Look Beyond the Brand
Invest in a company’s product and mission.
Supporting companies with meaningful mission statements can be difficult. Especially in the advertising-oriented world we live in today. This year, challenge yourself to look beyond the brand name and invest in more than a product. Find companies that benefit a greater cause, not just your closet.
Most businesses that give back advertise their charity work online. Quickly skimming a website should be enough to tell if a brand is community service-oriented. Finding fashionable or functional product from a company that gives back to its community is hard. Only supporting these brands is harder, so here are seven to help you get started.
Falling in love with Spiritual Gangster was easy. And not because I prefer the softest clothes or the most popular brands, but because their mission makes all the sense in the world. The founders hope to inspire happiness, gratitude, generosity and kindness in younger generations. From fighting for equality and freedom to promoting a culture of connectedness, Spiritual Gangster isn’t just a fun stereotype. The clothing line was inspired by athletes, artists and yogis from all over the world. This influence is clear not only from a fashion standpoint but by looking at the company’s mentality.
In the United States alone, 46 million people struggle to eat most days. A percentage of every Spiritual Gangster sale is donated to provide meals to those in need. Not only does Spiritual Gangster promote a positive lifestyle, but they also fight to eradicate world hunger.
I don’t usually condone soda drinking, but those who do should support Coca-Cola. The company actively gives back to all 50 states, and dozens of other countries too. In 2016 alone they connected with over 230 organizations donating upwards of $106 million — and there’s no sign of slowing down anytime soon. If there’s a community project you think Coca-Cola should support, check out their guidelines and fill out an application.
Pura Vida is another great example of a company rooted in community service. The business model was born in 2010 by two recent college grads traveling to Costa Rica. Little did they know their idea would transform into a life-changing business venture, impacting the lives of millions. Pura Vida, when translated from Spanish, means pure life. This message reminds people to live each of life’s moments to the fullest.
The company has partnered with over 190 different charities and donated upwards of $1.5M to various causes they support. Looking to get involved? Apply to become a Pura Vida rep, fundraise on your own or join the wholesale team.
In 2007, Burt’s Bees established a non-profit organization known as The Greater Good Foundation. It was designed to empower grassroots initiatives, usually pertaining to honey bee protection, and to support sustainable agriculture.
The foundation has partnered with dozens of groups and donated over $1.2 million in grants. Burt’s Bees employees are even allotted paid time off to do community service. As the company likes to say, “Turns out do-gooding is contagious.”
My Red Tea
The founder of My Red Tea Organic products is passionate about wellness, fairness and protecting the environment. She is a mother of two living in California, but the idea was born years ago during her time in South Africa. Raised around Rooibos, a naturally caffeine-free beverage high in antioxidants and vitamins, she realized the benefits in its properties and felt the need to share.
Every cup of My Red Tea, hot or cold, is infused with Rooibos. Not only is this organic tea a healthy option, but it’s locally sourced, packaged sustainably, good for you and good for the environment. Plus, 10 percent of every purchase goes to support education in the Rooibos farming communities.
The Elephant Pants
From anti-poaching to habitat protection, The Elephant Pants team is on a mission to make the world a better place for elephants. So far, the company has donated more than $143,615 to several organizations in just three years. Score 10 percent off your first order by signing up for The Elephant Pants email chain or apply to become an ambassador.
Similar to Pura Vida, Earth Bands sells custom bracelets and is all about giving back. The concept started in California as a mission to take care of the planet and create bracelets that remind us of good times in our favorite places. These wearable momentos are built with hand-crafted beads from around the globe. With each transaction, a dollar is donated to one of three charities Earth Bands supports.
Being a conscious consumer is more difficult as marketing efforts become sneakier. Don’t let that stop you from supporting companies that fight to change the world. You’ll find a new sense of appreciation for the things you buy. Plus, representing a brand that stands for causes you believe in helps justify buying new clothes. Sounds like a win-win to me.
The author of this post, Veronica Baas, is a recent Colorado State University graduate living in Scottsdale, AZ pursuing more advanced coding skills. She has spent her life traveling as a pilot's daughter an lived in the UK as part of a study abroad program. For more of Veronica's writing visit her blog.