We are guided by values, not profits.
Breyting is a passion project of Fred Schneider, frontman of the iconic rock band The B-52s, and enduring friend Von Coven, a BMX street rider turned social entrepreneur. Breyting's mission is to leverage consumerism, direct action, and non-profit partnerships to create economic, social, and environmental progress through its collaborations. These collaborations are guided by values written into Breyting's governance and state that ethics and our business philosophy supersede profit-making activities. By that, we intend to generate revenue and profits, but not at the expense of our values. For this reason, we choose to conduct business with those who align with our values listed below
• We embrace all races, genders, spiritual paths, sexual orientations, and people and their individuality. After all, each of us wants to be seen and heard for our authentic selves.
• We believe in protecting our natural environment and animals.
• We believe in treating all people equally and with kindness.
• We believe in creating products that will benefit society.
We give back.
As part of our founding principles, our charitable contributions are proportionate to Breyting’s profits—giving one-third of our annual profits to social good. We pay ordinary business expenses, such as our property expenses, labor, cost of goods and production, advertising, taxes, and more. Then, at the closing of the fiscal year, we distribute 33 percent of our profits to support the causes we promote during the year.
We foster fair business dealings.
Our single most important goal at Breyting is not to cause harm, including to people. We strive to nurture healthy, long-lasting relationships, which is why we use value-based contracts and agreements (a.k.a. conscious or holistic contracts) for all our business dealings. Our agreements are jointly created, which fosters fair and ethical business. Each agreement contains a thoughtful conflict resolution process that promotes healing and creates a path for our partners to get back into alignment. We foster a win-win harmony, even if the ultimate outcome is parting ways.
We don’t harm animals.
Both of Breyting’s founders are animal rights activists. So, we refuse to purchase animal products. Instead, we support advancements in textiles created with earth-friendly, vegan materials, which we’ve found are much lighter and far more durable and practical. And any animal welfare organizations we work with must not participate in the breeding, entertainment, or exploitation of animals for profit.
We stand with the oppressed.
Breyting is devoted to using its brand and voice to highlight essential human rights, animal rights, and environmental issues with its products and marketing. Through campaigns like Let Me Coexist with You, Housing Is Human Right, and Let the Lobsters Rock On, we work closely with many non-profits and changemakers who are fighting for positive change.
We support Initiatives.
The biggest gift we have in life is helping others, which is why Breyting funnels as many small farms and community-building projects into our products as possible. We also have a committed collection of cause coffees and merchandise that support grassroots initiatives.
We value artists.
With our minds, we change the world, and creatives can help us change how we see the world by awakening us to new perspectives, ideas, and values. Through their expressive abilities, artists can question social behaviors, shift imagery in our thoughts, and evoke emotions in ways that bring about change.
We value craft manufacturing.
Craft manufacturing is the backbone of a healthy community. It reverberates through the local economy, supporting many industries, companies, and people farther down the supply chain. Keeping in step with these values, Breyting operates its supply chain as a vertical collective of strategic alliances that work cooperatively to accomplish mutually beneficial goals. We also leverage the purchasing power of our collective to lower our overall operating cost and improve our environmental footprint.
We value retail freedom.
Breyting operates outside of typical retail confines, where we have the freedom to build a direct trade system built on shared values. It costs more to make a Breyting product because of our dedication to incorporating environmentally friendly, higher-quality, raw materials. We also follow a strict code of fair-trade principles, and we deal directly with artisans rather than factories. We see these choices as a benefit, not a hindrance. And, because we have low overhead, we don’t deal with middlemen or stores. The best part? Because our sales come mostly from word of mouth, we can sell our products for comparable prices while still making a reasonable profit.
We choose organic first.
We are advocates for pesticide-, chemical-, and fertilizer-free fare, including GMO-free foods. While we offer both conventional and organic coffees and teas, we prioritize purchasing organic coffees, but not at the cost of harming or further marginalizing small-hold farmers—or the farmers’ appointed agents, representatives, or co-op. Over the years, we have developed a network of valuable relationships. Together, we work with our producers whenever possible to help break their dependence on borrowing money from seed suppliers and banks who mandate the use of chemicals. We do this by offering signed contracts or, in some cases, giving deposits. This way, producers know how much they will earn from the harvest before planting a single seed.
We reduce waste in all its forms.
We are committed to reducing waste. This includes operational waste, fuel used to ship our goods, product waste, storage space, people's time, and more. In fact, we developed a unified product system for our products that reduces waste by at least 15 percent. That helps significantly reduce our freight costs—and more importantly, the fuel used. It also optimizes storage space thus reducing how much electricity is used.
We support next generation materials.
Instead of merely looking at the finished materials we use for our products, we dig deeper into the entire process of our products, including raw material extraction and refining, product manufacturing, product use, reuse, and disposal. We weigh the variables with a priority of supporting locally made products. Our clothing and accessories are made from cotton (organic cotton when available), hemp, and bamboo. In addition, we are continuously working on using the next generation of sustainable materials such as cork, fruit leaves, recycled ocean plastic, recycled skate decks, jewelry, and buttons made from metals from UXOs (unexploded ordnance/bombs) and many other experimental eco-friendly substrates.
We are committed to reinvesting in others.
We are planning for tomorrow by reinvesting in other solution-centered companies that are pioneers in transitioning to a sustainable society. While these investments are small at this point, these investments will increase in proportion to our revenue and allow Breyting to build reserves for market adjustments or unforeseen expenses while supporting change. We take a long-term approach and support what we think are the most important sustainable transition areas: food and agriculture, mobility and infrastructure, renewable resources, manufacturing that uses a circular economy, and innovations in sustainable design.
We will not be sold.
Breyting® is not a grow and sale strategy but rather a grow and continually benefit strategy. As part of our long-term estate planning, the owners have committed to making Breyting a foundation to secure the long-term ownership and independence of Breyting, guarding against hostile takeovers, and ensuring that income is used per the foundation’s mission to support positive social change. The foundation will legally and operationally be separate from the operating company and not involved in the management decisions or supervision of the operating company. Instead, Breyting Co-op will be established and given exclusive rights to operate the brand through a licensing agreement and set up as a worker cooperative to run the business. A management board will be entrusted with the company’s management, while a supervisory board exercises supervision, monitors general affairs, and advises the management board.