Stuart Wood is the founder and CEO of Last Bottle Clothing, a Public Benefit Corporation based in Atlanta, that is on a mission to tackle plastic pollution and revolutionize the apparel industry. Stuart started his career in investment banking with GE Capital, financing major capital projects globally. Prior to founding Last Bottle Clothing with Justin Koehn in 2016, Stuart spent 12 years with The Home Depot, leading all facets of the business, but the highlights for him included being the CFO of a $4.7 billion business unit, managing teams as large as 175 people, and leading a segment of the supply chain where he negotiated large purchases, including corporate aircraft.
Stuart has lived in Singapore and Hong Kong, and has a great love of travel and cultures, which he and his wife are passing on to their two children. His spoiled kids have visited 15 countries on 5 continents and have hopefully developed a passion for solving global issues.
Stuart holds a BA in Economics from Colgate University and an MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
What is your company mission?
The primary mission of Last Bottle Clothing is to take plastic pollution out of our environment and, just as importantly, keep it out of the environment by manufacturing high quality, desirable clothing while ensuring fair and equitable treatment of workers in our supply chain. Our soft, comfortable apparel is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, and is 100% recyclable, so it never needs to end up as waste and can be reused repeatedly.
What does your company do? What product or service do you offer?
Last Bottle is a closed loop apparel manufacturer, so we don’t only create clothes, we also have a way to take back the clothes at the end of their useful life and turn them into completely new clothing.
How long have you been a B-Corp?
We have been incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation since our inception in 2016, which is when we first completed our pending B-Corp certification.
What attracted you to B-Corp?
We were attracted to B Labs because their B-Corp certification aligned with our belief that companies should be responsible for more than just increasing shareholder value, and the triple bottom line is a great representation of our commitment to the wellbeing of people and the environment in which we all live.
Why does B Corp matter to you?
B-Corp matters to us because the Triple Bottom Line is not only cool, it’s necessary to ensure continued economic development of mankind while enabling us to transmit a cleaner planet for our future generations.
What two or three activities do you do within your company to keep the B-Corp mission a key part of your company culture?
The two most important activities we hold dear are educating consumers about the Circular Economy, and forcing large polluters to drastically improve their business model through competition. Our business model allows customers to vote for a cleaner option by buying from us instead of the large polluters.
If you were encouraging other companies to consider applying for B-Corp certification, what would you say to them? Why should they become a B-Corp?
There are many reasons why companies should get their B-Corp certification. For a business owner, the fact that 34% of US adults are actively searching for sustainable options every time they buy a good/service and 65% of Millenials are willing to spend more for goods/services from a mission driven company should open their eyes to the financial possibilities associated with being a B-Corp. An added benefit is that employee retention is also increased as a result of your mission.