We are not going to sit here and call ourself an ethical company, because so many brands have no shame saying that and even writing that on all of their product even if their company is anything but ethical.
No company is perfect, but I would rather spend my dollars where they strive to be the best in every sense possible.
Get off my broom is not perfect, and I know that mistakes will be made as we start the company, but we have a charter that we will always look to as the standard that we will strive to achieve each day.
Here are some of our golden rules and what exactly we mean by them.
These rules will change and be amended with the times and adapt to changing circumstances and concerns of our communities.
The blood that runs through our veins, our values, shaped by our thirst for justice and fairness.
We understand that profit is a big part of starting a business, and those who say otherwise are not honest with you or themselves.
This being true does not excuse forsaking fundamental human values.
We believe that we can still make for-profit and stand up for what we believe in.
Working for Lush Cosmetics stirred me in that direction.
1. Stay Political
We were first terrified to be even the slightest bit political when it came to my image. We see how the terms SJW and Canceled culture are being thrown around by people who are just sick of being held accountable for the actions and privilege.
A friend, however, reminded me that as a black woman, everything I do is political. Whenever I accomplish something, I enter statistics that I was designed to stay out of and stay out of statistics I was expected to enter.
Being political is not even a question for me because the choice was decided for me at birth.
2. Practice empathy
I believe that at some point in our evolution, humans (pre-historic), plants, and animals were connected. The fact that witches and magicians could sense what each plant could cure, physically and spiritually, without using modern science equipment leads me to believe that our empathy was way more vital and even more complex than we can ever imagine.
Empathy is the number one tool used by any practitioner of spiritual crafts. We have to make ourselves and our egos smaller every time to feel connected to the rest of the universe. It's only that way we can make decisions that serve the whole and not just the individual.
3. Fair and ethical trade
Fair and ethical trade is very personal to us, coming from a "third world" country and seeing our resources being plundered by the west while our people stay poor and then realizing that it's like that in most " third world" countries. We put quotes around the third world because it's the countries that ensured that they stayed poor that coined the name 'third world.'
We know that these countries are actually quite rich, and if they were paid fair prices for what they offer, they would frankly surpass the west in all the ways imaginable.
We will strive at "Get off My broom" to give selling power back to the manufacturers, negotiate fair prices so that they can make a real profit, and they can start rebuilding their land.
We are not as arrogant as to think that Get off my broom alone will save the world, but as companies like Lush Cosmetics inspired us, We hope to encourage new businesses to do the same.
Our First shop is based in Brussels. We are aware that charity does not just happen abroad; countless organizations are doing their best each day to fight injustice or provide basic necessities to the less fortunate. We will vow to empower any community around us in the best ways we can. As much as we can, we will also get supplied locally for a circular economy.
4. Community Empowerment
5. Encourage Local Collaboration
6. Honouring Cultures
Every culture in the world has a spiritual heritage, and I know first hand and have heard how hurtful it is when people toy, ridicule, misuse, and or make a profit from a culture they do not comprehend or even respect.
Though Get off my broom will not represent one particular spiritual set of beliefs, we will always try to be sensitive to cultural appropriation and/ or disrespect. We do that by seeking opinions from the affected culture. We will also make sure that our staff is always diverse enough to have these conversations daily.
Speaking of staff, Employees are the heartbeat of any company; the thought of not valuing employees seems non-sensical to us.
Since we have been employees to companies that treated everyone as expendable, all for the sake of cutting costs and making more profit for the people at the very top that understand the importance of being valued.
I come from the fact that I am not a dragon; I do not hoard riches because I will certainly not bring them to the grave with me. I believe a company can thrive while making sure its employees are also thriving. Also, basic economics, well-paid employees are better for the economy so...
7. Employee Wellbeing
8. Celebrate Differences
Whether it's our customer base or our employees, diversity in the workplace is non-negotiable; it's only by having the most diverse staff that we can deliver products and services that do not discriminate.
We want to make sure we don't use such easy cop-out as "we don't see color or All lives matter" we are aware that we all come from different walks of life with different experiences. It's only by having honest discussions about our experiences that we can achieve true equality.
As a witch, it's almost impossible not to feel for our earth and do not want to contribute to its demise. We vow to always evolve into packaging and business dealing that will not cause harm to the environment.
We will always update our customers about the changes and our efforts to have a trustworthy eco-savvy business. We know that being 100% eco-friendly is costly and difficult, especially for new startups, but we vow always to do what's in our power at the time.
10. The right to seek profit
We are a transparent and honest company, but these words don't even have weight anymore when you can slap that sticker on a bottle as you see fit.
Transparency is also calling a business what it is; a means to make a profit.
The goal is financial independence is how I believe people can achieve some freedom in the world, and if you can access that freedom while offering a product that makes people happy, I don't see why you should.
I will be as transparent as I can, especially about respecting and living up to our ethos.
11 . Pay Taxes
We know how tempting it is, especially here in Belgium, not to pay our fair share in taxes. I have lived in a country where rich people avoid at all costs pay their taxes and where everything from prison to hospitals is privatized. Coming to Belgium and even being outraged as an independent about all the taxes I had to pay, I still think I am happy that I can go to the hospital and not end up in debt for the rest of my life and if taxes are what it takes to give people security then so be it.
12. Change with The Times
Last but definitely not least, We vow always to amend our charter as times evolve. We count on being here for the long term. Therefore we will adapt to new laws and new social issues. We will always listen and adjust accordingly.
This charter is a Living Document.
We hope you have a better understanding of what kind of company we will try to be with this article. If you have any questions, we will always answer to the best of our ability, and in return, we ask for some grace and empathy because we are just starting, and we are far from perfect.