BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS
5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO JOLIJN CREUTZBERG – FOUNDER AND CEO AT VANHULLEY
The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that improving human lives and taking care of the environment are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.
At Blyde we believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In our weekly Wake Up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and businesses speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ today: changemaker Jolijn Creutzberg – founder and CEO at Vanhulley – A sewing workshop where women make boxer shorts and mouth masks from old clothes. The women – who often don’t have the right papers for their ambition in the labor market – are given the opportunity to develop through training and guidance.
What was your wake-up call for contributing to a better world?
Actually, I had already started Vanhulley, as a place to make boxer shorts out of worn-out shirts. However, at a certain moment I realized that the impact on the women sewing the shirts was much more unique than the shirts themselves. That was the moment I shifted my mission by putting the women more central. The boxer shorts became rather the means to the end goal of providing the women a better and more financially sustainable future. Meanwhile, all of our – more than forty – products are still entirely made from materials that already existed, so we are still contributing to a better planet as well.
What is your call to action for companies around the globe?
Dare to make a difference, by always questioning the status quo, and by trying unexpected ways. It enriches yourself, your company and everyone around you. Just start doing it. You’ll learn along the way.
Which of the sustainable development goals do find most important, and why?
Goal #8 is the heart of what Vanhulley wants to achieve: sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. We see this happening every day in our company. The women that work at Vanhulley have the potential, ambition, and a strong willingness to contribute to society, but they lack the right papers, education or network. Therefore, they are missing out. At Vanhulley they follow training, gain work experience and build a network. This way we open new doors together.
Let us fast-forward to 2030. Where do you envision Vanhulley to be?
Vanhulley will be a worldwide brand – providing work and education in small self-supporting companies. Providing opportunities to anyone who wishes to work with us, whilst producing uniquely designed products from waste materials.
If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why?
I would like to invite the European Union to join, wouldn’t that make a huge difference ;-)?