Online art marketplace Artfinder has become the first art business to become a B Corporation, a new type of ethical company that combines business prowess with tackling environmental and social challenges. The certification measures a company’s social and environmental performance, transparency to customers, legal accountability, treatment of staff, impact on the local community and how it balances profit and purpose.
There are currently around 2,900 Certified B Corporations across the world, including big hitters like clothing brand Patagonia, Innocent Drinks and ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. At present just 200 of those companies are located in the UK.
London-based start-up Artfinder was launched in 2010 to open up the art market, making it friendlier and less exclusive, as well as helping artists to make a viable career from their work. Its platform allows creatives to sell pieces direct, making for a wider customer base free from the overheads of IRL galleries, and more affordable prices for buyers. The company has run a number of campaigns challenging sexism in the art world, including one which demanded that major institutions address the unequal gender split of the artists in their collections. It’s current branding was created by Designstudio in 2016.
Artfinder CEO Michal Szczesny said in a statement, “We started Artfinder to create a world where art benefits everyone, not just a few. It is an honour to be independently certified as a business that is a force for good in the art world. Our mission is to make art accessible, affordable and a viable career for artists, and we’re committed to operating in the right way in order to achieve that. Our community of artists and customers can now be independently reassured that we’re here for the right reasons, and will do whatever it takes to push the art world into a more sustainable future. One, where benefits are distributed fairly and our community’s work leaves a positive impact on the environment.”
The announcement follows a number of stories showing an increased interest in environmental and social impact in the art world over the past months, from the Tate’s increased environmental commitments to the Louvre removing the names of controversial sponsors.