2020 - 2021 YTD
Sustainability is an ever-evolving commitment for twelveNYC. It’s woven into everything we do - from seeking the latest solutions for the offices we occupy, the products we design, and the stories we deliver for our clients. We believe that a sustainably minded product should never have to compromise design integrity, and with that, we are pleased to share our 2nd Annual Sustainability & Responsibility Report.
While the world was reeling from the shockwaves of the pandemic, we naturally rolled up our sleeves and got to work. For our first report last year, we were just getting started, setting ourselves up with lofty goals to gain momentum.
Through all the trials and tribulations of 2020, we surpassed every goal we set for ourselves:
- We continued on a path to growth and hired a Global Supply Chain Manager to help us build out a world-class supply chain process. This keeps us and our partners accountable and able to push the envelope. Like many other businesses, this year, we were able to transition to a completely remote work environment. Every employee was able to work from home and the entire office went - and will remain - 100% paperless.
- Certain goals, like energy and waste reduction, we met naturally while we sent our employees home to work remotely. Others, like our sustainable material swatch library, were forced to become a virtual resource as we no longer had the ability to touch and feel fabrics and samples . Our teams leaned into each other, connecting the dots locally, sharing resources, supporting communities, always in pursuit of innovative R&D and factory partnerships.
- We doubled down on our community impact, establishing an internal committee of volunteers across two continents and increasing our total donation value 200%. We donated over 150,000 masks during the pandemic to hospitals and organizations in need, teaming up with organizations like Voyage Youth UK, as well as The SoGal Foundation to champion the Black Founder Startup Grant. Over the past year, through financial and service-based commitments, we have forged new partnerships with a myriad of organizations across NYC and London.
Our mission is to be a thought partner and educational resource to our clients, by delivering impactful, responsible product that evokes optimism, tells a story, and holds the power to spark real change.
WHO WE ARE
FOUNDED IN 2005
Within 16 years, we have become the partner of choice for the world’s leading brands through an integrated, white glove approach, that has fostered long term relationships.
WOMEN OWNED AND LED
twelveNYC is 100% women owned, with a 94% female make up across the globe.
Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, our teams operate from 3 continents, with offices in London, Hong Kong, and coming soon, Paris and Los Angeles.
$50M+ 2020 REVENUE
Revenue is up 26% YOY, despite COVID-19. We have achieved this growth without dedicated sales heads and outbound lead generation efforts.
ALWAYS ON THE MOVE
Inc5000’s “Fastest-Growing Companies in America” (2018, 2019, 2020), Crain’s
“50-Fastest-Growing Companies in New York” (2018, 2019, 2020), Women Presidents'
Organization’s “50 Fastest-Growing, Women-Led/Owned Companies In America” (2017,
2018, 2019, 2020),
Financial Times "The Americas' Fastest Growing Companies" (2020),
Female Founder Collective(FFC) Member,
Official Patron of the British Beauty Council.
Our Approach to Sustainability
Our Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals:
The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States, is a framework for businesses and leadership to create real change. twelveNYC aims to be a more inclusive business, to drive innovation across the industry and to solve global challenges through ethical business practices.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive & sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Through our solutions-driven process, we are here to add value to every angle of your equation:
Our in-house sustainability team acts as a thought partner through every step of the process to identify creative opportunities & provide:
- Life cycle analysis
- Certification research
- Material data sheets
- Trend presentations
- Consulting for client programs
- & much more...
We take a custom approach to balance responsible products with innovative design.
- Product lifespan considered at initial creative stages
- Identify creative solutions within your budget
- Quality-driven design
- In-office eco swatch library
- Reusable, repurposed, and upcycled
- Avoiding “greenwashing” and “wish-cycling”
We are continuously identifying resource-reducing opportunities within our supply chain:
- Sustainable pack outs
- Reuse of packaging materials
- Material regulations testing
- Neutralizing global carbon emissions
- Extensive factory audit processes
We offset 100% of carbon emissions on all shipments globally and domestically in partnership with FedEx, UPS and CarbonFund. Our efforts are creating direct impact through the following projects:
- 2019: Truck Stop Electrification Project
- 2020: Wind Energy Project in Zhengbei, China
- 2021: Kenya Burn Stoves Project
What to Expect
Over the last 15 months, our teams have collected data, implemented innovative practices, met with external stakeholders, and reviewed our internal policies to aggregate the information outlined in this year’s report.
Here are the topics we will be covering:
Design & DevelopmentSustainable-Driven Materials Sourcing Innovative Packaging Design
Efficiencies & Emissionsshipping carbon footprint
supply chain management
People & CommunityEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
HUMAN RIGHTS AND COMMUNITY IMPACT
We collected data from Ecovadis and B Corp to measure how we are performing against others in our industry. Doing so helped us identify areas for improvement and allows for transparency in our decision-making for the future.
Here is how we measure up
Design & Development
Sustainable-Driven Materials Sourcing
Innovative Packaging Design
Developed a Material Library and Database:
We developed an extensive material swatch library, which includes swatches categorized as zero-waste, plant-based, post-consumer recycled, compostable, and more. This in-house swatch library is organized by type and impact. In addition, we compiled both a sustainable glossary and specified material data sheets, which include sustainable materials, terms and manufacturing processes, to reference in development.
over 85% of our
beauty programs use Sustainable
We Made More Sustainable Products
We believe that sustainably driven design should never have to sacrifice style. twelveNYC can make anything, but we think sustainability is the new status quo. It is our goal to offer better-for-the-planet options for every client. You might be surprised what we can make to be sustainable
Employed Life Cycle Analysis
We understand products make an impact, so we offer life cycle assessments on client programs that are looking to gain clarity. This is offered in the earliest creative stage to minimize manufacturing waste for samples. Greenwashing and wish-cycling is not something we take lightly. All of our design decision data is backed by scientific studies and material research from our sustainability team.
Partnered with More Certifications
We continually partner with socially compliant factories that offer Global Recycling Standard products and other environmental certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council, Better Cotton Initiative, Oeko-Tex, Zero Plastic Oceans, Control Union and many others.
Implemented an Environmental Policy
twelveNYC is committed to environmental leadership in all of its business activities at all locations from Brooklyn Headquarters, to London, to Hong Kong to Los Angeles. We developed an environmental policy that is implemented into the employee handbook that we hope promotes better business practices across all roles. These policies focus on protecting the environment through conservation of energy and natural resources. In addition, we promote cooperation with suppliers, actively sourcing certified products and packaging and establishing procedures to ensure all that employees are knowledgeable of applicable environmental regulations.
- Educate employees and clients on sustainable material options and designs to increase sustainably-marketed product sales to 15% of total sales by year-end 2021.
- Ecovadis: In Q2 of FY2020, we were awarded Bronze status of Ecovadis. Our strengths lie in our commitment to environmental reporting, as well as labor and human rights. Our goal is to reach silver status by Q4 of FY2021.
- B Corp: One of our early goals throughout this journey was to obtain B Corp Status. We submitted our application this year and are in the process of verification. Our goal is to be part of the B Corp community, to continue to improve for our employees, community and planet.
- Increase both certified and recycled material usage in client programs to 50% to reduce demand on natural resources.
- Expand our office recycling program and perform a waste audit once every quarter.
- Develop a life cycle analysis on commonly used materials and products for client education and awareness.
Efficiencies & Emissions
Shipping Carbon Footprint
Supply Chain Management
One of the first things we did in 2020 was to officially establish our in-house sustainability team. The team meets every two weeks to discuss requests, develop workshops, and to create educational content for employees and customers. twelveNYC’s sustainability team acts as a thought partner with clients through every step of the process, to identify creative opportunities and to provide life cycle analysis, certification research, material data sheets and education.
Carbon Offset Program
As a global company, we have a significant carbon footprint when it comes to shipping. While we continue to pack as efficiently as possible, we strive to offset 100% of our carbon emitted on >every UPS, FedEx, and international ocean and air shipment. In addition, our default is to ship by boat, to reduce the larger impact by air. We collect data on every shipment to track our impact across order type, size, city and scope.
Through our official partnership with CarbonFund, we are following these carbon positive projects:
2019: Truck Stop Electrification Project
2020: Wind Energy Project in Zhengbei, China
2021: Kenya Burn Stoves Project
- Improving our packaging: Standard recycling instructions are now on all shipping boxes coming from our warehouse. We also reuse and repurpose packaging to reduce waste and operate efficiently. We design the copy on our packages to use less ink and our boxes are made from FSC certified and recycled paper.
- Providing monthly supply chain and sustainability training for employees to understand certifications and compliance standards for client programs.
- Auditing our supply chain to ensure highest levels of social compliance.
- Invest in community solar projects and other renewable energy options to operate on 100% renewable energy by year-end, 2021.
- Use 100% of socially audited or certified factories by 2025.
- Collect data on all Scope 1 - 3 emissions, such as measuring and reducing emissions through intentional product design and offsetting 100% of carbon emissions on all shipments to reach carbon neutrality by 2022.
- We aim to be Carbon Positive by 2025.
Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
Human Rights and Community Impact
Our strength is our people. Over the course of 2020, our team has faced both personal and professional challenges. The shift to a fully digital landscape and the isolation that comes from working from home, compounded by global and local human crises highlighted that there is work to be done in order to make transformative changes across our business. In the highs and lows of the calendar year, we have had both wins and stumbles. We operate in a constant state of evolution and recognize that this is a work in progress. In the last twelve months, we have made the following organizational changes which prioritize our commitment to putting our employees first. twelveNYC is always committed to doing the work.
Prioritized People Roles
twelveNYC not only retained our headcount during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but we also grew our employee base by 20%. We evolved our strategy to onboard a Vice President, People and Human Resources, who has reimagined the role to provide invaluable experience and perspective, serving as the central nucleus of our people-first value system.
"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to
~ Verna Myers
(favorite quote of Sam Irvin, VP of People & Human Resources)
All employees have Flexible Fridays and scheduled, paid Mental Health Days to help manage workload and personal responsibilities. We also offer an Employee Assistance Program that provides short term counseling and professional resources for extra assistance. twelveNYC also provides a complimentary membership to Obe – an online fitness group – in addition to sponsoring secure bicycle storage in our Brooklyn office. Over the past year, we also increased our employer contribution for health coverage to 75%.
Training & Development
Employees attended ten trainings in FY2020 for leadership and career development. A benefits training was also included. On average, 67% of employees participated in these workshops. Going forward, we will place a bold emphasis on leadership training, ensuring we are building the leaders of tomorrow every step of the way.
We revamped our recruiting strategies to ensure that twelveNYC is fair and equitable throughout the hiring process. twelveNYC will continue to build a community rooted in diversity in all forms - from entry level to managerial roles.
Diversity Equity & Inclusion
We onboarded a woman-owned DEI consulting firm to train managers and employees on addressing bias. They also initiated an employee engagement survey and developed a corporate diversity hiring strategy. We engaged in an organizational assessment, outlining key learnings, practice and systems gaps, and opportunities for improvement. In addition, we developed key strategies for achieving desired talent management goals.
Diversity and inclusion are part of twelveNYC’s DNA. Together, we continue to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. While we have more work to do to advance diversity and inclusion, we’re investing to move our company forward with mindful recruiting initiatives and twelveNYC’s Impact initiatives to support a plethora of diverse organizations.
We developed an employee give program which offers unlimited and 100% matched donations. We also implemented PTO expansion to include 2 volunteer days per year, for employees to donate their time at an organization of their choosing.
And in light of many of the senseless acts of violence against Black Americans, from Breonna Taylor, to George Floyd to Ahmaud Arbery, twelveNYC took a stand against racism in all of its forms. To make a positive change, our company and employees have donated to over 50 organizations. We will continue to show support to affected communities and educate ourselves to ensure we are doing our part to dismantle systemic racism.
2020: Our Impact by the Numbers
Total give in 2020
Donated to charities/ non-profits in 2020
Matched in employee donations
Hours our team donated in 2020
People on our twelveNYC global Impact Committee
2020: Community Partner Highlights
We believe in the power of partnership and hold a unique responsibility to make a profound impact in the communities in which we work and live. Our mission is to amplify the voices of women and children in marginalized communities and to use our resources to create opportunity the next generation of entrepreneurs. We are committed to lending our magic to make impactful change.
Win provides security, supportive housing and family shelter. In
addition to housing, Win provides childcare, education, life skills,
and income building. In 2020, Win served 4,100 adults and 5,100
children. Last year, they were able to place over 700 families in
12 impact: We developed a 7- week program in partnership with The Wonder and STREB that focused on mentorship, the arts and social development. In addition, twelveNYC donated masks, hand sanitizer and over $6,000 worth of toys and gifts for their holiday program for children in need.
Boys & Girls Club America (NYC)
The Clubhouse in Madison Square provides programming for youth in
need specifically focusing on academic success, good character and
citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Madison Square supports six
Clubhouses for hundreds of families in the boroughs of New York
City, Harlem, Queens and Brooklyn.
12 impact: Donated 5,000 masks and 1,000 backpacks to children in need of school supplies.
SoGal is a millennial VC fund that invests in early stage
entrepreneurs that are female and/or minority founded. In 2020, they
launched the Black Founder StartUp Grant with the help of twelveNYC
and other brands.
12 impact: Founding partner of the Black Founder Startup Grant to provide $40k in grants to black female and nonbinary entrepreneurs. In addition to providing funding, we have put on 1:1 mentorship sessions assistance to awardees.
Established in 1993 by Brooklyn mothers, New Yorkers Against Gun
Violence advocate for gun violence laws and legislation to protect
families and youth. They host events, fundraisers and trainings to
educate communities on gun safety measures.
12 impact: Provided custom masks, pro-bono design services for communication materials and website development.
VOYAGE is a UK-based social justice charity that aims to empower
marginalised black young people and provide them with the
self-awareness and motivation to transform themselves and their
12 impact: Active participants in Voyage Youth’s weekly mentorship program, we are helping to prepare our mentees for university and work. Additionally, we put on creative workshops for their Summer University Program Creative Immersion Day, in which we taught over 30 students about our product development process through an immersive experience in designing and personalizing bags of their choice.
Bottomless Closet’s mission is to be the connection that inspires and
guides disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and
12 impact: partnered to put on mentorship sessions focused on nutrition and mindful meditation, clothing + accessory donation drives
- 4% of profit donated to local businesses and organizations in need of assistance due to COVID-19.
- A new Employee Performance Evaluation System: We created a bi-annual opportunity for employees to engage in goal planning and to highlight opportunities for growth. We have also invested in a new HR system with a learning management component and performance reviews.
- twelveNYC grant: Surprise Powerz, mentorship programs, new and continued partnerships: Black Minds Matter UK, SoGal Mentorships, etc.
- Improved global BIPOC representation from 27% to 41% YTD
- Continue our momentum to further diversify our team, focusing on growth potential, retention, and building out management roles as twelveNYC scales.
- Provide allyship and inclusive leadership workshops to global teams.
- Partner with inner city youth organizations and local colleges to build a 2022 internship program to create opportunities for job exposure and mentorship.
- Develop new strategies to assess applicant experience in hiring and ensure diversity in all types of roles at the company, especially in managerial positions.
- Offer more financial and mentorship opportunities to entrepreneurs through our partnership with SoGal and beyond.
When faced with some of the greatest challenges of the year, we immediately felt a responsibility to give back how and where we could. When healthcare workers were working around the clock, we sent meals. While women were pushed out of work at unprecedented numbers, we partnered with Bottomless Closet to help set them up for success with new clothing for interviews. When financially impacted families were struggling to send kids to school with the right supplies, we provided backpacks. When our communities felt the most pain, we partnered with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence to provide masks and support.
COVID-19: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
# of PPE items donated during COVID-19
# of organizations partnered with
# of meals donated
# of hospital partners with
PPE for the British Beauty Industry
To support the British beauty industry during COVID-19, twelveNYC partnered with the British Beauty Council to build a dedicated web store offering cost-effective PPE directly to the industry. Our aim was to support and nurture the British beauty industry during this difficult time by servicing the local beauty community, retailers and industry professionals with quick-turn, compliant and cost-effective PPE options. All products are sourced in the UK by twelveNYC and developed with our UK-based manufacturers.