Kitsbow becomes employee owned and aims for B Corp status

Kitsbow has revealed that from January 3, it was purchased from previous shareholders by its employees.

Starting 10 years ago, Kitsbow has increased its production with a shift to US production in 2019 with a complete stop to offshore-made clothing in 2021. Employee-owned companies give employees greater influence over how the company should function and in Kitsbows It seems, that it will create more ethical and responsible practices. In its PR, it listed some of the previous initiatives that the current management has taken on, including:

– Training of a workforce with no previous experience in manufacturing premium clothing
– Helps build trails in Old Fort for access for all
– Manufacture of 180,000 hand-sewn masks for first-aiders and doctors and ultimately the general public
– To make clothes in a sustainable way to better protect the planet
– Build and operate a unique retail service with excellent and healthy food made locally, free public toilets and free parking during horseback riding / hiking
– Host of the first bike shop in Old Fort in recent memory
– Use only compostable materials in all shipping and packaging
– And create generous employee benefits, such as 100% health insurance paid for by the company, yoga on site, refunded footwear, subsidized food and more

The sale included an obligation to retain the majority of the ownership in the hands of the company’s employees in the future.

In addition to employee ownership, Kitsbow has also announced its goal achieve B Corp status and it has become a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). In its press release, Kitsbow states that it is a PBC: “empowers the management of the organization to embrace ‘social and public goods’ for both customers and employees, while operating responsibly and sustainably, and places the interests of shareholders on an equal footing. Diversity and inclusion are also values ‚Äč‚Äčthat have entered into the legal structure and purpose of a PBC. “

Becoming certified B Corp is not an immediate process that looks at a company’s social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It can often take a year or longer for certification, but with the new ownership, work has begun on receiving a B Corp certification.

great quotes When the opportunity to buy the brand and all of its assets became available, the employee management was unanimous in doing so as a public purpose company, and immediately began the process of certification as a B Corp. We have embraced social and public good since we landed in North Carolina to make clothes, so it was a natural step to take.David Billstrom, CEO of Kitsbow

great quotes We begin the new year with a bang, not only with employee ownership, but also with a promise to sell clothing made only in the United States. We sold the last of our offshore-made clothing at the end of last year, and from now on, except for gloves and socks, all of our clothing will be made in the United States. It really is a very new year.Jessie Inglis, Production Director at Kitsbow


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