What if shopping actually had the power to do good? Would you spend a little more on everyday purchases if it helped a person in need? The shopaholic in me answers with a resounding, “YES!”
That is because shopping today goes beyond coupon clipping and trolling sale racks for bargains. Thanks to social media and savvy advertising campaigns, more companies are giving back through fair-trade practices and charitable efforts. This new philosophy allows customers to purchase ethically sourced products or simply make a charitable donation while they shop.
One example of this socially conscious business model is GlobeIn. It sells a variety of unique, handmade products that are sourced directly from the artisans. In turn, GlobeIn supports its artisans by providing the tools and guidance they need to build a sustainable business in their communities.
Other companies like TOMS, Baby Teresa and One World Play Project utilize the “buy one, give one” way of giving back. This means for every pair of shoes, baby outfit and ball purchased, the company is able give that product to someone in need.
Some companies choose to give to an existing charity. For example, Warby Parker contributes the equivalent of a new pair of glasses for every pair purchased to non-profits throughout the world, as well as to the training for locals to give eye exams.
Tea, a children’s clothing retailer, partnered with The Global Fund for Children to donate nearly $500,000 to local grassroots organizations who advance the dignity of children and young people around the world.
More resourceful businesses are taking to crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter to get support for their causes. Villy Custom bikes just recently completed their campaign, Limited Edition Cruiser Bikes with a Cause. Their plan was to give a bike to a child with cancer for every 10 new bikes they sell. They had a pledge goal of $30,000 and were able to raise that plus $8,000 more! Way to go, Villy Custom!
Several companies like Norwex and Starbucks are taking “shopping for good” a step further by creating their own foundation so they can reach as many people as possible.
The Starbucks Foundation started out by funding literacy programs in the United States and Canada. Today they are supporting youth and communities around the globe.
The Norwex Foundation began as a grassroots charitable program. Now independent Sales Consultants are able to nominate their favorite charity to receive a grant so they can make an impact right where they live. Customers can also make a donation to the Foundation when they purchase a new Microfiber Wet Mop Pad or Kids EnviroCloth®.
In partnership with Norwex, the Foundation will also donate Norwex Cares Disaster Relief Kits to families and organizations that have experienced a disaster or trauma like fire, flood or tornado.
You can also check out my previous post and discover other fair trade businesses where our hard-earned dollars can really make a difference. With so many great causes, my online shopping addiction could actually help others locally and around the world! Now that is what I call guilt-free spending.
Driven by financial and social success, more companies are promoting “conscientious shopping.” Click here to discover more companies that give back.
I love when I can buy something I need AND it makes a small difference. It was one of the things I loved about Norwex. Other products we love were mentioned above, but one that was not was one that’s kind of amusing – Who Gives a Crap
https://us.whogivesacrap.org/pages/our-impact uses toilet paper as a way to impact the waste in making toilet paper itself (think of it as green TP) as well as their donation of 50% of the profits to help get other countries access to toilets, cleaner water, etc. Best of all, the toilet paper is as good (IMHO, and I’m really picky) as the other name brands – AND buying WGAC isn’t any more expensive per roll than the other brands – for me that’s a no brainer!
I love that the new recycled mop pad is not only reusing plastic bottles but also donates to washed ashore foundation.
I too have discovered Who gives a crap – could only come from Australia – I ran out recently before pay day so had to buy local, not only did I feel guilty about the plastic wrapping but each roll doesn’t seem to last as long, it may have been a little cheaper but knowing Who gives a crap is helping others it’s worth it and i won’t be running out again!
Amazon has Amazon Smiles which when you sign into your account you can make donations (a percentage of your purchase) to a charity of your choice and they have a very extensive list. I also like to find places that sell things that help people in disadvantaged countries become their own business owners. My favorite is Feed My Starving Children’s Marketplace. Feed My Starving Children buys products made by artisans from this disadvantaged countries at a very fair price and then sells them at their food packing sites and also online on their web page.
Knowing how your purchase can help others is always a huge plus! Great to help others in need!
I always choose the one that will donate somewhere, if I have the choice!
Is there a good watchdog website shoppers can use to determine if the organization a business partners with is truly making an impact? I know some charitable organizations have issues with very little of the money donated actually getting to the people it is intended for.
I have been paying much more attention to who I give my money to in purchases… you vote with your dollars!! So yes, I would totally choose a product if it went to a good cause!