing color,” Veeder says. “And I knew that echinacea didn’t bloom green.”

He patented the plant and had it tested. “It turns out that the plant…


Purpose At Work: How Today, I’m Brave Rallies Media Companies To Support BIPOC Youth

No one brand or organization can solve the world’s problems on its own. When collaborators gather around a common purpose, great impact can prevail. Similarly, by presenting opportunities for other organizations to do something meaningful, you can establish a role for yourself as a leader. An excellent example of an organization bringing people and companies together around youth empowerment is Today, I’m Brave. The non-profit brought together individual donors and over 100 media companies to offer $1,500 scholarships to fund low-income and BIPOC youth to attend Brave Camp, a transformative week-long intensive to inspire self-confidence through immersive wilderness experiences.

The…


Purpose At Work: How Ibex Outdoor Clothing Activates its Purpose from “Sheep to Shelf”

Ibex Outdoor Clothing is striving to make its environmental footprint as soft as the Merino sheep from which it derives its 100 percent high-performance men’s and women’s wool activewear. Because, second only to oil, the apparel industry accounts for some 10 percent of global carbon emissions.

“Even though we contribute only a small fraction to that number,” the company says, “we know that everyone has a choice — and we’re taking action.” Partnering with its entire global supply chain, it’s measuring — and steadily decreasing — its carbon footprint through more clean and regenerative processes, as well as some offsets.


Purpose At Work: Lessons From Dove On Joining Cultural Conversation Around Black Lives Matter

Purpose is now a social currency that consumers expect from the brands they buy from. In fact, Unilever found that within its portfolio, 28 Sustainable Living Brands with actionable commitments to social and environmental causes scaled 69% faster than brands without a stated purpose in 2018. Those purpose-driven brands were responsible for 75% of Unilever’s total growth. It goes to show the power of marrying purpose and profit if you want to compete in today’s marketplace. With overwhelming challenges like COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the climate crisis, such purpose commitments are more important now than ever before.

On August…


Purpose At Work: Freight Farms, a Boston Startup Growing Global Solutions to Food Insecurity & Injustice

In 2010, entrepreneurs Brad McNamara and Jon Friedman planted the seeds intended to boost “urban agriculture” to become a more viable and competitive alternative in the food industry. They put ‘We’ First, focusing on rooftop hydroponic greenhouses. What that really meant was a focus on parts of the country that couldn’t support traditional farming methods.

Now, their company, Freight Farms, is the world’s leading manufacturer of container farming technology. Today the company is a model of Lead With We best practices, working as it does to empower anyone to grow food for their own community.

Those communities Freight Farms has…


Purpose At Work: How Kevin’s Natural Foods Leads a Clean Eating Revolution

Kevin’s Natural Foods of Stockton, California seems like one of those classic near-overnight success stories of business legend and lore. The first natural and health-focused refrigerated entrée brand in the nation, Kevin’s recorded $4.5 million in sales during its first quarter of operation.

“We shipped our first product of Kevin’s in August of 2019,” co-founder Kevin McCray tells We First. “And this year, we’re on track to do $100 million in sales.”

In fact, by the end of 2021, Kevin’s projects that it will be in more than 12,000 retail locations, having added 6,000 in its first 12 months. …


Purpose At Work: The Ad Council’s Critical Voice in Leading National Cultural Conversations

It would be almost impossible for anyone living in the US for the past four generations to have never encountered the ubiquitous logo of The Advertising Council. Commonly known as the Ad Council, its little square emblem appears at the end of, or the bottom of, so many iconic campaigns that it might be easy to take those ads’ creator for granted.

So, what exactly does the Ad Council do? The short answer is that it plays a primary role in messaging people about the critical challenges we all care most about. How? In short, through PSA’s: Public Service Announcements…


Purpose At Work: How Imperfect Foods is Growing Solutions to a $400 Billion (Hidden) Problem

So, you’re a food grower, manufacturer, or distributor. And you have a major dilemma.

An item gets discontinued and you’re stuck with a hundred gross. Or the packaging changes and somebody’s marketing department won’t have old news on store shelves. Or the item’s short-coded: although perfectly safe, the “best by” date of that certain carton is deemed “too soon” by conventional retailers.

Or you have a surplus of stuff: way too much rice or chicken or wild-caught salmon earmarked for cruise ships now suddenly docked during a pandemic.

Or maybe there’s a bunch of loose ends and broken pieces left…


Purpose At Work: How The Home Depot Is Empowering Everyone to Live Sustainably

After “months in the making,” says Ron Jarvis, chief sustainability officer for The Home Depot, there’s a new, large-scale sustainability report from the company. It was developed in collaboration with a broad spectrum of stakeholders to respond to two kinds of their concerns: for those who want transparency, and for those who demand action. Both of those concerns hinge on the company’s goals and impact.

In terms of impact derived from Lead With We efforts, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that matches DIY-giant The Home Depot. We know this because it transparently reports on its progress at least…


Purpose At Work: Is One Small Company Trying to “Eclipse” the Brightest Stars in the Dairy Industry?

At 11:49 PM on an otherwise ordinary January 26th, a bearded man was burning the midnight oil in a food lab. He had worked at 16 Michelin star restaurants, was named a Zagat 30 Under 30, and was twice nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award. Tonight, though, he was a scientist.

He heard a weird noise in the mixer into which he’d tried thousands of iterations of ingredients and processes — like Edison seeking a filament for the light bulb…

Simon Mainwaring

CEO We First Inc, author NYT's bestseller We First, strategic corporate consultant and trainer, father, Australian, optimist.

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