Brands for a Better World. Let's makes some Ripples!

Green Story – Let’s look at the Green Numbers!

You may have noticed companies using numbers and statistics highlighting the green benefits of their products. These statistics may be the number of cars that are taken off the road or water saved by using certain products. Have you ever wondered how they do that?

We had the opportunity to speak with a Canadian company that works in this field. Green Story uses engaging visuals to help market the green benefits of products. We asked them to give us an overview of what they are doing and why they are doing it. Check out what they had to say:

Choosing green

When people think of fashion, the word sustainability doesn’t usually come to mind. Like many things we use and interact with in our everyday lives, its impact is hidden. Have you ever wondered how much energy, water and emissions go into that shirt you’re wearing?

When you choose to buy ethical products, you make a conscious decision which has significant impacts outside of the price you pay.

Tragedies such as the Rana Plaza disaster and the Great Garbage Patch remind us of this. Despite this, we don’t always make the more sustainable choice. Ever wonder why?

Simply put, all of us make decisions based on what’s put in front of us and what we can understand. When you’re shopping online or in a store, we look at the quality of a shirt, convenience and price. What if we were given information that is more meaningful to your values?

A Case Study

What if you could bridge that gap between the choice you make and the wider impact that you have. At Green Story, we try to do just that. It allows companies to show their impact to clients in a clear, credible and intuitive way. Let’s take the example of Ungalli Clothing.

Their innovative product line utilizes recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. It all sounds pretty sustainable, but what do the numbers say?

How the calculations work?

In order to calculate the impact of Ungalli’s products (or indeed any company), one has to look at everything from material sourcing to transport to distribution. Each of these processes takes in energy, water, and usually generates waste and emissions. This process and material usage is then compared against current industry standards. In the case of Ungalli’s joggers, it was compared against cotton joggers made by other companies. From this, Green Story was able to calculate how much people save by choosing Ungalli’s sustainable joggers over the cotton alternative. Here’s what the numbers looked like:

Through Green Story’s visualization platform, Ungalli was able to then embed these metrics into their online store. Customers are better informed about the impact of their choices when they buy sustainable clothing.

Why it matters

From a psychological point of view, here’s why it’s important to show this information:

  1. Everyone has a bias towards information that stands out. We have a tendency to discount things that are not apparent, like how much water is used to make a T-shirt. If such information was presented clearly, then we can make better choices.
  2. Each of us also makes choices based on how easily the information is available. If you don’t recognize a certification or label, you’re not likely to Google it in a store, or even if you’re shopping online. The average consumer spends just 7 seconds looking at an item. Our infographics makes the information clear, readily available and visually appealing so that customers can easily see the impact of the product.
  3. Labels and vague claims add clutter and noise in an information saturated world. This information overload leads to mistrust. By showing credible numbers clearly and in an understandable manner, we built transparency and trust between consumers and the brand.

This is why, at Green Story, we are able to help green companies reach a greater audience and help people make better choices. For example, if you switch your plain cotton t-shirt to an organic one, you can save up to 300 litres of water. That’s enough drinking water to last you 15 days!

By making these connections, we believe in making the sustainable choice the simple choice for companies and end consumers like us!

Green Decore – Eco-friendly Home Décor

Home décor products can be found everywhere. Big box stores carry trinkets and nick knacks to fill every corner of our homes.  With all of this stuff available, how often do we pay attention to where it came from? What about the resources required getting it from the factory to our living room?  Who’s involved in producing that piece of furniture that we picked up on a whim for $9.99?

Green Decore is a company that thinks about these questions! They are on a mission to provide the best home décor products that are environmentally friendly.  Ecoripples was excited to find out about them and is even more excited to tell you about their business.

Green Decore is an organic, eco-friendly business that provides customers with beautiful, environmentally friendly rugs and other decorative home décor items.  Their products are elegant, ergonomic and have minimal impact on the environment.  We had a chance to chat with Green Decore and were impressed with their approach, vision and values.  We think you will be too!

Ecoripples’ conversation with Green Decore

Where did the idea for Green Decore originate?

Back in 2012, our company directors were looking to find beautiful, affordable and environment-friendly home décor items for their own home.  In most cases, the products available on the market did not fulfil all three of those criteria, many products not even fulfilling one of them.

The indoor and outdoor rugs are really beautiful – how did rugs come to be the focus for Green Decore?

A trip to India gave our company directors the idea for these rugs and they were determined to make them available to other people who want home décor to be ethical, yet affordable.

Could you tell us a bit more about how and where the rugs are made and who helps to create them?

All of our rugs are made in India.  The rug designs are carefully prepared by the Green Decore team and are sent to skilled machine designers in India where they are converted into the machine cards used in the machines to reproduce the designs.  The recycled plastic rugs are made from plastic straws (recycled plastic bottles) woven by machines in order to keep costs low (which is what makes them affordable).  All plastic waste from the machines is reused to make a lower grade of rug, which means that the machine process is very efficient with almost no waste products at the end of the process.  The PET rugs (made from superfine polyester fibres recycled from plastic bottles) are handwoven.

Our recycled sari silk rugs are handmade by skilled weavers and are limited due to availability of materials and a shortage of weavers with the necessary skills to make them.  Our wool rugs are hand tufted and come in a range of sizes or can be made to measure.  Our cotton rugs are handmade using the best quality cotton.

What is the most important thing you would like people to know about Green Decore?

That we work diligently to create beautiful and affordable products for homes around the world while keeping the most important aspect of our mission in mind – to reduce the carbon footprint on our environment because we believe the world is a beautiful place and we aim to do our part in keeping it that way.

Would you mind telling us about 2-3 other organizations that you think we should know about and share with our community?

Dopper – the makers of reusable water bottles in a bid to increase access to safe drinking water, reduce waste and help raise awareness of environmental issues, especially the dangers of single use plastic.

Mac and Wood – a company that makes home and office furniture from reclaimed wood.

Rewind – a company selling radios, torches and lanterns charged by wind-up or solar panels, each product designed to withstand the elements.

Below are a few of the great area rugs from Home Decore.  Check them out and more on their website.

Organic Joggers from Ungalli

Ungalli Clothing recently launched its first Kickstarter campaign on May 30 to raise funds to expand their eco-fashion line with new recycled and organic Joggers. Ungalli will create these joggers based on the input of their valued community and customers who voted on the material, logo placement and style. Each pair will save 110 days of drinking water, divert eight plastic bottles from landfill and reduce driving emissions.

Its goal is to gain the community’s support through Kickstarter and raise $60,000 to fund the new joggers. Like the rest of Ungalli’s clothing, they’ll be ethically manufactured in Canada from recycled water bottles and certified organic cotton.

With the fashion industry being the second most polluting industry in the world, lets help support a fellow Canadian company and spread awareness about sustainable fashion by backing its Kickstarter campaign and sharing its story.

Support the Ungalli movement today and make a pledge at kickstarter.ungalli.com.

Ungalli Clothing – Sustainable Canadian Style

At Ecoripples, we love values driven brands. The Canadian company Ungalli Clothing is a perfect example.  They strive to create a product that you can feel great about wearing!

Hailey Hollinsworth, Ungalli Clothing’s co-founder, states, “We do what we do because we believe in it.” Hailey and her sister Bree have founded a company that we think is awesome.  Created in 2013, Ungalli is an alternative solution to the ‘fast fashion’ industry.  Ungalli enables consumers to purchase sustainable, Canadian made apparel that is also affordable.  The two sisters have taken on the challenge and are demonstrating that clothing can be feasible, stylish, and sustainable.

“People may think that the impact they make by buying a sustainable t-shirt isn’t really that big but really, it’s a part of this way bigger movement – it’s standing up for people, standing up for the planet and really, standing up for change.” – Hailey Hollinsworth, Co-Founder of Ungalli.

We are really excited about what Hailey and Bree have created.  We had the opportunity to ask Hailey a few questions and here is what she had to say.

  1. Can you tell us why you started Ungalli Clothing?

Bree and I were both working at a uniform manufacturing facility in the summers during university. We saw the incredible amount of waste it produced and all the toxic chemicals they were using first hand. We started looking into the sustainability of the fashion industry and were completely blown away by not only how devastating it is to people and the planet, but also by how most people are completely unaware of it! From that day on we knew we had to in someway contribute to changing that.

  1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Ungalli Clothing?

Ungalli is a Canadian sustainable clothing company that is fiercely committed to bringing awareness to sustainable fashion while creating a new ethical style standard.

  1. What makes your business eco-friendly and/or socially conscious?

  • All clothing is made from recycled and organic materials
  • Each tee shirt alone saves approximately 69 days or drinking water and 3 hours of light bulb energy
  • Clothing is produced in Canadian factories where workers are paid fairly and treated with respect
  • Many shirts are associated with different charities including our very popular “Rescued is my Favourite Breed” line which supports a dog rescue
  • Co-founders can often be found speaking at conferences about the industry and raising awareness for the changes that need to be made
  1. What is the one thing about your brand that you are most proud of?

We are going to speak at a conference for youth in Quebec this June.  The conference is meant to inspire youth and adults that even the smallest changes they make can change the world. We speak right after David Suzuki, who is a Canadian icon in the environmental world. Although we are incredibly nervous, we couldn’t be more proud to share our story and inspire youth to believe in and fight for things that matter to them.

  1. If people only knew one thing about your business, what would you like it to be?

We would want them to know that Ungalli was started to help individuals be able to make a significant impact. We’re in this together, and without them there is no Ungalli. They have the power to change consumer behaviour through the choices they make every single day.

  1. Can you name a few other brands with a similar vision to yours that we should share with our community?

We want to thank Hailey for taking the time to speak with us.  This company has had a lot of success in a short time.  They deserve it as they have created an awesome foundation for a environmentally friendly business.  I can understand being nervous to speak after David Suzuki but what a great honour for them and their company.

Make sure you support Ungalli by sharing this story and picking up some of their merchandise here!

If you know of a brand that should be featured on Ecoripples, let us know in the comments below or email us directly.

Ethos Deal – Discounts for Conscious Consumers

The Ethos Deal has established an awesome site for fans of eco-friendly and ethical products.  The Ethos Deal is a online platform where conscious consumers can sign up for updates on sales and promos.  Ethical companies can promote their products. The site does not charge for these promotions.  This is clearly a win/win for consumers and ethical companies.

Coupons And Discounts For Conscious Consumers On A Budget

Here are a few of the deals they currently have on their site:
  • 25% off upcycled clutches with coupon code “LOVELYETHOS” from Leotie Loveley
  • 35% OFF WITH COUPON CODE “Sweethearts” from Hope and Twine
  • 50% off select items from Raspberry Mint with coupon code “”OFF50ETHOS”

Make sure to visit www.ethosdeal.com. Sign up for their newsletter to learn about more great deals and companies!

The Ethos Deal will be happy to help any ethical company. Please feel free to share their information.

Eco-Friendly Baby Toys

There are some fantastic eco-friendly baby toys out there.  However, with the amount of ‘stuff’ out there, finding great brands and toys can be pretty overwhelming.  Our team has complied the following list of our favourite eco-friendly brands and toys.  We hope you enjoy it!

EverEarth

EverEarth is a company that wants to inspire children and parents to get closer to nature.  Their toys are made from environmentally friendly materials and do not include harmful chemicals.  EverEarth has a great collection of baby toys on their website.  The following rattles are a couple of our favourites.

EverEarth Crocodile Rattle Toy

EverEarth Wooden Spinning Rattle Toy

Maya Organics

Maya Organic is a non-profit organization from India. The company is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.  It focuses on livelihood development by working with a network of artisans, workers and micro-entrepreneurs to produce high quality wooden products. Currently, Maya Organic is working with the artisan community in a small town near the city of Bangalore,  India.  As part of their core business, they train several new artisans, particularly women, in the art of handicrafts.

MAYA ORGANIC Handcrafted Wooden Pull toy

Maya Organic Handcrafted Wooden Toy

 

Wonderworld 

Wonderworld is a company from Thailand that is a strong advocate of protecting the environment.  They use rubber-wood, an environmentally friendly, renewable resource in the production of their toys. Rubber-wood is harvested as a by-product from the culling of rubber trees that are in excess of 25 years of age. These trees no longer produce latex for commercial applications and are cut down so new rubber trees can be planted.  This process ensures that every part of the tree is used and results in no deforestation.  The wooden toys of Wonderworld are made from eco-friendly materials and water-based, non-toxic paints.

Wonderworld Wonder Sensory Block Toys

Wonderworld Peek-A-Boo Ball Blue Interactive Wooden Baby Toy

 

Uncle Goose

Uncle Goose is an American company that handcrafts wooden blocks in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The company uses materials from around the Great Lakes and is socially and environmentally considerate. They source their products using fast-growing sustainable basswood. Uncle Goose uses non-toxic, child-safe inks on all of their blocks.  This company creates some pretty unique blocks. Check out some of our favourite blocks below, but visit their website to see their entire collection of awesome blocks!

Sea Cubes by Uncle Goose

Sea Cubes by Uncle Goose

Cube Pets by Uncle Goose

Cube Pets by Uncle Goose

 

Learn more about these Eco-friendly Baby Toy Brands by visiting their websites!

Plan Toys

PlanToys is a company from Trang, Thailand.  Founded in 1981, it makes its toys from natural rubber wood trees that no longer produce latex.  To keep the wood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil three years prior to the trees being cut down. The company uses recyclable packaging and water-based inks.  Here are a couple of their toys which we think are great!

Square Clutching Toy by Plan Toys

Clapping Roller by Plan Toys

 

anaMalz

Now these animals are plenty cool.  AnaMalz is an Australlian based company.  AnaMalz creates award winning eco and poseable animal figurines made from wood and plush materials. Each piece has its own markings that make anaMalz unique. For every anaMalz that finds a home, a percentage is donated to preserve nature.  They have a ton of animals and they are all pretty cool:favourites:

Moose by Anamalz

Horse by Anamalz

Gorilla by Anamalz

Pig by Anamalz

 

Sophie the Giraffe by Vulli 

Sophie the Giraffe is an incredibly recognizable baby toy.  We had a baby a few months back.  When our youngster is chewing on Sophie’s head, we often hear “oh, she’s got a Sophie too.  My kid had/has one of those”.  And this is true. Most babies that we know have or had this toy. They all seem to love it.  What is not as well known is Sophie’s environmental background.

Sophie is made by the good people of Vulli.  The French company make Sophie from 100% natural rubber.  The rubber comes from the Hevea tree growing in sustainable forests. The plaster used for the manufacturing of Sophie is sorted separately and recycled in the plaster industry. The waste plastics, scrap metal, and boxes created in the manufacturing process are set aside for recycling. You can learn more about the eco-friendly practices of Vulli here.

Sophie the Giraffe Natural Teether

Sophie Giraffe Bath Toy

 

Green Toys

Green toys manufactures all of its eco-friendly childrens’ products in the USA.  They focus on using a local supply chain to ensure high quality toys.  100% post-consumer recycled plastic is used in their toys.  This diverts material from landfills, but also reduce their carbon footprint and potentially harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Green Toys’ non-toxic food-safe toys and tableware are tested throughout every stage of production.  Here are a couple of their eco-friendly baby toys:

Green Toys Elephant-on-Wheels

Green Toys Twist Teether Toy

 

Apple Park

Apple Park was founded in San Francisco with a vision to create environmentally responsible and luxurious products for babies and children.  The name Apple Park comes from ideals that define the brand.  The word “apple” stands for a new beginning, the life cycle, nature, love, curiosity and education. “Park” refers to a place where man has collaborated with nature for the purpose of preservation and enjoyment.

Apple Park’s mission is to create unique, lovable and stimulating toys from organic, sustainable and recycled materials.  Here are a few of their awesome products:

Frenchy Fox

Rattle, Belle the Cow

Blankie, Belle the Cow

Plush Toy – Belle Cow

Olives and Pickles

The creator of Olives & Pickles sought a healthier and more innovative product that would make both babies and parents alike happy.  As a result, they created the organic, untreated crinkle bunny ears teether. This is a great product for babies of all ages.  An entire line of organic and convenient toys is now available from Olives & Pickles.

Olives and Pickles Organic Rattle Teething Plush Toy, Bunny

 

If you know of any other great eco-friendly baby toys or brands, please let us know about them in the comments below.

41 Awesome Social Enterprises

There is a fantastic growing trend of new companies that are giving back!  We are continually searching for these companies and looking to promote them.  We have found the following 41 awesome social enterprises that have a model of donating to a need for every product purchased.

Check out theses 41 awesome social enterprises:

  1. Akola Project – The Akola Project is a social business within a non-profit framework that empowers marginalized women to generate income to uplift the lives of their families and communities by employing them to make high-fashion jewelry, handbags and home goods.
  2. Alaffia – Alaffia is skin care company that was created to help West African communities become sustainable through the fair trade of indigenous resources.  Alaffia invests in local communities because they believe it is their moral responsibility and to ensure African resources empower African communities.
  3. Baby Teresa – Baby Teresa was originally founded in 2009 by two moms who were focused on giving back. For each piece of clothing they sell, an outfit goes to a baby in need.  For each accessory sold, a portion of the profits buys formula for babies in orphanages.
  4. Barnabas – The purpose behind Barnabas is to encourage people in every aspect of life.  They donate 10% of the profits to Living Room International, a non-profit in Western Kenya that provides care to those living with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
  5. Beza Threads – Beza Threads sells scarves that have been handmade by former slaves in Ethiopia. 100% of the funds go back to help remove children from slavery and to then educate and empower them.
  6. Better Life Bags – Better Life Bags started as Rebecca Smith’s hobby. To beat boredom during the last month’s of her first pregnancy, she made herself a diaper bag and posted pictures of it on Facebook.. Now with each purchase she donates to low-income entrepreneurs in developing countries and helps her own struggling Detroit-area community by employing women and offering them a living wage.
  7. Better World BooksThis is a company that was founded in 2015 with the mission to expand literacy rates. With each purchase they donate one book to Books for Africa.
  8. Bombas -Bombas was born out of a mission to help those in need.  They sell socks made for athletic performance. For every pair purchased, Bombas donates a pair to someone in need.
  9. Bottle Bright – The creators of Bottle Bright were fed up with the grime that plagued their hydration packs and water bottles, and the lack of suitable methods to clean them. So, they set out to create a safe and effective product for maintaining hard-to-clean drinking containers. The problem of dirty water containers carries serious risks to people in developing countries so they started to donate Bottle Bright to people in need of clean water containers.
  10. Cuddle + Kind – The family behind Cuddle + Kind wanted to make beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. So, for every cuddle+kind doll sold, they give 10 meals to children in need.
  11. Do One Thing, DOT – Dot seeks to change the face of poverty for children all over the world. With every school and office supply you purchase, they’ll fund 1/2 a day of education in some of the poorest countries in the world.
  12. Divvy Up This company was created when the founders noticed that shelters have a huge need for clean socks. So, in 2014, they started a company where with every pair sold, they will donate a brand new pair of plain white or black socks to the local homeless shelter.
  13. DenikThe Denik brand began with a few college guys at Utah State University. They started selling notebooks, journals and sketchbooks designed by global artists with a portion of each book being used to build schools.
  14. Everything Happy – This company was born with the mission of bringing a smile to kid’s faces. That’s why for each Happy Blankie or Happy Pal purchased, one gets donated to a child in a hospital or orphanage.
  15. Half UnitedHalf United was founded in 2009 by brother/sister duo, with only $200 and a passion to change the lives of people in need. They sell jewelry made from bullet casings and Donate half of the profits from ever product sold to fighting the global hunger epidemic in the USA, Fiji, Cambodia and Madagascar.
  16. Hand in Hand Soap – Hand in Hand Soap was conceived in 2011 by two social entrepreneurs who believe that business can do so much more than just make money. They created this company that provides soap and a month of clean water to children in need around the world for each bar purchased.
  17. Jonas UmbrellasProvides high-fashion, stylish umbrellas to you and give the opportunity to make a difference in the global community through clean-water projects. Every Jonas umbrella directly supports a specific clean-water project.
  18. Kammok – Their mission is to equip and inspire others for life changing adventure. They also want to do some good in the world by donating 1% of profits to CTC International, an Austin-based nonprofit, that helps develop communities in Kenya by building necessary infrastructure.
  19. LSTN SoundTheir goal is to produce premium audio products and use proceeds from sales to change lives through the power of music. For the past 3 years, for every purchase, they help provide hearing aids to a person in need.
  20. MitscootsIn 2008 while volunteering, the founders learned that after food and water, socks and clothing are what they need most. So they decided to start employing homeless people to help them get back on their feet. Plus, for every sock purchased, another is donated to someone in need.
  21. Outland DenimThese guys sell handcrafted jeans made by young women who have been rescued out of sexual exploitation in Cambodia.
  22. Out of Print – This is a company that sells clothes. Each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need. It also supports the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives.
  23. Panda – When Panda Sunglasses was founded 2012, we envisioned a fashion company that would not only help people in a meaningful way, but also the planet. With each pair of eco friendly bamboo glasses that you buy you will allow someone in need to get provides an eye exam and pair of prescription glasses.
  24. Pacha Soap Their mission to implement sustainable solutions to the poverty cycle, to promote health and well-being around the world, and to provide quality products for customers. With every bar purchased they donate one to someone in need.
  25. Project7Project 7 is a specialty gum and mint brand dedicated to bringing great flavor back into your day while at the same time giving back to 7 areas of need. For each product purchased they make a corresponding donations for things like fruit trees, meals, digging wells, and providing education.
  26. Purse and Clutch – This is an ethical boutique that partners with artisans in developing countries who create their products with an emphasis on design & quality. These artisans are treated with respect & are paid a living wage. In their website you can find products under $100 from artisans around the world. Each purchase helps employ & empower the artisans who made it.
  27. Roma Boots – Roma Boots merges fashion with philanthropy to give poverty the boot. It was born in 2010 to bring impoverished children throughout the world hope, love, and lasting change through aid and education. For each pair of rain boots sold, a pair filled with school supplies is given to a child in need somewhere in the world
  28. Solo HopeIt opened in 2015 as a non profit corporation that works with women in Honduras to create Jewelry and Bags made of pine straw. Besides a fair, steady income, ten percent of all sales goes into an education fund for students in Honduras.
  29. Sheva This is a company that sells feminine hygiene products and works toward empowering women in Guatemala. Every time you receive your Sheva box, they donate a box filled with sanitary pads to a girl in need through their partnered NGOs.
  30. Solve Sunglasses Is a company that gives back with every pair of sunglasses you purchase. SOLVE will give someone in need clean water for life through Water Missions International.
  31. Smile SquaredIt was founded in hopes of giving children their smiles back. Millions of children in the United States and around the world lack access to basic oral health care. For every toothbrush purchased, Smile Squared donates one to a child in need.
  32. Sackcloth and AshesFounder of Sackcloth & Ashes, Bob Dalton, was inspired to help the homeless population when his mother, a hardworking single mother, found herself living on the streets in 2013. He realized that not all choose to become homeless. Since then for every blanket purchased, they will donate one to your local homeless shelter.
  33. Soapbox SoapsSoapBox Soaps was founded in 2010 with a simple mission: to empower people to change the world through everyday, quality purchases. It donates one bar of soap, fresh water or vitamin supplements to a child in need for every bar purchased.
  34. Tim WatchThey envision a world where all people—no matter where they live—hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and for others. To do that they starter providing micro-funds whenever one of their watches is purchased.
  35. This Bar Saves LivesEvery year, severe acute malnutrition claims the lives of 2.6 million children. That’s one child every 12 seconds. That’s why This Bar Saves Lives started sending life-saving packet of food to people in need with every non-gmo granola bar purchased from their store.
  36. Thistle FarmsThey sell bath and body products that are made by a community of women in Tennessee who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. This allows them to support themselves.
  37. Thrive CausemeticsThrive Causemetics was born out of a friendship. While working for L’Oreal’s luxury division Karissa Bodnar lost her dear friend Kristy to cancer at just 24 years old. Kristy’s compassionate and vivacious spirit inspired Karissa to establish Thrive Causemetics, a beauty brand and philosophy that goes beyond skin deep by empowering women. That’s why with each purchase they donate a beauty item to women with cancer.
  38. Tukula – Tukula (meaning “we grow”) partners with organizations and businesses to develop amazing products, created a our team of artisans in Uganda. Along with a fair wage, the women that work with them receive medical care, an encouraging work environment, and access to savings programs.
  39. Twosome Socks This is a company that sells high quality dress socks with a buy one give one model. Whenever you buy a pair another one is donated to Village of Hope in Orange County, California.
  40. YoobiMany kids in the U.S. don’t have access to basic school supplies, unless teachers pay for them out of their own pocket. That’s not right! Because they sell school and office supplies they decided to donate the same number of supplies purchased to U.S. schools in need.
  41. Zen Pig Kid’s BookThe series uses rhythmic poetry and minimalist design so the morals and values Zen Pig embodies are the spotlight. Zen Pig is always speaking wisdom into and serving his town and neighbors. Every copy sold provides 10 people with access to clean water for 1 year.

If you know of any other companies that help people out, please let us know in the comments. We are constantly looking for more companies to support by sharing!

Hydrapak + Bottle Bright = Brilliance!

Not often is a socially and ecologically conscious company also extraordinarily practical.  But the people behind Bottle Bright have made the connection!  There are many wonderful companies and nonprofit organizations that make fantastic impacts on the world but sometimes the items sold aren’t always necessities.

Chances are you may be one of the many people who carry a reusable water bottle, or at least have tried one.  Some of you may enjoy being active and carry a hydration pack with you on long outings.  Or you bring your travel coffee mug with you to work every morning.  No matter who you are, chances are pretty good that you have or have tried a reusable drink container.  But, man, are they a pain to clean (if you can figure out how to clean them at all…).

The guys behind Bottle Bright had the same problem.  After enduring a long bike ride with weird tasting water, they realized that they had two choices. They could clean their packs with bleach or live with stinky, gross tasting water.  The guys resolved to create a new cleaner bottle unlike anything before.

Bottle Bright is an all natural cleaner, meaning no harsh chemicals and 100% biodegradable ingredients.  The packaging was chosen to reduce landfill waste by using recycled materials and making the end product recyclable as well.  It also promotes the use of reusable containers, thereby reducing waste created by disposable containers (not to mention, less energy is spent on creating those containers when people reuse their containers).

80% of illnesses in developing countries are water related.  There have been countless efforts to provide a clean water source to those most in need, which is fantastic!  But many have overlooked a step.  What good is clean water if it must be carried and stored in a dirty container?

bottle brightFor every purchase of Bottle Bright, the same amount is donated to people in developing countries.  Hydrapak offers hygiene education as well as donations of Bottle Bright.  The best part is, it is easy to use, safe to handle, easy to carry with you.  The cleaning solution can be discarded directly onto the ground with no ecological repercussions.  It also promotes domestic jobs as it is made in the USA.

The people at Hydrapak and Bottle Bright really got it right!  They are helping people desperate for clean water by helping them to keep their water clean.  Their product is so practical and simple and there will always be a need for clean containers, in both developed and developing parts of the world.

Look out world, there’s a new baby in town Baby Teresa

Clothing is one of the many basic needs of babies throughout the world. Though for some, that is one need that is hard to meet.  Baby Teresa was founded in 2009 by two moms who were looking to give something back.  With so many of their friends having children, they found it difficult to give truly meaningful gifts.

baby teresaBaby Teresa rompers and accessories are made with 100% organic and fair trade cotton.  Not only does this offer safety and financial security for farmers and their families, but it also gives your baby softer and healthier clothing.  It is particularly helpful for children with allergies or eczema.  Having residual chemical pesticides and fertilizers so close to the sensitive skin of a child is never ideal.

25% of Profits to Charities

The wonderful people at Baby Teresa not only offer these adorable and well-made diapers to your family but for every one bought, one is donated to a child in need.  When they added the accessories, they started a campaign to donate formula to select orphanages.  Orphanages can sometimes be so underfunded that they have to water down their baby formula in order to feed the children.  Every accessory sold helps to alleviate that need.  Baby Teresa donates 25% of their profits to charities that help empower women from pregnancy to parenthood.

With all the stresses that surround raising a child, clothing shouldn’t have to be one of them.  By 2015, Baby Teresa has donated clothing to children in over 20 countries and counting.  They don’t just donate to developing countries.  Baby Teresa has donated to organizations that help women and babies right in their home of Australia as well as many European countries.  Baby Teresa will be helping babies around the world as long as babies are being born!

Keep a look out for Baby Teresa’s new line of clothing coming out soon!  It is sure to be equally, if not more, adorable!

Clothe Your Neighbor As Yourself

Clothe Your Neighbor as Yourself (CYNY) is a nonprofit clothing company dedicated to changing the face of poverty through clothing.  The founder, James Barnett, was raised in middle-class America by a religious family.  They went to church regularly but Barnett started to feel like there was something wrong in the way his family practiced their religion. So, at the age of 24, he quit his job, sold off all his belongings and became intentionally homeless for two years.  He wanted to discover a different way to serve God and figured he needed to immerse himself in a life he wasn’t used to in order to figure out how.

CYNYOne day, the life of one of his homeless friends changed forever with a pair of steel-toed boots.  He was able to land a job in construction and eventually housing.  Barnett could not believe that something as simple as clothing could have such an impact.  At the time, there were no nonprofit clothing brands and Barnett resolved to start one.  Today, Barnett is the executive director and runs the CYNY in Atlanta, GA with his wife and dog (who was appointed Chief of Snuggles).

Since the start of CYNY, customers have helped to provide:

  • seamstress jobs to women rescued from the sex trade in India,
  • school uniforms to orphans in Kenya and Haiti,
  • interview attire to the homeless,
  • wigs for women fighting cancer,
  • diapers to single parents, and
  • backpacks to US children living in poverty.

Clothe Your Neighbor as Yourself has clearly been busy making impacts throughout the world.

CYNY recognizes that their clothing isn’t necessarily cheap.  That’s because they refuse to cut corners while trying to help people.  From the farmers who grow the cotton to the seamstresses who create the finished products, CYNY pays fair and ethical wages.

CYNYEach purchase from Clothe Your Neighbor as Yourself provides a school uniform for an impoverished child or gives job training and a professional wardrobe to a homeless person.  When making a purchase, you get to choose the cause most important to you.

CYNY is currently working with the Safehouse Outreach in Atlanta and 410 Bridge which operates in Kenya and Haiti.

The company partners with retailers throughout the world.  The hope is to make a larger impact for those who need it and change the culture of consumerism.

Some companies are becoming more aware of the social and environmental impacts of their clothing. It is great to see a company dedicated to using their business for positive social change.

Elephant Landing empowering the women of India

elephant landingElephant Landing was started in November 2013 by husband and wife Caroline and Jayden, to benefit women struggling in India.  In 2001, Jayden first visited rural India to start an orphanage with his parents.  Once the orphanage was up and running, he was amazed that so many of the children under their care were not actually orphans at all.  They had families but their parents could not make enough money to take care of them.

In 2003, they started a training center where they taught women how to sew and embroider.  Widows and single mothers are the bulk of their students.  When the women graduate, each woman receives a foot pedaled sewing machine that they can take back to their villages and start a home business.  Upon finishing the training, these women have the knowledge and equipment to go into business for themselves.  Finally, the women can support their families and contribute to the communities in which they live.

By 2013 when Elephant Landing officially opened its doors, over 300 women had graduated from the sewing school that was started only ten years earlier.  Elephant Landing partnered with about thirty graduates to create the products that Elephant Landing sell today.

elephant landingelephant landingThe products are made from the family’s homes and all of the women they have partnered with are paid a fair wage.  They make household goods, literally from their home to yours.

Their handmade pillows and throws are unique to each one.  Each throw is hand-loomed and the dyes are eco-friendly.  100% of all profits go back to the women and into expanding the sewing program to new villages.

Elephant Landing is determined to continue to help create employment opportunities and hope for the future.  By making a purchase, you become a character in their story.

There are other great organizations helping in similar ways in order to help empower individuals.  In Uganda, Tukula trains single mothers in sewing and embroidery so they can start their own home businesses as well.  In Ethiopia, Beza Threads empowers young boys and girls saved from modern slavery.  The problem lies all over the world and Elephant Landing is gladly stepping up and trying to do something about it in India.

Jacob’s Scarves: Supporting Education and Artisan work

jacobs scarves

Jacob’s Scarves is a small apparel company working to provide high-quality jobs and education to people in disadvantaged communities.

Founder Kiri Berdan started the company in 2012 after visiting Zhongshan, China to teach English there for a semester. While she was there, she got to know a neighboring family that was struggling to pay for schooling for their son, Jacob. Thus began Jacob’s scarves, as a small operation selling scarves to help raise money for just one child.

Since then, Jacob’s Scarves has expanded, and its products are now produced in Uganda, Mexico, and Bolivia. They do their best to work directly with artisan craftspeople and provide them with reliable, well-paying jobs.

For example, you can read a blog post all about how Berdan started a relationship with workers in the town of Villa Abecia, Bolivia, when she visited there. She explains that she had been traveling in Bolivia looking for an opportunity to start a mutually-beneficial business relationship with local artisans, and just happened to meet a woman who made scarves while she was dining in a restaurant.

The woman Berdan met in Bolivia had many years of experience in crocheting and making scarves, but struggled to find a market for her high-quality product. Out of that chance encounter was born Jacob’s Scarves’ Bolivia line of scarves.

Scarves in the Bolivia line are made by women in Villa Abecia who do every step of the production process, from raising and sheering the sheep, to cleaning and dying the wool, then spinning and crocheting.

Jacob’s Scarves has a wide variety of vibrant scarves. Each country they work in produces different styles. You can peruse their wide selection here.

Beyond providing jobs, Jacob’s Scarves continues it’s mission of helping to provide education to children who are unable to afford it.

JC Denim Co.: Fighting Sex Trafficking in Cambodia

JC denim co jeans

Jeans from JC Denim Co. are handcrafted by young women in Cambodia rescued from situations of sexual exploitation.

The Australia-based company partners with Destiny Rescue Cambodia. Destiny Rescue is an organization that rescues young women from the sex trade and teaches them sewing. JC Denim Co. has become a consistent supplier of work for a number of these women, who are able to work from their own homes, and make more than they would in a factory.

JC Denim is a not-for-profit company, and they pay the seamstresses in Cambodia 3-4 times the average for Cambodian garment workers. They also have a line of women’s denim made by hand in Australia, where the manufacturing industry (much like in the U.S.) has taken a hit due to outsourcing of jobs.

A pair of jeans takes about a full day to make. JC Denim boasts that the jeans are made with old-fashioned coal-powered, foot-pumped sewing machines, since most of these women don’t have electricity.

It’s easy to see that the JC Denim Co. staff is passionate about helping the people they employ.  If you take a look at their extensive FAQ page, you can get detailed information on the working conditions, the wages the company is paying, the problems of sex trafficking in Cambodia, the history of the company, and more.

You can also read personal stories about a handful of the seamstresses that work for JC, to find out who is making your jeans and how making your jeans improved their lives.

As far as the product itself — the jeans run about $150. JC Denim also sells a variety of other rugged-looking products: belts, wallets, boots, and t-shirts, all with that hearty hand-crafted vibe.

For more on JC Denim Co., check out their impressively high-production value Vice-style documentary about the Cambodian sex trade and their work with Destiny Rescue:

Half United: Fighting Hunger, Fashionably

Half United is a rugged-chic jewelry and apparel company focused on fighting hunger. Siblings Christian and Carmin Black founded the company in 2009 in Wilmington, North Carolina, starting from very humble beginnings.

With just $200 to invest in their fledgling project, the duo started from scratch, selling recycled odds and ends at art shows — coffee mugs, plates, and bowls onto which they stenciled the Half United logo. They admit that their product wasn’t of the highest quality at that point, but they say people were eager to buy from them because they were inspired by their story and their mission.
half united bullet necklace
Over time they’ve definitely improved their offering, coming out with more and more stylish products. One of their signature products is their “Fighting Hunger” bullet necklace. Each necklace is adorned with a recycled bullet casing, which they say symbolizes the fight against hunger.

Half United sells a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, as well as t-shirts with cute motivational slogans like “Giving Back is the New Black” and “Fight the Good Fight.” They also have a truly endearing collection of kids’ tees.

The philanthropic focus of Half United is fighting hunger. They promise that for each product you purchase, they will provide 7 meals to a child in need. So far, they have provided over 200,000 meals to children in the U.S., Fiji, Liberia, Nepal, Haiti, and Cambodia.

Half United’s hunger-fighting efforts are fairly comprehensive. They’ve focused on a number of countries where hunger is a problem (including their own, the U.S.). They’ve partnered with different organizations in each country, to make sure the money the donate is doing as much good as possible. Their website includes information on the specific hunger-fighting programs in each country.

To get to know the siblings who run Half United and learn more about their story and mission, check out their video:

Sevenly

Sevenly is a non-profitable organization founded in 2011 with the mission of leading a generation towards prosperity. It is based on a simple, core believe that ‘people matter’. This organization launched the now global ‘cause art’ movement and started creating 7-day cause campaigns.  In these campaigns, Sevenly invites customers to purchase products that donate to non-profits. Each campaign and every product creates conversations.

Globally recognized as one of the world’s leading ‘social good’ organizations, Sevenly performs campaigns that change lives and bring awareness and funding to the world’s greatest causes.

Sevenly-Blog

Sevenly Social Aspect

Sevenly focuses on raising funds and awareness for important causes. It commissions ‘cause art’ that celebrates the work of these causes, sells products that give back, and promotes stories of encouragement to all the people they reach.  Throughout the year, this organization features specific causes for all its campaigns.

7% of all items sold are donated to The Sevenly Foundation, which in turn donates 100% of that amount to its non-profit partner pledges.

Sevenly values work in their own way and with their unique preferences. They are committed to highlighting good words about good work, rather than creating a staging area for people to post things that might reflect a “glass half empty” approach.

slide-2-image

Sevenly products

Whether an inspiring print, a shirt, or an item from their curated cause collections, Sevenly products are decorated with seven unique designs for each cause that give back and create conversations.  Sevenly prints on high-quality, tag-less, apparel that are made of either 100% ringspun cotton, poly/cotton mix, poly/cotton/viscose, or tri-blend fabric hence environment-friendly.

Sevenly provide free shipping for all orders above $75. They also exchange products at no additional cost in cases where the products do not meet your taste, preference or size. They will also refund the full cost of the product (less the charitable donation) if they do not have your preferred product in stock.

In less than five years, Sevenly has raised over $4 million, created billions of cause-related impressions, and touched nearly two million lives!

Like Barnabas Clothing Co., Sevenly has gifts cards which are sent speedily via email to the recipient of your choice. This makes the perfect option for a last minute gift or for those who have just about everything. Donations are made through these gift cards when the card is used to place an order.  This allows the recipient to choose the charity they would like to support.

Order your product today at Sevenly.org and donate to non-profits with great causes.

Even Your Toothbrush Can be Sustainable!

humble brush

Being an eco-friendly consumer means making responsible buying choices with all of your purchases, from your choice of the car you drive all the way down to… yes, your toothbrush.

The toothbrushes from Humble Brush (based in Sweden) are 100% biodegradable. They’re made from bamboo, which is a naturally sustainable material, and the bristles are made from Nylon 6, which Humble Brush says is the “most biodegradable nylon in the world.” While it would be nice to see them do away with the Nylon, Humble Brush explains that this is the only way they could make the brush effective and affordable.

Humble Brush was founded by dentist Noel Abdayem in 2013, with the goal of creating a fully-functional toothbrush that is not only sustainable, but also helps to provide oral health to people in need around the world.

A laser-engraved, (almost) all-natural toothbrush might seem like a bit of a luxury fashion statement (and maybe it is… so what?), but these brushes are also another small step away from wasteful consumption practices, and toward sustainable, globally-minded production.

As Humble Brush explains in their video, 5 BILLION plastic toothbrushes are produced each year. Once they’re worn out, they have nowhere to go but landfills and the ocean. Humble Brushes, on the other hand, will last you the dentist-recommended 3 months, and then will naturally biodegrade when you throw them out.

For each toothbrush sold, Humble Brush donates 1 toothbrush (or the equivalent value in oral care) to a child in need. Humble Brush works with the Humble Smile Foundation to do its philanthropic work. Check out some examples of the Humble Smile Foundation’s oral health initiatives here.

Humble Brush was voted Best New Product in 2015 in the Natural and Organic Awards.

Check out Humble Brush’s video to learn more about the product and see the production process from start to finish: