How to Make Every Purchase Count with These Brands
When Toms came onto the scene in 2006, the company’s one-for-one policy was kind of radical. It wasn’t unheard of for a brand to have a charitable component, but Toms didn’t just sell shoes–it sold a conscious lifestyle. For years, it was endearing if a company gave back, but it wasn’t expected. Now, consumers will blacklist brands if there isn’t an element of transparency or social responsibility.
We can all agree that we’d prefer brands to take an activist stance out of personal interest instead of pressure. But this era of awareness—regardless of whether it’s genuine or trendy—actually seems to be making a difference, and that’s partly because consumers are threatening to take their money elsewhere unless companies choose to do good.
Outside of vocalizing their support for movements like #MeToo or the fight for gun control, brands are also aligning with causes that resonate with their history or target market. Some take it a step further by making a donation with each sale.
Here are a few brands and retailers that guarantee your money has a greater purpose (besides helping you acquire that must-have facial mask).
Similar to Toms’ model, Warby Parker’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program donates a pair of eyeglasses with every purchase. Recognizing that vision impairment can affect someone’s ability to learn or work, the eyewear brand works with partners around the world to distribute glasses to men, women, and children.
One of them, VisionSpring, has an international social entrepreneurship model that provides low-income men and women with affordable eyewear so that they can better support their families. The other, Pupils Project, is Warby Parker’s own program. Created in partnership with organizations and local government agencies, it offers free eye exams, vision screenings, and eye glasses to schoolchildren who’d otherwise suffer from the effects of poor vision.
We all know that feminine hygiene products are the most requested personal care item at homeless shelters, but did you know socks are the biggest clothing demand? Bombas was created to solve that problem, but it just so happens that their socks are also ultra-comfortable and durable. (Mine were subjected to an unintentional chew test, courtesy of my dog. So far, they’re the only brand to have survived.)
The company donates a pair with each purchase, but the socks provided to shelters are different from the ones sold to consumers. Since they’re engineered to meet the needs of someone who isn’t able to wear a clean pair every day, they’re anti-microbial and designed with reinforced seams and darker colors, so that there’s greater durability and less visible wear. Treat your feet, and guarantee a pair to someone who needs them.
Within months of launching an online store in 2015, Credo opened its first brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco. Today, there are eight locations around the country. The clean beauty boutique carries some of the industry’s most beloved cruelty-free and ethical brands, and its devotion to doing good doesn’t stop at treating its customers’ skin well.
Another beauty world favorite, Tatcha, has a philanthropic model that’s intertwined with its founding. While the product line is based on the modern-day geisha’s skincare ritual, its charitable component was inspired by their warmth and kindness.
Since 2014, Tatcha has had an ongoing partnership with Room to Read, an organization that supports the education of young girls in Africa and Asia. Each purchase of a full-sized product helps fund one day of education for a girl in need; $300 is needed to cover an entire year. In 2017, the brand announced it had not only successfully funded one million days of school, but had also provided its girls with mentorship opportunities and life coaching skills.
What if your regular shopping habits benefited a good cause? Better yet, what if you could choose the recipient, based on the cause that’s nearest and dearest to your heart? You can, with AmazonSmile. The site is identical to Amazon in every way, except that when you check out, half of a percent of the purchase price of eligible products will be donated to the organization of your choosing. With national options like the World Wildlife Fund, ASPCA, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as dozens of local nonprofits, you can feel good knowing that your Prime addiction is helping a nearby animal shelter or elephants overseas.
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