This month marked the launch of Windward, a new CBD brand dedicated to setting new standards for environmental and social responsibility in the hemp industry.
Based in California, the Windward team has 25+ years of combined experience in the outdoor industry and beyond, hailing from brands such as Patagonia, Burton, and Red Wing Shoes. The team is applying their experience to creating a company that reflects their values:
“Working in the outdoor industry and embracing the time we spend outdoors has shown us what it truly means to build a business that respects and protects the natural environment—you do it right the first time, sustainably and in full respect of nature,” notes Jennifer Sullivan McBride, Windward co-founder.
For Windward, this means doing what it takes to stand out in a competitive market which is notoriously chock full of mediocre products, empty promises, and little accountability.
The commitment to quality begins with their hemp, which is USDA certified organic – still not an easy thing to obtain. Their full spectrum products are made with ethanol-extracted CBD, combined with a range of botanicals and adaptogens (including arnica, ashwagandha, ginkgo, and hops).
The company is starting out with a line of three tinctures and one topical. All products are packaged in Miron Violetglass, a sturdy, high-quality glass that extends the effective lifespan of a product while protecting ingredients from damaging light.
So far so good. But ultimately, their ethos embraces every area of the company’s impact.
A California Benefit Corporation and member of 1% for the Planet, Windward is deeply committed to social and environmental responsibility.
“CBD has saturated numerous markets with white-labeled products that make false promises, compromising the health of people and the planet. Windward is changing that paradigm by setting new standards of responsibility and providing athletes and adventurers with what they need and deserve—pure, effective, all-natural products that are ethically sourced and produced.”
It’s worth noting that those words: “pure, effective, all-natural, ethically sourced” are deemed pretty cheap in the CBD industry. In fact, it’s hard to find a CBD website that doesn’t use them in some combination. But Windward has integrated those principles into the DNA of their company and has ensured that they will be held accountable to uphold those standards.
Windward is both a member of the organization 1% for the Planet (which oversees company giving to environmental nonprofits), is in the process of becoming a B Corporation, and is already a California Benefit Corporation.
The California Benefit designation empowers the company to make business decisions that promote social and environmental objectives. As a Benefit Corporation, Windward must measure its performance in achieving its mission-based objectives against an independent third-party standard.
An example of what this looks like on the ground is their approach to product packaging.
Windward has taken a close look at the options and chosen boxes that meet the gold standard in the eco-responsibility category. They’re made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper manufactured with a chlorine-free process using 100% renewable electricity and are printed in the USA with soy-based inks.
That kind of attention to detail just isn’t that common in the CBD industry. But Windward is betting that all of that attention to the details will pay off in the long run. By prioritizing ethos over the bottom line, they are, at the very least, going to attract the attention of that segment of the population who want to put their money where their values lie.