This year, grab a gift from (or give one to) a company that practices Giving Tuesday every day of the year.
Happy Giving Tuesday y’all!
As I’ve noted on social media on several occasions this year, 2017 has brought a heightened sense of sadness and concern for the state of affairs not only in the United States, but abroad as well. Our world is hurting, and I often feel as though I fail to do my part to alleviate the pain. I am a teacher first, and a blogger second. While sharing outfit inspirations and the latest deal is fun, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t pause every once and awhile and teach both ya’ll (and myself) a few new things. I tell my students that learning math is about challenging yourself as a thinker and opening up your brain to learn different ways to find solutions. In reflecting on what I can do to be a better global citizen, I thought about challenging myself as a consumer.
Many of us know companies with reputations for underpayment or failure to provide workers with a safe working environment. Though there are companies actively making an effort to produce responsibly, most are in the minority. Additionally, they often sell clothing at unrealistic costs for the average costumer. (Interested in more about these companies? Mouse on over to In Honor of Design. AnnaLeisa Meyer does a fantastic job of shopping consciously.) Last year, I began looking for a list of companies that work under the Buy One, Give One (BOGO) model. For each product purchased, a matching product is donated to a place in need. It came to my attention, however, that some criticize this model as simply a superficial solution. Hannah Ritchie, who wrote Beyond Good Intentions for the online editorial Sustainable Brands notes,
“Poverty is not caused by a lack of resources. Insufficient access to basic goods is a symptom of underlying issues rather than the cause of poverty itself…Simply donating goods or resources therefore does nothing to address the core underlying causes of poverty. In fact, donating stuff for free could potentially prevent any transition to a longer-term, deeper solution by creating dependence within a beneficiary community for external help.”
After reading this article I searched for companies with a reputation of not simply giving, but investing in global communities in a deeper way. The companies below, include a list of personal favorites as well as some new favorites whose work empowers communities by providing them with the means to create systemic change.
In 2008, a group of college seniors founded 31 Bits. The 31 Bits team provides their artisans with access to the global market, and access to counseling, health care, education, ethical working conditions and fair and consistent incomes. In Uganda, artisans create beaded products from rolled up paper, sealed with a water-based varnish. Balinese workers in Indonesia craft all metal products and accents. The team believes that creating dignified work opportunities in fashion and design for these talented artisans will empower them to rise above poverty. Nordstrom caries a handful of pieces from their beautiful collection, but for the full array head to 31bits.com. Today, enjoy 20% off jewelry w. code GIVING.
Sales of TOMS shoes, eye-wear, coffee and bags drive giving through the TOMS One for One model. Every time a TOMS product is purchased, a person in need is helped. The TOMS Giving Team collaborates with Giving Partners to plan how to further the partners’ work – by giving TOMS products or helping with logistical needs or local production. As a result, Giving Partners provide TOMS products, services, and support sustainable and responsible programs for communities in need.
Warby Parker is an alternative to an industry dominated by a single company. By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby Parker has provided higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price since 2010. In addition to challenging the monopoly, Warby Parker partners with non-profits to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, someone in need receives one of their own. Warby Parker sells prescription lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses. They are also locations in both Harvard Square and the Prudential Center.
I am a rain boot aficionado, and over half of them are from Roma. Their ultimate goal is to educate and empower impoverished communities.
ROMA Boots merges fashion with philanthropy to give poverty the boot. Our mission is to bring impoverished children throughout the world hope, love, and lasting change through aid and education. For every pair of boots sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need. ROMA was founded in 2010 by Samuel Bistrian, who wanted to combine his love of fashion and philanthropy to help children in his home country of Romania.
In 2011, a desire to lead a generation toward generosity resulted in Sevenly.com. The team’s simple, core belief: People Matter. The global ‘cause art’ movement entails 7-day cause campaigns that invite customers to purchase products whose profits benefit other organizations. They also offer a seasonal CAUSEBOX that includes products from socially conscious companies delivered straight to your door. Sevenly campaigns change lives, bring awareness to, and increase funding for great causes.
As always, thanks for reading!