Why I'm a Proud Owner of an Ethically Conscious Online Shop
When I started Vitarock back in 2012, it seemed like a natural progression for me. By then, I’ve been in the natural health food industry for close to two decades, working for big-name brands like Jamieson and Genuine Health. In addition, I already had a successful business running called dicentra, a consulting firm that specializes in safety, quality, and compliance for companies in the health sciences and food industries.
But there was always something missing and in my heart of hearts, I was compelled to open up an online store, one that I would go to, that not only had everything I needed but was free from all the junk and harmful chemicals and ingredients you often see in conventional everyday products.
From the very beginning, I wanted Vitarock to be founded on one mission — to help others achieve personal wellness and joy without harming the planet or contributing to unfair employment and trade practices. On top of that, I wanted to create a business that could raise awareness about important social and environmental injustices and that cultivated a community of ethically-minded conscious shoppers. That’s when we came up with our four pillars, only offering products that are pure, green, safe and fair. There was nothing like Vitarock.com at the time — a company that pre-screened all brands and guaranteed they were safe and natural for their customers.
Seven years later, we’re still chugging along, driven by passion and fueled by the changing world. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy, and people always ask me, why continue to do it? Here’s why I’m so proud of Vitarock:
It’s everything you need in one online shop. I wanted to be sure that when creating Vitarock, I would want to shop there as well. We have the best, trusted brands with vitamins and supplements of only the purest ingredients. We have tasty yet healthy food, snacks and cooking ingredients for those with food sensitivities or who have more specialized diets. We have “green beauty” cosmetics and personal care products with amazing, natural ingredients. We have safe and non-toxic household items, products for babies, organic and eco-friendly feminine hygiene products, vegan and plant-based protein products — you name it. The selection is endless, and we love the fact that it’s a store for every type of person.
Our pre-screening process makes us different. As the founder of dicentra, we know a thing or two about safety, quality, and compliance. Each brand we carry goes through a screening process, in which we assess whether it’s the right fit for our store. We guarantee our products to be pure, green, safe and fair. What does that mean exactly?
We’ve been a proud B Corporation since 2015. This certification was so important to us, and it was a proud achievement. It’s not enough to say that we are an ethical and sustainable online marketplace, but we wanted to prove it — and continue to learn and improve our business model and operations as we grow.
If you don’t already know, Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. To be certified, each company goes through a comprehensive assessment in the following key areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. For example, Vitarock scored well in areas such as stringent quality regulations for the supplements we carry, being locally-owned and female-owned and promoting purpose-driven brands that do valuable community work around the world.
In August 2017, Vitarock was recertified as a B Corp, which allowed us to recognize which areas we still need to improve. Being a part of this global movement, in their mission of using business as a force for good, motivates us to press forward. It shows us that there’s a strong and vibrant community out there who believes in purpose over profit, who believes in bringing about real change, and that we are not alone.
Last but not least, we value our Vitarock community. Once you become a Vitarocker, you’re set for life. We’ve had many of our loyal customers coming back to our site because they know us and trust us. Over the years, we’ve been slowly building this community of ethically-minded, socially-conscious shoppers, and it’s exciting to see it grow.
Our employees have also become champions for the cause. Attending and engaging in events like BLD Ontario and local B Corp popup breakfasts has given our team members a better understanding of the significance of B Corp and has allowed them to spread awareness passionately and organically among their friends, family, and other colleagues.
- Alicja Wojewnik, CEO & Founder of Vitarock