Softstar Becomes B Corp Certified!

Softstar Becomes B Corp Certified!

We're proud to announce becoming certified as a B Corporation, the latest verification of our commitment to walking lightly on the earth. B Corp certification is a stamp of approval for meeting high standards of environmental and social responsibility.

Original Softstar workshop circa 1985
Original Softstar workshop circa 1985

Softstar was founded almost four decades ago by Tim Oliver, who started making healthy footwear for his young daughters out of a broken-down school bus. Tim lived frugally and utilized resources sparingly. Over time, he established a community dedicated to preserving nature and promoting long-term sustainability. Softstar has grown into a 12,000 square foot workshop in rural Oregon, continuing to thrive even after 37 years.

Softstar in the summer of 2019
Softstar in the summer of 2019

After taking over the company from Oliver in 2005, Tricia Salcido modernized while respecting the company’s original purpose. Despite the big shoes to fill, Trish remained resolute carrying forward a sustainability ethos as cornerstone of the company's mission.

“We spend 35% or more of our waking hours in our job, and we should strive to make that work enjoyable, purposeful, and impactful. One of our core values is making Softstar a joyful place to work – and all the good we do together flows from that central, cultural force.”

– Softstar CEO Tricia Salcido

What is a B Corp?

B Corp Logo

The "B" in B corp stands for "Benefit." Benefit Corporations are legal company structures (like C-Corps or S-Corps) that are designed for companies that consider social and environmental impact just as important as profitability. Many businesses have community-minded values, but becoming a Benefit Corporation ensures these objectives are written into their legal DNA. In addition to changing its legal structure, a company can get B Corp certified. B Corp certification is a third-party validation of a company's claims of meeting high standards of environmental and social stewardship.

Companies that display the “B Corp” logo are trusted to not be greenwashing their products and services. To achieve certification, Softstar passed a rigorous assessment after going through several levels of audits. This process took over a year to accomplish and it has to be re-certified every three years. Currently fewer than 1 out of every 10,000 USA companies are Benefit Corporations. Softstar joins the esteemed footwear ranks of AllBirds, Toms, and Vivo Barefoot in being B-Corporation certified. Some other notable B Corps include Ben and Jerry's, Patagonia, and The Body Shop.

How Did Softstar Qualify?

Softstar not only strives to assist our customers in developing strong foundations and healthy feet, but we also pride ourselves on surpassing the norm and making a positive impact. It's a business model designed to support employees, the environment, and the local community.

Employees enjoy wellness benefits, team activities, and ongoing training opportunities. Softstar's sustainable culture includes an energy-efficient, family-friendly workshop that is wind and solar-powered as well as a beautiful employee garden. The company donates 100% of revenue from scrap-made pet toys to charity and has been one of Oregon’s 100 greenest companies for eight years in a row.

When B Lab did their in-depth assessment of the materials we select, the auditors commented that their favorite shoe in our lineup is the Zen Moccasin. The merino wool uppers are 100% Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.

Eco friendly merino wool slippers
Eco friendly merino wool slippers

B Lab's five conditions that B Corps must meet:

  1. Accountability. Management must consider the company’s impact on all stakeholders: employees, society, community and environment.
  2. Transparency. Companies must publish and make a public report of social and environmental performance.
  3. Performance. Companies must attain a minimum score on the B Impact Assessment and file to re-certify every three years.
  4. Availability. Any business can become a B Corp, regardless of its country or state of incorporation.
  5. Cost. Companies pay certification fees to B Lab, with the size of the fee depending on their revenues.


  1. Robert Moss
    I turn 80 years of age in a few months and if my memory serves me correctly, I have been wearing
    Softstar shoes for at least 20 years and maybe more. I have ordered 5 pairs including one pair boots and a
    pair of moccasins made of elk hide which I think are the softest shoes I have ever owned. All of them have
    been treated with TLC. I have loved them all!!!! I have two pairs of Moccasins remaining that I still wear and
    yes iI still have the elk hide and the boots. The shoes I no longer have, over the years I donated to those in
    need within the Eugene, Oregon unhoused community. According to my math that leaves 3 pair of Moc’s
    that we donated and I forgot to mention the pair I bought for my young grandson Patrick many years ago.
    Thank you Softstar!
  2. Eddie Moore
    Wonderful shoes
    You should preserve the old buss and have it under a shelter at your new building foe everyone to see where this started and how far people can go and achieve.. Eddie Moore.

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