On International Day of Charity, Liz Wootton takes a look at some of the incredible companies who are using their profits to really make a difference in the world.
Ultimately, not buying new things at all is the best way to protect the planet and reduce your environmental impact. However, we do appreciate that this is pretty unachievable for most people in today’s world. Instead, a more realistic course of action would be focusing on shopping mindfully: reusing and repairing wherever possible, only buying the things you really need and supporting ethical, environmentally-friendly companies who make non-toxic, long-lasting products.
Luckily, for us and the planet, there’s plenty of such companies out there. And, as well as doing and producing amazing things, some even give back to charity when you buy their products too. Here we take a look at our favourite charitable brands, so next time you need to shop you can use your purchasing power to do some good in the world.
Purchase with purpose at Relevé Fashion. This carefully-curated platform showcases the best fashion and lifestyle brands, selected for their environmental, personal and social commitments. What’s more, when you buy an item on Relevé Fashion they will donate 3% of your purchase to one of their official charitable partners – Big Change, Global Citizen, and Nest.
Based in Kenya, Organic Savanna is a social enterprise which creates natural and luxurious skincare products from indigenous aloe vera plants. The company supports and empowers the local community by employing mothers to tend to and harvest the plants, which are then turned into lovely products. 100% of the profits go back into the local community, with Organic Savanna funding education and helping parents develop employment and business skills.
True to its name, Karma Cola really focuses on injecting a bit of fairness back into the fizzy drinks business. A staggering one million cola drinks are drunk every minute, but the people who actually discovered the cola nut get no cut of these profits at all. That is until Karma Cola stepped upon the scene. As well as producing delicious fairtrade-standard drinks, the company also gives a part of the overall profit back to its producer partners in Sierra Leone, allowing them the chance to invest it in the local community however they see fit.
Shockingly, 10% of the world’s population actually has no access to eyecare – that’s 2.5 billion people who can’t see properly because they have no access to glasses!Thankfully, the amazing folk behind Pala are on a mission to change this injustice. Buying one pair of Pala’s ethically-made and stylish sunglasses roughly equates to providing someone with a much-needed pair of spectacles. Meaning you can wear your new shades feeling every bit as good as you look.
Known and loved for their famous ‘One for One’ policy, TOMS is an incredibly-charitable company. Initially donating a pair of shoes for every pair bought, they’ve expanded to providing eyecare, clean water, safe water and safe birth – each cause being aligned with a different product line. So far, they’ve managed to give a whopping 93 million pairs of shoes to children in need, which we think is pretty amazing!
Sock it to homelessness with a pair of Jollie’s lovely organic cotton socks. For every pair you buy, a pair is donated to a local shelter, giving rough sleepers the opportunity to keep their feet warm and healthy. If you’re feeling flush, you can always opt for a monthly ‘sockscription’ and kiss goodbye to rummaging in the depths of your sock drawer for a wearable pair. Your tootsies and your conscience will both be feeling pretty ‘jolly’.
Not only are S’well bottles beautiful and sustainable (ditching plastic never looked so good!), but they are also charitable. Okay, maybe the bottles themselves aren’t charitable, but the company definitely is. S’well proudly partners with UNICEF to provide clean and safe drinking water for those who have no access to it. They also work with Lonely Whales to save our oceans and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – not bad for a humble water bottle.
The incredible chaps behind Toast are really onto something, and we think it could very well be the best thing since sliced bread. Using surplus bread to brew award-winning craft beer, this fantastic company fights food waste in an incredibly innovative and tasty manner. What’s more, all the company profits are donated to charity, meaning you can also savour a delicious sense of moral superiority when sipping on a pint of Toast Ale.
The Humble Co.
In the Western World, brushing one’s teeth can often feel like a terrible chore, especially when you’re cosily tucked up in bed, just about to fall asleep. But in reality, a percentage of the world’s population doesn’t actually have access to the dental hygiene that we very much take for granted. However, The Humble Co. is on a mission to change this. The proceeds from their bamboo toothbrushes (and other teeth-cleaning paraphernalia) go towards supporting a network of oral health outreach clinics across the world. We definitely think this is something worth smiling about!
Who Gives A Crap
It’s not just your toothbrush which can do good in the world – your loo roll can make a difference too! The humorously-named Who Gives A Crap makes brightly packaged and eco-friendly toilet rolls out of natural and sustainable bamboo. Yes, this means no trees have been chopped down for your toilet needs. Furthermore, the company donates 50% of its profits to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. Despite the name, these incredible loo roll pioneers actually really do give a crap.
FEED was set up by model and entrepreneur Lauren Bush, after seeing the shocking reality of child hunger when travelling with the World Food Programme. The brand stocks a beautiful range of bags, pouches, jewellery and accessories, the number on each item corresponding to the number of meals provided by your purchase. The company has been running since 2007 and has provided an awe-inspiring 100 million meals to date. Food for thought? We certainly think so!