Employee-owned schoolwear manufacturer Rowlinson Knitwear has received its B Corporation certification.

Stockport-based Rowlinson is the only organisation in the schoolwear industry to achieve a B Corp certification for its social and environmental standards, with the company’s B Impact score of 107 making it the highest scoring Certified B Corp in the north of England and Scotland.

Amongst B Corps in the clothing and apparel industry, Rowlinson is ranked first in the UK, second in Europe and 14th worldwide.

Managing director, Neil Ward, commented: “Being a B Corp gives us the lens through which we view our world, sharpening our focus on what matters most today and for future generations too.

“We’re very excited to be part of a global community of change-makers. We plan to deliver even more impact with the products and services we create, the programmes we launch and the people we work with.”

Chair at Rowlinson, Donald Moore, added: “Becoming a Certified B Corp is a truly defining moment in our history. It’s testament to our longstanding focus on responsible practices, and will motivate us to achieve even more positive and enduring change.

“We hope that our commitment to doing business more responsibly will inspire others, and help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”

The B Corp certification addresses a company’s entire business operations covering governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Applicants must reach a minimum benchmark score of over 80, and provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.

Kate Sandle, director of programmes and engagement of B Lab UK, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Rowlinson to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe business really can be a force for good.

“We know that Rowlinson is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.”