Even before our full website and online marketplace launches in 2017 (at www.Erthie.com), we've been passionate about our mission and designation of Benefit Corporation.
To create an online community and marketplace; where ethical and sustainable businesses are rewarded and consumers create effortless positive impact through their purchasing choices.
If you had the power, what kind of future would you create? One in which ethical businesses are rewarded or made irrelevant through cheap competition? A future where the air and land is clean, or one in which we must fear the water we drink? We have an opportunity to mold our future together in a way that no previous society ever has; through our collective online impact!
You have so much more power than you realize. We live in a capitalist society; one in which cash and consumers are king. We have access to an abundance of choices; choices in the products we buy and the businesses we support.
How does buying a bottle of this shampoo vs that shampoo help shape our future, you ask? Well, what story does each bottle tell? Most of us have no idea beyond the price and the packaging, but these small choices add up. Every dollar we spend every day is shaping our present and our future.
Think of the story you'd like your products to tell; made with safe ingredients, by people of appropriate age being paid a fair living wage, who work in safe conditions free from undue risk or harmful chemicals, and finally distributed and sold by organizations with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility; benefiting local economies at every stage of a product's life cycle (and then being recycled and reused, giving it a new life and purpose).
That's the future we want to help create through Erthie; an online community and marketplace that brings together a diverse and exciting range of products made by ethical, safe, and sustainable businesses. Online shopping shouldn't be a blur of ads and misleading marketing; it should be fun, intuitive, transparent, and provide interactive educational opportunities for consumers about product choice.
If you share our vision, join us! We are so much stronger together
In our pre-launch phase (before we began to generate income), we still wanted to make environmental and community causes a key focus and priority. We were able to plant 725 trees through our campaign with One Tree Planted!
At Erthie.com, we have created the Education & News portal. This portal was launched ahead of the online marketplace so that we could begin making a positive impact. This portal provides access to articles related to environmental news, fair trade, green tech, and more.
Erthie.com will have a Sustainability Agreement (a binding legal agreement) between merchants and Renewable & Sustainable Choices Inc. This agreement will relate to each merchant's qualification for our six trademarked Sustainable Badges (shown below). Each badge will signify a different type of sustainable excellence, and will correspond with recognized third party certifications (such as fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance, and more). Merchants give Erthie permission to verify their certifications with these third party organizations.
For our sustainable merchants, we are going to charge fair and transparent commission fees. These fees will be lower than popular online marketplaces, out of recognition for the lower profit margins of ethical and sustainable brands. We will also offer low 2% flat commission fee to certified Fair Trade merchants, to help increase their positive impact!
After our online marketplace is operational at Erthie.com, we will build the social good factor into the functionality. We want a portion of every sale made on Erthie.com to be set aside in a fund dedicated for social and environmental good. We plan to call this program the "Community Points" program. Customers will accumulate more points with every purchase, which they can then donate to the non-profit of their choice.
After our online marketplace is operational and processing transactions, we plan to apply to be a B-Corp. This is the most well-recognized and respected third part evaluator for benefit corporations, and that's the standard we want for our business.
Benefit Director: Alexa Bartlett
Benefit Officer: Vivekanand Roy
No compensation was paid to either the Benefit Director or Benefit Officer in 2016, since the business was still in pre-launch phase.
Name of each person that owns 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the benefit corporation either beneficially, to the extent known to the benefit corporation without independent investigation, or of record.
Alexa Bartlett: 50%
Vivekanand Roy: 50%