Good Karma = Good Business

Have you ever heard that every dollar you spend is a vote? When I buy groceries at Sun Foods, I’m voting for a crazy diverse produce selection and an independently owned business that employs my former students.  I’m also voting for a questionable-smelling seafood section, apparently.   When I get my car repaired at Auto Max on University, I’m voting for a small business that treats women with respect and honors their quotes.Of course, I shop at plenty of big box stores.  And I know that my beloved Target donated $150,000 to fund anti-gay politics.  But I do my best to support companies that support causes I love.

In an effort to give all of us some short cuts, here are some fantastic companies that are doing fantastic things!

Sweet Cheeks Underwear
This company is actually called ‘Sweet Cheeks Panties‘ but we don’t talk like that in this house.  Designed, promoted and modeled by a trio of truly kick-ass professional female snowboarders, this company donates 40% of the net proceeds of each sale to Children International.  That means that one malnourished child eats for a month for each cute pair of boy shorts you buy.  Awesome.

Warby Parker Eyeglasses

You may remember that I have a complex relationship with my glasses.  I probably wouldn’t if I splashed out on some cute frames from this fantastic shop.  Frames + prescription lenses will run you around $100 and for each pair you purchase, Warby Parker will donate a pair to someone in need.  And while I love me some Tom’s, I think prescription glasses will actually have a much more significant impact on a person’s life than a pair of shoes.

SevenlyEvery week, Sevenly partners with a different charity and donates $7 from each t-shirt purchase to that charity.  Isn’t that amazing?!  52 different charities helped each year – and the t-shirts are fantastic!

Finnegans BeerI don’t even particularly like beer, but I think I’d make an exception for Finnegans, the world’s first non-profit beer.  100% (!) of the company’s profits are donated to community partners that work to alleviate hunger.  Of course, Finnegan’s is extra awesome because they’re based out of Minnesota.  You can even volunteer with them if you’re interested!

Blanket America
High quality linens, cute throws and nice quilts (mostly) manufactured in the U.S.  And for each blanket you purchase, the company donates one to a person in need.  They even created their own Haiti-specific mini-non-profit to raise funds after the earthquake!

What businesses/companies do you love that have philanthropy built into their business?  Leave links in the comments!

13 Comments

Shanna Sandmoen

Luna Pads has a program that donates menstrual products to women and girls in third world countries. Apparently something like 20% of women/girls in these countries miss days of work/school because they have no way to control their periods.

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Emily

Out of Print Clothing sells t-shirts, fleeces, accesories, and stationary with art from out of print book covers and for every item they sell, they donate a book to Books for Africa. The shirts look great and in my experience, they are well-made and soft.

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Mackenzie

i toooootally agree! i feel kind of nasty when i buy something somewhere i dont trust, whether it be business practices or how little they pay their employees, etc.

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Anonymous

It's not exactly a product, but Charity Search (thecharitysearch.org) donates one cent for every time you search the web. You can chose to search through Google, Yahoo, or Bing, and they choose a new charity each month to donate to. February's charity is an organization that provides creative education to children in Copan, Honduras. It's a super easy way to save the world!

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Anonymous

The Mocha Club has an AWESOME program called FashionABLE. The scarves are designed and handmade by women in Africa, and the goal is to create sustainable business for African women so they're not dependent on charity. The scarves are beauuutiful, plus you get a handwritten card from the woman that made it!

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ashley

Toms also has a one-for-one with eye wear now. If you buy their sunglasses they'll help someone out with their eyesight needs, whether it's providing medical treatment, prescription glasses, or performing sight-saving surgery.

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Anonymous

Someone already mentioned the TOMS sunglasses for eyeglasses thing. Something I heard recently somewhere on NPR was that even better than giving someone a job or shoes (or eyeglasses) was to put a shoe factory in a town & pay fair wages, giving them a job and a way to buy shoes for life… Except the explained it much more eloquently, and it didn't sound so trite. :)

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Nipper

Speaking of eyewear, I just bought a very reasonably priced pair of prescription-ready frames online from a brand called Proof (http://www.iwantproof.com)- 100% biodegradable frames plus a percentage of profits goes to an eye surgery in India! Other cool do-gooder brands I've found are Della (www.dellala.com) in LA which did a cool collab with Urban Outfitters a while back, pretty much all the brands from http://www.shopethica.com, or closer to home is Sosume in Melbourne (www.sosumeclothing.com) – but those last two are pretty pricey.

Proof though definitely has to be my god of do-gooding glasses what with it ticking all the boxes: price (mine cost me $165 AUD including shipping from the US), quality, enviro-friendly, people-friendly, and damn fine lookin' specs.

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