Brands with Meaning: Shopping for a Cause
I’d apologize for not posting in a while, but I know I’ll probably do it again either way. I’m swamped right now with life, freelancing, and my actual job. Big changes are coming soon, but I can’t share yet! So in the meantime, I’ve got another guest post from the fabulous Veronica Baas. She’s sharing her favorite brands with meaning so you can shop for a cause! Super important, right? Enjoy!
Investing in a company’s product and mission is something most shoppers don’t commit to. Maybe because finding brands with service-oriented mission statements seems like a challenge, or perhaps we’ve all grown so used to the brands we currently use that switching would take too much effort.
Either way, it’s somewhat sad to watch because the feeling of buying something you’ve wanted for awhile actually can get better. Just purchase from a company you know gives back to the community or one that fights to protect the environment. You’ll find a new sense of appreciation for the things you buy. Plus, representing a brand that stands for a cause you believe in helps justify shopping. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Most businesses give back these days and the majority of them advertise their charity work online. Skim a few company websites to see if brands you currently like have mission statements rooted in service. Luckily, big brands like Walmart, Target, ExxonMobil, and most banks donate millions to charity every year.
The real trick is finding small companies that give up a portion of their profit to fight for a cause because those are the purchases that make you feel the best. Here are five smaller brands with community-oriented missions you can start supporting today.
Spiritual Gangster is one of my favorites. The company founders Ian Lopatin and Vanessa Lee have always been service-oriented and decided to build a brand that aligns with their lifestyle. The clothing company donates a portion of each sale to fight world hunger or to one of the three organizations they partner with.
Not only does Spiritual Gangster actively give back, they promote a lifestyle too. The yoga-inspired clothing lines have inspiring sayings and archaic symbols designed to merge modern culture with ancient wisdom. The intention is to remind brand supporters that all beings deserve happiness and equality.
Burt’s Bee’s initiative is known as The Greater Good Foundation. This initiative has partnered with dozens of organizations and in 10 years they’ve donated over $1.2 million in grants to help various causes. The foundation was established to empower grassroots initiatives, usually pertaining to honey bee protection, and to support sustainable agriculture.
The company works with several, changing organizations at a time but some long-time partners include Habitat for Humanity and Farmer Foodshare. The brand’s commitment to the environment doesn’t stop there. Burt’s Bees employees are service-driven too. They’re even allotted paid time off to do community projects. As the company likes to say, “Turns out do-gooding is contagious.”
The Elephant Pants
Maybe you need something comfy to relax in around the house, or perhaps it’s an outfit for the next festival you’ll be attending. Regardless, My Elephant Pants has you covered. The brand was established in 2014 and is built on making the world a better place for elephants.
They’ve partnered with both local and global organizations to secure and protect elephant habitats, provide technical solutions to reduce tensions between expanding human populations and elephant environments, and spread the word on the growing threats elephant herds face.
For every pair of pants sold, a portion of the proceeds is donated to these causes. Currently, the company is working with Space for Giants, an organization fighting to safeguard Africa’s elephants from poaching. They also work to protect habitats that face increasing human development threats.
Sephora isn’t really a small brand at all, but I think it’s a good one to highlight. Mostly because I can’t seem to walk through this store without falling victim to at least one impulse purchase so I figured more than just myself would appreciate hearing all the good work Sephora does for our community.
The company has partnered with more than 500 nonprofit organizations and has established several branded projects within the Sephora Stands foundation. My personal favorite is their latest initiative, Sephora Accelerate — created to build a community of innovative female founders in beauty.
Much like Burt’s Bees, the company is filled with service-oriented employees that actively volunteer elsewhere. Needless to say, the brand’s community mission extends beyond business activity. Read the Sephora Stands mission statement and then head to the nearest J.C. Penney to indulge guilt-free.
Earth Bands sells custom bracelets and they’re all about giving back. The concept was born in California as a goal to protect the planet and create bracelets that remind us of great memories at our favorite places.
The wearable mementos are built with hand-crafted beads from all over the world. For every purchase, a dollar is donated to one of the three charities Earth Bands supports: Rainforest Action Network, Protect Our Winters Charity, or Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Shopping for Good
Shopping is a selfish act. Especially in today’s ad-driven world where most privileges are becoming “necessities”. Finding brands with meaning you can support is a lot easier than it sounds. Plus, you already have five to start with. Good luck finding more and feel free to drop a few names in the comments below!
Veronica Baas is a recent Colorado State University graduate who has recently moved to Phoenix for her first after-college job offer doing basic coding and content creation. She has spent her life traveling as a pilot’s daughter and lived in the U.K. as part of a study abroad program. Don’t forget to read Veronica’s other post on Samanthability about the best apps for students!
Veronica loves the Oxford comma, men in khaki pants, and a full gas tank. She dislikes dog hair on black dresses, her addiction to technology, and most mornings. Follow her other writing and photography endeavors on her website.