Last year, Form joined the network of B Corporations, a certification given to brands who meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.
B Corp was founded over a decade ago with a unifying goal to redefine success in business, now bestowed on over 300 companies in the UK and hero brands including Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s in the US. For consumers, it provides much-needed clarity on which brands go beyond profit and seek to make a difference.
Form’s founders Damian Soong and Natalia Bojanic talk more about their commitment to growing a brand with purpose at front and centre.
How does it feel to be the first B Corp-certified UK protein brand?
Damian Soong We’re very proud to be the first UK brand. It’s great to be recognized for how we run our business and the giving model we incorporate. Giving and social responsibility is woven into Form’s DNA – even at our pre-launch, we gave a meal for every sign-up. It’s important to acknowledge the luxury of our position when so many people don’t have the conditions for a healthy life. If our values are about health and wellness, I don’t think we can really ignore that.
Why is Form prioritizing its social and environmental footprint?
Natalia Bojanic We don’t see the point of being a business if you aren’t doing good in the world. In our view, companies have a social, economic and environmental responsibility to bring positive impact to society.
People and planet cannot afford to wait for the government to act. There is too much suffering around us and by turning a blind eye to it, you become part of the problem. If everyone in a position to help thought more about how we could benefit one another, the world would be a better place. That’s our motivation: do the best we can.
What brought you to partner with Bansang Hospital in The Gambia?
DS It’s actually a charity I’d worked with before. In finding the right partner for Form it was imperative for me that we were giving to something tangible, where we could see the effect of every penny going to those in need. The Bansang Hospital Appeal is a fantastic charity making real differences to real lives. We visited in 2018 and it’s an inspirational place where people with so little do so much.
Is social and environmental best practice something you believe all brands should be incorporating into their model at this point?
NB We acknowledge that substantial changes don’t happen overnight and understand that incorporating giving and environmental sustainability into every framework is a more complex issue than that discussed on social media.
However, that does not mean that brands should be slow to act. Consumer appetite for eco-friendly products is fierce, and demand for transparency is a great motivation for traditional brands to rethink and re-structure practices to be less harmful to the environment and bring positive change for future generations.
What criteria do you have to meet to become a B Corporation?
DS It’s a long, rigorous process, but ultimately it covers everything you should be doing in order to run a responsible business. Much of it is obvious: treat your people well, build sustainability into decisions, reduce waste and so on, but as always, the devil is in the detail and you need to have processes and documentation in place that ensure you remain accountable.
How have you implemented environmentally-friendly initiatives into your product offering in recent times?
DS We’ve started rolling out compostable packaging for our protein blends. It’s the first full colour printed compostable stand-up pouch, certified to EN standards, and made with a plant-based biofilm which provides an air barrier to keep your product fresh. And yes, the inks are water-based.
We’re also omitting plastic scoops from our packets, promoting the use of tablespoons instead, have swapped out the air pockets in our shipments with recycled paper and switched to ‘pizza style’ boxes that seal without plastic tape and open easily with a tear strip.
For our nootropics range, we’ve have a reForm end-of-life reuse programme which asks customers to send back their empty glass jars of Edge, Boost and ZZZZs to be sterilized and repurposed in the manufacturing process. In exchange, we offer a complimentary jar of their choosing. It’s a 360 approach to sustainability, one that thinks about every step in the process.