In Conversation With Rory Atton
Founder of Dewerstone Clothing
Bonnie: Who are Dewerstone and what is your mission?
Rory: Dewerstone is an outdoor lifestyle brand based in Dartmoor National Park. We primarily make clothing for people that love the outdoors, from tees to hoodies, board shorts to sunglasses. It is our responsibility to protect the environment that our brand is founded upon.
We do this by working with non-profit organisations all over the world. Wether it's protecting free flowing rivers with Save Our Rivers, to building bio rocks & protecting turtles with the Gili Eco Trust. Through to planting trees with Eden Reforestation Projects and our own Feed the Families campaign.
Bonnie: How do you consider People, Planet and Profit when developing your products?
Rory: This is something we’ve always done since day one. As a brand or business you're continually faced with choices. We started out screen printing in the garage, one of those early choices was the fabric we printed on to. This continues now as we still screen print in-house, we’re that final factory process, if its rubbish we're breathing it in.
Bonnie: Why did you decide to become a B Corp?
Rory: For me, it’s a lifetime commitment to responsible business. Whatever happens next in the Dewerstone journey, we do with the B Corp principles and impact framework at our core. I had more ski days growing up than I can count, with back to back winters chasing snow around the world, it's fair to say I'm in nature's debt. It's time to pay it back.
Bonnie: How did you find the B Corp Impact Assessment (BIA)? Did anything surprise you as being difficult?
Rory: It’s overwhelming, but it is bite-size chunks. It is manageable and it is doable. But you have to want to do it. If the B Corp values are important to you, then the BIA is one of the most beneficial things you’ll ever go through as a business owner. We were already a good business, making good choices and doing good things. Dewerstone is part of 1% For The Planet, we donate 1% of our profits to grass-root environmental groups, we’re also certified Carbon Neutral and pay our staff a living wage, this certainly made the certification process easier.
Bonnie: So you're based in Dartmoor National Park, what does place mean to you?
Rory: We're based in Princetown, the highest village and heart of Dartmoor National Park. The surrounding landscape serves as a daily reminder that we exist to ensure future generations can experience Dartmoor’s myths, history and stories of adventure.
Embracing an outdoor lifestyle means being an advocate for the spaces we love. Wherever you are on our home planet, the importance of protecting its flowing rivers, magical woodland and the endless trails linking them cannot be understated.
It's also important to recognise that although Dartmoor is a National Park, it does not give it protection or immunity from change. An example of this is the work that Save Our Rivers have been involved in where they have actively campaigned and have stopped rivers being dammed in Snowdonia National Park. We love Dartmoor, but are well aware that it could be us fighting to protect the place we love so much next.