When Bite founder Lindsay McCormick received feedback from a customer who challenged the zero-waste company's usage of eco-certified palm oil in its toothpaste bits, it hurt. “This can’t be true,” she thought. While she was aware of the ethical issues associated with using palm oil at the time, she thought that eco-certified palm oil passed muster at her Los-Angeles based company. But after hearing from at least three other customers who wrote in expressing similar concerns, the Bite founder knew she needed to re-examine her company's product.
"The thing about mistakes is that you don't know you're making them until you do," she says. "And then it's up to you to fix it and fix it fast."
Like many mission-driven businesses, Bite faced a perennial question: retool and sacrifice sales, or uphold your policies and risk long-term still unknown consequences. Read on for how McCormick made her decision–and how it changed the way she viewed product development.
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