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September 2022 was a whirlwind of global news and historical moments – from a new Prime Minister and the British pound hitting its lowest level since 1985, to protests in Iran against the mandatory hijab law, to the death of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Amidst all of this, brands have been busy in the background and we’re bringing our four top stories into the spotlight. To stay up to date on big news from brands with our daily WhatsApp broadcast, just text ‘purpose’ to 07367897583.

Virgin Atlantic scraps gendered uniforms, giving staff ability to choose as part of inclusivity drive


In September, Virgin Atlantic announced that it is scrapping gendered uniforms to reflect the diversity of its workforce. We naturally welcome this change but also note that it’s emblematic of how behind the times the airline industry is (after all, it was only three years ago that Virgin Atlantic dropped mandatory makeup for female cabin crew). The airline is also offering optional pronoun badges for crew and passengers, as well as enabling those with gender neutral markers on their passports to travel using those gender codes with the title Mx. We’re hopeful that this signals accelerated change towards a more inclusive industry.

Read more here –

Retailers launch cost of living initiatives to support staff


Responding to financial pressures, retailers John Lewis, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer launched a series of initiatives to better support their staff. All four retailers are offering free food to staff, while Sainsbury’s has also increased wages for the second time this year to help employees cope with the cost of living. Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are offering increased discounts to their staff, with the latter also providing a £250 shopping voucher to all staff. M&S staff have been given access to free sanitary products and will be able to attend financial planning workshops to provide additional support.

Learn more about John Lewis & Waitrose here –
& Sainsbury’s here –
& M&S here –

The Body Shop rebrands skincare away from ‘harmful’ anti-ageing messaging


The Body Shop announced in September that it was rebranding its leading skincare range to shift away from the harmful anti-ageing narrative in the beauty industry. The brand’s product ‘Drops of Youth’ serum has been renamed ‘Edelweiss’ to maintain The Body Shop’s integrity as an activist B Corp brand. Reflecting a desire to help people age powerfully, the new branding reframes the product and acknowledges that ageing is a privilege. More of this across the industry please.

Read more here –

Patagonia’s owner gives away company to fight climate crisis


We’ve saved the best ‘til last. Patagonia made history this month as founder Yvon Chouinard pledged to give away all future profits to fight the climate crisis. Setting the highest bar in environmental corporate leadership and brand purpose, Patagonia has declared Earth as its ‘only shareholder’ and, each year, the money the company makes after reinvesting in the business will be distributed to a non-profit organisation to fight climate change. We’re blown away by this story and the brand’s incredible commitment to protecting the planet by ‘reimagining capitalism’ and staying loyal to its values.

Find out more here –