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

Even Your Toothbrush Can be Sustainable!

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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:

Kammok: Camping Gear with Social Impact

Austin, TX-based Kammok makes high-tech hammocks, blankets, and other camping gear. They are a certified B-Corporation and a member of 1% For the Planet. B-Corp certification means that they are a for-profit company verified to have sustainable and transparent business practices, and 1% For the Planet membership means that 1% of all profits are donated to a philanthropic cause.

Through 1% For the Planet, Kammok partners with Ubuntu (also based in Austin), a philanthropic organization that does community development in Kenya. Ubuntu is the largest employer in a city of over 60,000 people in Kenya, where they focus on “five specific needs: Education, Environment, Economy, Health and Community.” Check out Ubuntu’s website for more on their mission and the work they do.

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The main offering from Kammok is the Roo, their durable, versatile hammock that comes in a huge array of colors. For all the uses of the Roo, check out this video from the company:

At around just $20, these hammocks are super affordable, and they get great reviews from campers — Kammok calls it “The World’s Best Camping Hammock,” and customers seem to agree! Reviewers say the hammocks are easy to set up and easily fold up very small for packing away. The Roo is made out of parachute nylon fabric.

Kammok also offers various other camping gear items, such as insect nets, weather shelters, carabiners, suspension straps, sleeping bags… and trucker hats, in case you need one of those. For each product, their website offers a pretty thorough explanation of the high-tech materials and construction they use. Because why go into nature with anything less then the most advanced modern equipment?

Kammok products come with a lifetime warranty, and the company promises to recycle the product for you when it’s worn out (eventually).

Like any good outdoors brand, they also have a pretty good Instagram account worth checking out.

FASHIONABLE: Leather and Jewelry Made by Women

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FASHIONABLE makes high quality leather products and jewelry for women that balance stylish elegance with rustic sturdiness. The mission of the company is to provide jobs to women (both locally and globally) who would otherwise have trouble accessing dependable, safe employment.

The founders started the company when they were living in Ethiopia and observed huge numbers of women doing sex work because this was the only work available to them. They assert that FASHIONABLE is not a charity model — they believe that the best way to combat poverty is by providing opportunity, especially to women. “We believe that social businesses whose aim is to alleviate poverty should use their business skills to create job opportunities for the poor, not give them more charity…Through much study and understanding of the social sciences, those in the development world understand that giving a woman a job leads to a much stronger benefit to a family than when given to a man.”

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They are in the process of becoming a certified B Corporation, a new standard for companies that live up to high standards of sustainability and transparency.

In 2015 FASHIONABLE took on a local approach as well, by merging with the brand Miriam. Products from the Miriam Collection are crafted by women in Nashville, TN, who previously had trouble accessing employment. They currently employ 5 women full-time through this program, and plan to continue growing it.

To demonstrate the impact that your purchase has, FASHIONABLE has a special “Women’s Stories” page — on this page you can read the personal stories of over 20 women employed by FASHIONABLE.

FASHIONABLE has a huge variety of totes, handbags, clutches, rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. Customized and personalized products are made by the small crew in Nashville.

Quick tip: if you refer a friend who buys something for over $40 from FASHIONABLE, they’ll give you $20 off any product.

Alaffia: Diversifying Humanities

There are numerous brands out there that contribute to the betterment of man, but none is as diverse or as passionate as Alaffia. Founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde, this brand takes social empowerment to a whole new level.

Alaffia produces and sells beauty care products made from sustainably harvested, traditionally extracted, unrefined coconut oil and shea butter from Togo, West Africa. Fair wages and prices are paid to the Alaffia members and farmers. The final products are completed in small batches by hand in their Olympia, Washington facility in order to reduce energy consumption and increase product quality. They even have environmentally mindful packaging.

All Alaffia products are Fair Trade certified. What does that mean? Basic fair trade requirements involve locally fair wages, equal opportunity employment, environmentally sustainable practices, and healthy, safe working conditions. Because of Alaffia’s fair trade practices, shea butter prices are twice as high as market competitors in West African ports. They pay 15-25% above market for their shea nuts, members receive four times higher salary than the average family income in Togo. Members also receive full medical care, employment security, and one month paid vacation per year. This has earned Alaffia the Fair for Life: Social & Fair Trade certification by IMO (the Institute for Marketecology).

What makes Alaffia’s beauty products superior to most of their competitors, besides the ethically and morally sound business practices, is the fact that their shea butter and coconut oils remain unrefined. This allows the product to retain all of the important vitamins and antioxidants that make shea butter and coconut oil so effective. It also allows members to process the raw ingredients in the traditional way.

In the Queen Alaffia Collection, each piece of the collection is one of a kind, handmade in Togo. The Alaffia Artisan Center, where the articles are made, rehabilitates women who had once been forced into the sex trade due to various circumstances. The Center offers these women a stable income and a respectable work environment they can be proud of. They also learn and retain traditional techniques and sewing skills.

Their Good Soap brand is offered exclusively at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. One percent of sales is donated to the Whole Planet Foundation which aims to alleviate poverty by offering microcredit to communities worldwide. Alaffia adds to the usefulness of this brand by allocating funds generated from the soap’s sales to building a kindergarten in Togo each year!

Already this company has earned the title of hero from its wonderful products alone. But that is just the tip of the iceberg!

Alaffia has started and funds multiple “Empowerment Projects” in Togo. The goal is to help alleviate poverty and gender inequality. The programs are certainly diversified; from education-based projects, the Maternal Care Project, Reforestation Project, Eyeglasses Project to the FGM Eradication Project.

Education Projects:

The education projects provide necessities to school children: uniforms, books, writing supplies, desks and even new roofs on schools. Alaffia partners with retailers in the United States to collect school supplies. To help, call 1-800-664-8005.

In the rural areas of Togo, many children have to walk ten miles to simply attend school. The area lacks buses and families cannot afford private transportation. Therefore, school becomes a very time-consuming part of a child’s day and often they will drop out of school in order to help their family with work. To help combat this inconvenience that costs children their education, Alaffia donates used bikes to school children. And it works! About 95% of bicycle recipients go on to graduate secondary school. The bikes are collected from communities in Washington and Oregon. They take bicycles destined for dumps and give them new life to encourage children to stay in school.

The Maternal Care Project:

The Maternal Care Project was started to help reduce the massive amount of deaths that occur each year in West Africa due to pregnancy or childbirth. Every year, Alaffia funds pre- and post-delivery care for local women, as well as provides information and training on often overlooked topic of women’s health issues.

FGM Eradication Project:

The Female Genitalia Mutilation (FGM) Eradication Project is an extension of the Maternal Care Project. Internationally, FGM is considered a violation of human rights and has many risks associated with it. Risks include severe bleeding, persistent infections, life-threatening complications during childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. Alaffia offers a moving testimonial about this project on their website under FGM Eradication Project.

Reforestation Project:

This project encourages Togolese farmers to plant trees to reforest their homes. Reforestation minimizes erosion and improves food security. Training is conducted to discourage the cutting of shea trees for firewood, protecting an indigenous resource. It also investigates sustainable fuel alternatives to firewood and charcoal, primarily bio-gas and bio-oils.

Eyeglasses Project:

Due to the prohibitive prices of eye care in West Africa leaves children, adults and aging community members without clear sight. Eye exams in West Africa can cost as much as one month’s pay, and glasses as much as four month’s pay. This project collects used/unwanted glasses from U.S. communities and an optometrist in Togo properly fits and distributes the new glasses.

To read more about Alaffia, explore their website and donate to the cause. Be sure to check out the fantastic beauty care products they offer.

Information on Solar Power from Clarus Power

When people think of going green, they often imagine reusing bags at the grocery store, buying local produce and carpooling with their neighbors.  They foresee small, day-by-day actions compounding to create a more sustainable lifestyle and a healthier earth.  Sometimes, however, the biggest changes are actually the most straightforward.  Many Americans today simply buy electricity from their local provider, under the assumption that there are no desirable alternatives.  However, what they don’t know is that the greener route is also the easiest and most lucrative.

70% of Americans are interested in going solar but only 1% of Americans actually have it. Why is that?

There are several myths that are keeping people from powering their home in a cleaner, cheaper way:

The biggest misconception is that solar panels are expensive, and, despite their positive environmental impacts, they are only affordable for a small subset of Americans.  The opposite is actually true; depending on which state you live in, going solar can save you $20,000 in 20 years.  Furthermore, there is no upfront cost, as you don’t have to pay for the solar panels or the installation.  If you sign up with Clarus Power, you can switch to solar for no cost at all.

Many people also worry that solar power will not effectively power their home, because they live in a place with cold winters or little sun.  In reality, solar panels work well even on cloudy days.  Just think of California: people have happily gone solar both in sunny Los Angeles and foggy San Francisco!

Finally, individuals are wary of installing a new system that could be complicated to set up and a hassle to maintain. However, going solar with Clarus Power could not be easier.  The solar panels will be set up for you in just one day.  They require no maintenance and are resilient through harsh winters or storms.  An average warranty is about 20-30 years long; By that time, you will have saved about $20,000– enough to pay for almost two years of tuition at some state colleges– and will have offset about 178 tons of carbon dioxide– the equivalent of planting 10 football fields worth of trees.

For those of you who are incredibly excited about the prospect of going green and saving money in the process, there is a way to put more of your soul in solar.  We provide training for individuals to become Clarus Power ambassadors.  These ambassadors are paid help to spread the word about solar to those in their community and beyond.

With already one million Americans going solar, we are excited how quickly the movement has grown.  Join us in our efforts to save the planet– and your pockets!

Have You Heard the Buzz About Bombas?

Bombas built their company around the notorious fact that socks are the most requesting clothing item by homeless shelters. “Bombas are socks engineered and designed to look better, feel better and with a mission to help those in need.”

With every purchase of Bombas socks, another pair is donated to a person who needs them. Bombas works with non-profit organizations, homeless shelters, charities and individuals looking to make a difference throughout the United States.

Bombas has so far been able to donate 964,416 socks and counting. The more socks sold equals more socks donated, but in order to really make a difference, the company knows the best way to sell socks is to make a superior product. They have designed their brand of socks to be better than anything else on the market. They were designed with athletes in mind, yet to offer superior luxury.

The company, however, does not donate the same socks they sell. In fact, they have designed something far better in order to meet the needs of a person who doesn’t have access to a clean pair of socks on a daily basis. Their “donation socks” are designed in dark colors to show less visible wear. They have been treated with an anti-microbial which means that they are resistant to fungus growth and can go longer in between washes than the average sock. The seams are reinforced to increase their durability and the life of the sock.

Bombas is the Latin word for bumblebee. This company consciously chose this animal for something like a mascot due to the fact that bees always work together in order to make the whole hive better. They wanted to mirror this within their brand. “Bee Better” has become their slogan and their mantra: push yourself athletically and socially. Do your part to make the world better.

Get involved and partner with Bombas. Check out their merchandise and you can share Bombas with a friend. When you refer a friend, they get 25% off their first purchase and you get a free pair of socks.  Now get out there and Bee Better!

Out of Print

Out of Print is a non-profitable organization which celebrates its favorite stories while promoting literacy in undeserved communities. For every product sold, Out of Print donates a book to a community in need through their charity partner, Books for Africa. It also supports authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of human life.

Books for Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent; it has shipped over 35 million books to49 different countries since 1988.

“Books for Africa is a simple idea, but its impact is transformative. For us, literacy is quite simply the bridge from misery to hope” – Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General.

 

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Since its launch in 2010, Out of Print has expanded into all kinds of literacy merchandise, from tote bags to iPhone cases to socks to baby onesies. All products at the organization contain some form of art aimed at alleviating literacy levels in our communities.

Out of Print participates in different events all over the world to promote literacy. Some of the events they have participated in are:

In 2015, the organization celebrated its 5-year anniversary, traveled to Malawi to donate a container of books, funded projects for public schools and libraries at home and participated in the largest book donation project in Charlotte, North Carolina’s history.

In February 2016, Out of Print celebrated the memory of Harper Lee who passed away the same month, by sharing some of her favorite quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird. Some of the quotes they shared are:

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience”, Harper Lee, 1926 – 2016.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love to breathing”, Harper Lee”, 1926 – 2016.

As consummate cat lovers, Out of Print participated in Independent Bookstore Day where it had an opportunity to share a few of its favorite felines from the indie bookseller. As was the case with the very old man in the children’s classic Millions of Cats, it was hard to decide which cats to feature. The organization’s pouch celebrates six real bookstore kitties from across the country and each represents a different genre of literature.

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Buy a product at Out of Print; donate a book to undeserving community to raise literacy levels.

Article 22 Jewelry: Dropping love right on your doorstep!

It is a pretty crazy thought to wear an actual bomb. However, the people at Article 22 Jewelry have helped to make that a reality!

Article 22 has teamed up with Laos artisans to make sleek, stylish and just plain amazing jewelry out of recovered Vietnam Era bombs. Unfortunately, these bombs were dropped all over the Laos countryside. Now, these artisans are trying to make the best out of a bad situation.  Peacebomb is the project that was created to distribute this amazing jewelry around the world.

The Peacebomb

Article 22 Jewelry - Peacebomb

Article 22 Jewelry – Peacebomb

There were a quarter billion bombs dropped over Laos during the Vietnam War. Of those, roughly one out of three did not detonate. As a result, the farm land is currently scattered with millions of bombs. Obviously, this creates extremely hazardous working conditions for the locals leaving many of the fields unworkable.

However, people are resilient.  They have a great gift for making lemonade out of all the lemons life throws at them! Locals started to look for a solution to the problem. Local artisans started recovering the unspent bombs in their fields. They began to carefully craft useful items from them.  They started by creating spoons, which you can still buy from the Article 22 website.

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When Article 22 learned about this, they decided to partner with the Laos artisans to make jewelry that could be sold on a global scale. The jewelry is beautiful. By partnering with Article 22, the Laos communities can receive extensive training in safe bomb recovery.  They are now able to clear more fields of these dangerous objects littering their homeland, as well as immensely improve their quality of life! These villages tend to be poor, with not even the modern comfort of electricity, but thanks to the Peacebomb project artisan families can afford electricity, to send their children to good schools and also offer microloans to local small businesses.

The Peacebomb jewelry really has all the ingredients for a brilliant product.  The project recycles, improves lives, social awareness, and creates sweet jewelry. Check out more of their story and shop for their merchandise on their website.

Tukula Helping Women to Help Themselves

It may be shocking that Ugandan women are among the poorest in the world. They are often illiterate and typically unpaid or not making enough to support their families.  These women are usually the head of their household and struggle to send their children to school.  These conditions are a recipe for disaster, not only for the family’s wellbeing but to Uganda as a whole.  Luckily, Tukula is one company doing their part to provide meaningful employment in order to help these women.

Tukula (meaning “to grow”) partners with organizations and businesses worldwide to help Ugandan women rise above the poverty line.  The artisans are paid fair wages, offered medical care for themselves and their families.  They are also provided with access to saving programs to help them plan for the future.  With the burden of school and medical fees taken off their shoulders, these women are given the opportunity to thrive and touch the lives of other women in their communities.

Tukula highlights the experiences of five of their artisans on their website.  All the women featured have families. Some were driven out of their homes because of civil unrest.  But now after working with Tukula, these women have a career they love, they feel good about their families and many aspire to go back to school!  A dream many wouldn’t be able to conceive without Tukula!  One woman, Esther, describes starting out with Tukula with nothing and now she employs a handful of women to work with her. 

The website highlights four current partners, all with amazing products.  The first, The Sara Jane Project, is a small business that sells the cutest handmade plush bunnies. This company aims to help vulnerable children find families.

Another business is The Little Bee Co. which makes reusable cloth diapers.  For every diaper sold, they donate one to a deserving child in need.  The Little Bee Co. partnered with Tukula to sponsor unique diaper bags for their product.  The unique diaper bags were such a hit that they sold out the first day!  Tukula has also helped them to create custom baby slings and nursing covers.

This company partners with many more organizations and is always looking to team up with more!  If your organization would like to learn more about working with Tukula, simply go to tukula.org, click on Contact Us and it will direct you to two options: Submit a Form or Email.

If you’d like to browse Tukula’s classic merchandise (I highly suggest it, they have some really cool stuff!) you can access their lookbook here and email Melissa at melissa@tukula.org.

Barnabas Clothing Co.

Barnabas Clothing Co. is a non-profitable organization that operates under the motto: Live a Life worth Imitating.  Barnabas encourages everybody to be “Bold and Courageous”, and to be fearless in making choices that matter in their lives and of those around them. They convey this message by living their lives with purpose and action.

Barnabas is more than a brand or a logo – it’s an identity and lifestyle. The actual meaning of Barnabas is “son of encouragement”. And their purpose is just that – being an encouragement in every aspect of their lives – with what they say, what they do, and even with the clothes they wear.

This organization leads the charge of change by donating 10% of all their sales to an organization that inspires them; The Living Room International. Purchase a gift for yourself or someone else and you directly give a gift to those in Western Kenya, Africa!

The Living Room International is a non-profitable organization based in Western Kenya that provides comprehensive care to those men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or other life threatening illnesses. Barnabas admits that The Living Room International’s compassion, dedication, and their commitment, even in the face of suffering and death, is extraordinary.

What they sell

Barnabas Clothing Co. sells men’s, women’s and kid’s clothes. Men’s clothes include accessories, hats/beanies, graphic tees, shorts, plaid fannels etc. Women’s clothes include jewelry, infinity scarves, tops, graphic tees & tanks, skirts/dresses etc. And the kid’s clothes include tees and hoodies. Barnabas has also several collections including Cali original collections, Mustache collections and Hannah’s hats. All products at Barnabas Clothing Co. go at a fair price with free shipping for any purchase above $75.

Barnabas offers gift cards which have no additional processing fees and do not expire. All products and collections at Barnabas depict their message: Live a Life worth Imitating. Buy a gift today and you directly give a gift to those in Western Kenya, Africa!

Better Life Bags: Hand-Stitched and Personal

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Better Life Bags is a Detroit-based company whose owner is focused on tying the business to the local economy in order to create employment opportunities for disadvantaged women within her own community. Many eco-friendly, Fair Trade, and cause-based brands simply donate a portion of their proceeds to large international aide organizations, where it can be somewhat harder to get a true sense of the direct impact — this is by no means a bad thing, but it’s always nice to see a company like Better Life Bags working on a smaller scale, creating a direct impact through tangible ties to its own community.

Better Life Bags offers a refreshing antidote to the anonymity of our vast global economy, in which products are often manufactured in one country, designed in another, and made from materials grown in any number of unknown places. Starting as Detroit-based founder Rebecca Smith’s passion project, Better Life Bags has grown from a one-woman Etsy account to a full-scale local business employing a dozen women who hand-craft the bags per your custom specifications. Rebecca explains that 90% of the production is done in the homes of her employees.

Better Life has a huge array of bag styles, from crossbody bags to shoulder bags to diaper bags to backpacks, and each bag is fully customizable. And the customization process is fun! Choose your leather color, metal hardware color, and preferred fabric patterns for the various detailing sections and inside lining. Prices range from about $100-$200.

This bag design took me just 2 minutes, and I think it looks pretty good!

 

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If you’re feeling shy, no need to customize the bag yourself — there are plenty of pre-designed, ready-to-ship bags to choose from. It’s really quite impressive that such a small operation is able to put out so many designs, and able to fulfill orders on any custom design you come up with. Finally, Better Life includes a note with the name of the seamstress who crafted your bag, so the process feels personal from start to finish.

Check out “The Better Life Bags Story” video to hear the company’s story and see the process by which the bags are made:

 

Cuddle + Kind Ethically Produced Dolls

Cuddle + Kind, makers of some of the most heart-warming and adorable hand-knit dolls around, is a family-owned company with a loving, family-focused approach from start to finish. They’ve created an ethical and responsible process that ensures sustainable and nourishing practices at every level, from the fair-trade crafting of the dolls to their “1 doll = 10 meals” purchase program.

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These gorgeous dolls are produced by hand by artisans in Peru, providing 100 women with fair-trade jobs. And Cuddle + Kind has partnered with the World Food Program, the Children’s Hunger Fund, and orphanages in Haiti, to transform a portion of their profits into meals for children in need around the world.

Cuddle + Kind advertise that from September 2015 to March 2016 they provided over 200,000 meals. But their ambition is to eventually provide 1 million meals each year.

Each of the 9 dolls on offer is more painfully cute than the last, and they come in 2 sizes, “little” for $45 and “regular” for $65. Each bunny also has a cute name and an endearing short story. Check out this blurb from the bespectacled “Benedict the bunny”:

“I’m always chewing on things – in my mouth and in my brain! Learning new things is so much fun, and because I’m so curious, it happens by accident all the time. It would be the coolest thing ever if we could be best friends and find out how everything works together.”

Benedict’s favorite quote? “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”

Even if there are no toddlers in your life, it’s truly a joy just to peruse the Cuddle + Kind website, read the endearing blurbs, and grin at all the adorable pictures of happy babies playing with the dolls. And of course, the Woodgate family’s mission of feeding children around the world is present throughout the whole story. It’s clear that they are motivated by this mission at every step of the way.

Finally, each doll wears a signature “10 meal” wristband, a reminder of the good that this doll has done for other kids, and a great conversation-starter to start talking to your own kids about the experiences of other children and the need for help around the world.

Check out this video from the company to hear the story straight from them:

Spread the Socks (I Mean Love) with DivvyUp

DivvyUp is an innovative new brand of socks that uses the ‘One for One’ concept. Ever since the success of Toms Shoes, the ‘One for One’ concept has become a staple among many socially responsible brands.  DivvyUp takes it to the next level!

What is DivvyUp to?

For every pair of socks, you buy, they donate a pair to the homeless.

They’re working with many homeless shelters across America to assess the sock needs of the masses, and provide as necessary.

What makes them really stand out, is how they display on their website the donations they have made so far, on an easy to use informative map. This way, you can clearly see the impact you make, every time you buy yourself some jazzy looking socks.

Additionally, they have a signature blue highlight on the toes of every sock, which is a reminder of the link between every sock donated for each one bought by you.

Why Socks?

The answer is simple. They’re quite essential and they are not as abundantly donated as other clothing and food. The founders of DivvyUp saw this need and created a business around it.

Turning Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on its head

What is really appealing about this brand is not just the ‘One for One’ concept, but their entire business model. DivvyUp is not just a business that sells socks and does some CSR on the side for publicity. Rather, they sell socks in order to be able to donate socks. Their business is essentially a means of continuously donating socks to the homeless sustained by selling socks to the public.

In addition to their own substantial social service, they are backing other philanthropic movements that are making a difference in people’s lives. The Safe Passage Project is one such case.  The project aims to support the unmet needs of immigrant children in New York.

Check out their website at DivvyUpsocks.com and help support a great company.

Good Spread: Fighting Malnutrition One Jar at a Time

Good Spread, the peanut butter company with a conscience, is helping you help the world. The organization started out by traveling across America to spread the word about malnutrition and Mother Administered Nutritive Aid (MANA) nutrition.  Today, it is using the American staple of peanut butter to uplift the lives of thousands across the world.  Approximately 795 million people suffer from malnutrition around the world and, at the same time, 91 percent of American households use peanut butter. Every jar of Good Spread peanut butter you buy helps contribute to the provision of MANA to fragile communities and villages in low income countries.

Give me MANA?

MANA  is basically a peanut paste, designed to include the essential nutrition for a growing child and produced efficiently for distribution to vulnerable areas across the world. MANA Nutrition now produces enough MANA in one day to feed 4,000 kids suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) for six weeks.

How do I Give MANA?

Simply include a jar of Good Spread into your routine shopping list. Next, choose from any one of numerous recipes  either of your own, or from the few classics given on the Good Spread website.  Then make yourself a delicious peanut butter treat, relishing the hint of honey, and the day’s good deed.

Socially Conscious Brands who are Giving Back

You Should Support These Brands

We have been putting together a list of brands that are giving back. These brands have either a social or environmental conscious and operate on a model of “buy one and we will donate one”. Check out these great brands:

Hand in Hand all natural soaps. For every product purchased, Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap and provides a month of clean water to children in need.

Baby Teresa 100% fair trade organic cotton clothing & accessories for babies.  For each piece of clothing sold, an outfit goes to a baby in need. For each accessory sold, a portion of the profits buys formula for babies in orphanages.

Tentree – clothing.  For every item purchased, tentree plants ten trees.

Panda – ethical, sustainable, handcrafted bamboo glasses. Panda has partnered with Optometry Giving Sight so that every pair of sunglasses purchased gives the gift of vision to someone in need.

Roma Boots rain boots.  For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need.  Their mission is “giving poverty the boot” by bringing children from around the world hope, love and lasting change through aid and education.

Everything Happy children’s items. For every Happy product purchased, another one is given to a child in need.

Out of Print T-shirts, bags and cups among others. Each product sold donates a book to a community in need through their charity partner, Books For Africa.

Bombas socks. Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair sold.

Cole and Parker socks. Cole and Parker, through a partnership with Kiva, loans proceeds from each purchase of their socks to entrepreneurs in poverty.

DivyUp socks. Whenever you but one of their pair of socks Divyup will donate a brand new pair of plain white or black socks to the local homeless shelter.

Bottle Bright natural cleaners for drinking containers. With every purchase, they give the same amount of Bottle Bright to people in need of clean water containers.

Cuddle+Kind hand knit dolls. For every doll bought, 10 meals are provided to children in need.

Everly all natural drink mixes. With every packet sold, Everly provides life-saving rehydration salts to treat kids suffering from waterborne diseases.

Good Spread – all natural peanut butter. Whenever you buy a packet of Good Spread, a malnourished child will receive a packet of RUTF (basically peanut butter filled with essential nutrients).

Do you know of any other brands that have a similar operating model? Let us know in the comments.

Give Back and Look Stylish – 3 Brands that Empower Artisans

Jewelry is something that all women love to wear and buy. There are brands out there that sell amazing stuff for great prices. On the internet you can find pretty much any style you can think of. But, did you know that there are companies that offer unique jewelry and focus on providing income and work to people in developing countries?

I don’t know about you but it doesn’t get much better than that!

So far I have come across three brands that work like this and love their products.

Where to Buy Jewelry while Helping Others:

ARTICLE 22

At their website you will find beautiful jewelry collections made out of a unique material. All of the pieces sold by them are made with bombs. YES, you read it right, bombs.

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history. Article 22 sells the products made by local artisans who transform all the bombs they can find into jewelry. They call their products PEACEBOMB.

Right now the work with 12 artisan’s families from Laos. These families started turning the bombs into spoons during the 70’s. Each Peacebomb sold, supports artisan’s families. Plus, 1 bracelet helps clear bombs from 3m2 of farmland.

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Image by: ARTICLE 22

RED EARTH

They work with talented artisans from all over the world. This makes each piece unique as they are a blend between local artistry and modern designs. Plus a lot of products are made from up-cycled materials.

Aside from working with artisans they help them out by showing them how to get better organized so each small business can grow. By doing so many families are being lifted out of poverty.

Aside from paying a fair price for their work, Red Earth provides interest-free loans that can be paid back over time through purchase orders.

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Photo by: RED EARTH

FASHIONABLE

“Charity is critical. Its importance lies in giving relief to those who are in great destitution from what are often unbearable circumstances. At the same time, giving food, medical care, clothing, and other charity to the poor should be the beginning point, and not an endpoint, to the solutions to poverty. It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty, two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women.” This is one of the main ideas behind this company.

They sell products made by women in Ethiopia and Nashville. The idea is to encourage women to work with them creating the products so they are able to make a living.

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Photo by: FASHIONABLE

Take a look at their websites. They all offer beautiful pieces. With each one you buy, you are allowing someone to live a better life