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Rowlinson Knitwear: ‘If Corrie can, then why can’t we?’

March 2021 by Maudie Cooper

Rowlinson Knitwear is a prime example of how a smaller company can make waves environmentally. Both a certified B Corp, and in the process of getting ready to roll out their Carbon Literacy course, we thought we’d have a chat with their Sustainability Representative, Beth Moore, as part of B Corp month.

 

In your own words, what is a B Corp?

‘It’s like a tri-force of people, planet and profit, they’ve all got to be on the same level, you can’t put one above the other. Looking after your people and the planet and gaining recognition for that. Because it’s not an easy process to go through. 

‘I’ve found it easier in a smaller business, there’s only 60 of us at Rowlinson, so when I need to find specific information, it is easy to get stuff back with a decent turnaround.’

How long have you been a B Corp?

‘We got B Corp certified in 2020. We just decided to really go for it and put the time in when the pandemic hit and people were being furloughed. But we are actually looking to push out our Carbon Literacy training material, to the rest of the business in the next month or so.’

So, do you think B Corps and Carbon Literacy can go hand in hand? 

‘B Corps are obviously so important. And yeah you can be B Corp and care as much as you want, but if you don’t understand your own impact and what it means, or what carbon emissions and footprints mean, then you’re going to be missing a trick having as much impact as you could. Carbon Literacy was so important to me to just get the basic information down. And learning about how social justice and injustice tie into it. It would be difficult to make a bigger change if you weren’t Carbon Literate. The education piece is just so key.

‘It’s cool that ITV and Coronation Street are Carbon Literate. If Corrie can, then why can’t we? It makes it seem more achievable if it’s on your back door. Smaller businesses are the essential building blocks to making greater change.’

Where do you think Carbon Literacy could change your sector?

‘I think it would change, but if it doesn’t bring in profit then they are not interested. The Carbon Literacy aspect is often on the back burner.

‘We are planning on setting up a Carbon Literacy Hub to talk about this — pushing it out to schools, so that kids can become Carbon Literate, and amending the training so that it is a bigger picture reaching wider audiences, rather than just individual training for staff.’

Do you think there is a hole in the sustainability world that still needs plugging?

‘For me it is the whole Carbon Literacy thing gaining more traction now. Something that is so inherently important. How are you supposed to reach net-zero when you don’t understand how to go about that?

‘It sounds a bit harsh but it should be almost compulsory!’

So what’s next?

‘We are planning the delivery for our Carbon Literacy training— we have this one activity that asks one question in 2 ways,  ‘In 2050 what will the world look like?’ And they have to imagine the perfect scenario and the worst scenario, and utilise all their senses aware of what life would be like around them, what it would taste, smell, feel, sound like. From there, we deliver the rest of the training with the future in mind.’

 

If you’re part of an organisation that would like to get involved with Carbon Literacy, please get in touch – we can’t wait to hear from you.

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