In the wellness and clean beauty realm, companies often use vague terms such as “vegan,” “all-natural,” “non-toxic” and “cruelty free” on packaging. However, these companies rarely go beyond the equally vague promise that their products are “green.” But award-winning CBD brand Prima is different; Prima has just won the highest honor for ethical and sustainable business practices, the B Corporation Certification.
Prima Secures a Coveted B Corp
Prima is a Santa Monica-based company that’s been in business since August,2018. Six months later, Prima secured the largest seed round to-date in the consumer hemp market, an impressive $3.3 million from venture leaders Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau, as well as private institutional investors.
Prima’s first products were launched on June 5, 2019. Achieving B Corp after just 12 months is an impressive feat, considering the fastidious accreditation procedures led by B Lab; B Lab is a nonprofit that bills itself as on a worldwide mission to use “business as a force for good.”
“Prima clearly stands ahead as leaders of credibility, consciousness, sustainability, responsibility and transparency in the fast-developing category of CBD,” said Lindsey Wilson, a senior associate in business development for B Lab. “Prima’s certification shows their unwavering commitment to mission work innovation and consciousness, as they set a course for bold environmental and social action. This showcases their deepest belief and responsibility for achieving a more impactful, equitable, and brighter future.”
Currently, there are more than 3,000 Certified B Corps; for example, ultra-woke corporations such as Ben & Jerry’s are B Corp, as well as companies like Allbirds, Dr. Bronner’s, and Patagonia. B Lab certifies companies spanning across 70 countries and 150 industries. However, Prima is just one of nine CBD companies in the B Corp portfolio.
To achieve its B Corp Certification, Prima had to participate in the B Impact Assessment process; that process evaluates a company’s entire environmental and social performance. The evaluation ranges from its business model’s impact on the company’s employees, the environment, its community, and customers, as well as its supply chain, employee benefits, and charitable giving.
“As one of the first brands in the CBD market to attain this stringent certification, we are setting an example of responsible business practices in our category. Our desire is to inspire a deep and meaningful approach to functional and preventative healthcare,” said Christopher Gavigan, Prima founder and CEO. “Now, more than ever, it’s important that businesses are transparent and accountable for the health of their customers, the environment, and our collective well-being. As an environmentally and socially conscious Public Benefit Company, these are the primary principles that Prima was founded on, and we are now validated with a B Corp Certification.”
About Prima and Its Founders
Prima was founded by Christopher Gavigan and Laurel Angelica Myers in August of 2018. Christopher Gavigan also co-founded The Honest Company, also a B Corp. Doing business for a better world was instilled in Gavigan early on; he worked in Southern California for Patagonia in the late 1990s, where Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard was a mentor.
“Seeing that the Patagonia business model was not focused on growth and profit, but on the ideals, principles, and values of doing the right thing, that lit me up,” said Gavigan. “The fact that you could build a moral compass into the DNA of a business was a very powerful influence for me.”
Myers, a brand and digital media expert, also worked for The Honest Company. Meyer’s unwavering commitment to uplifting businesses is only matched by her ability to do so with integrity.
Rounding out the team is Jessica Assaf, a graduate of the Harvard Business School and 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient. Assaf has been a leading advocate for female empowerment, corporate accountability, safe products, and consumer wellness.
Prima was founded on these six principles:
- Beyond Clean: Prima’s brand-developed ingredient standards encompass a list of more than 2,800 materials and chemicals they will not use. These ingredients have the potential for health and environmental concerns.
- Climate Positive: Prima has achieved a 100% carbon neutral status spanning its entire operation and supply chain. The company is proud to have a Climate Neutral Certified designation. This certification affirms that Prima measures, reduce, and offsets their carbon footprint. In the last year, In fact, Prima’s contribution to verified reforestation projects with carbonfund.org offsets more carbon than the company used.
- Reduce Wisely: Prima continually innovates sustainable packaging, using glass and recyclable materials. 85% of Prima’s packaging is recyclable, 75% is glass, and 14% is made from recycled materials. Finally, Prima packaging contains absolutely no ABS or PVC.
- Source Responsibly: Prima maintains a superior level of accountability and documentation for their supply chain partners. Prima evaluates and audits each and everyone for working conditions, labor policies, and environmental practices to ensure that they have strong values of quality, ethical sourcing, transparency, and fair labor practices.
- Give More: Prima donates 1% of its annual revenue to nonprofits such as the Sierra Club, the Children and Nature Network, and the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation. The goal is to directly fund mission-aligned, positive research, and activities.
- People First: Prima offers comprehensive healthcare for all of its employees, as well as a flexible working environment and equity ownership.
Upholding such high standards isn’t common for CBD companies; in fact, the industry is notorious for a lack of transparency. This is largely due to little oversight by the FDA. According to a recent Leafreport study, 27% of the leading CBD brand products do not have the dosages that they claim on their labels.
“Our hope and my vision is that more for-profit organizations engage this viewpoint, this socially conscious style of operation and this type of business model,” Myers said. “I think it’s the only way we can create change and progress within the private, for-profit business sector. If this viewpoint isn’t a part of how you make business decisions, you should ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ Certainly within the CBD industry, Prima wants to become the North Star for trust and transparency.”
Prima’s Premium CBD Products
The Prima product line includes 11 products with premium, clinically-tested CBD formulas developed by doctors. Prima’s line of CBD supplements and skincare can be purchased online and at retail partners including Erewhon Market, Sephora, and Pharmaca.
“We launched Prima to take CBD out of the shadow market of cannabis and into the wellness market in a meaningful way,” said Prima co-founder Jessica Assaf. “With more than 30 years of combined experience in natural products, Prima is proud to be leading from the heart with best-in-class CBD products, informative content, and human support. Our goal is to evolve this industry with the highest standards and purpose.”