journals > Stories > B-CORP ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey All,

As a kid growing up street skateboarding in the mid 80’s, one thing was obvious – People did not like skateboarders and skateboarding wasn’t cool in the eyes of commercial authority. The driver of what made skateboarding special was the culture and the people who lived and breathed the independent nature of persevering through anything. This is where I connected with Skateboarding, through the DIY ethos of "if we believe it's cool, then we must support it." We supported not because it granted us access to a higher level of recognition, but because we wanted the heartbeat of Skateboarding to outlive all of us. 

As peripheral as this may sound, this laid the groundwork for me starting 686 over three decades ago. As a founder-led business, I’m driven to create a brand much bigger than myself or the products we make. My dharma and purpose for 686 is to contribute to an ecosystem that's positive for the world we live in. I firmly believe this is our calling and this is what gets me excited every morning to create work. At the same time, I want to collaborate with other like-minded brands and people that equally have the same goals. We are better together. 

When I heard of B Corp 8 years ago, I immediately knew this was something that we could strive to be part of one day. I was, and still am, drawn to the continued evolution of self-improvement that the B Corp community encourages. The journey of consistent improvement over a long period is what drives me to do better. This philosophy of Kaizen is what has guided 686 for over three decades. Becoming B Corp Certified not only represents what I live for personally and professionally, but symbolizes this continued journey of improvement for the brand.

Michael Akira West
Founder and CEO

Sustainability initiatives
Learn More