This Is Why You Really Need A New Pair of Shoes And Sunglasses

Warby Parker Girl Image By Joel G Goodman / Flickr CC,  Tshirt Boy Image From NoNasties and Circle of Shoes Image From SoleRebels
October 16, 2013

The next time you feel like treating yourself, trust us just go buy yourself something nice, but make sure its from one of these guys. There is a new and a growing class of brands … Read more

The next time you feel like treating yourself, trust us just go buy yourself something nice, but make sure its from one of these guys. There is a new and a growing class of brands with well designed high quality products that aim to turn every purchase into an act of good. When you buy their products you not only buy yourself something great but you’re also automatically helping someone in need.

For instance take the popular American shoe brand Toms, when you buy a pair of Toms, a brand new pair of Toms shoes is given to a child in need or when you buy their sunglasses they pay for prescription glasses or eye surgery for someone struggling with poor vision in developing countries.

Warby Parker one of the most loved eyeglasses brands also follows the buy one give one model. When I see the crowds of people trying on their glasses at one of their stores I often wondered if they are aware that their act of buying Warby Parker would help provide sight to someone in need. Warby Parker’s customers to date have helped distribute glasses to 500,000 poor who can now see better, learn better and lead a more productive life.

These two are not the only brands with a buy one, give one business model, there are many others that have adopted this model.

Another category of brands that offers you an instant way to do good through their products are the ones who employ disadvantaged people in the making of their goods and invests in their well being. When you buy goods from these brands you create economic opportunities for the poor, you help them generate the most important commodity they need i.e money for them and their families to come out of poverty.  Krochet Kids International is one such brand that trains and employs women in Uganda and Peru to hand make their entire line of products which includes hats, scarves, travel bags etc and also gives back the proceeds from their sales.

No Nasties in India sells t-shirts which are made from 100% organic cotton and manufactured using fair trade practices. When you buy a No Nasties T-shirt you provide hope and income to organic cotton farmers who have struggled to sustain themselves and help create fairly paid jobs for India’s poor.

SoleRebel, a premium shoe brand from Africa was started by a local who was driven to bring jobs to her community,a small village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a place where there literally were none. SoleRebel shoes are made by hand and from recycled and locally sourced material. The company which now sells shoes in over 40 countries around the globe including the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Denmark has not only helped create hundreds of jobs in their community but also provides wages that are on average 4 times the legal minimum wage & 3 times the industry average wage for similar work. There are many examples of such businesses which are using trade instead of aid to help the poor climb the income ladder.

 Another way through which your buying can help change someone’s life is when you buy products which donates 100% or part of the money from the sale. A great example of this is the (RED) initiative started by the rockstar Bono. When you buy (RED) products from iconic brands such as Apple and Starbucks, 100% of the money from the sale of the (RED) product goes directly to the ground in Africa to fight AIDS, particularly to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Again there are numerous examples of brands that offers to donate 100% or a part from your purchase – Sevenly, 1:FaceWatch to name a few.

A great place to discover more such brands is Ethfolk, a website of carefully curated products that are good to you, the people and the planet.

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    Deepa Chaudhary
    I have extensively worked at grass-roots from working in the slums of Mumbai to being on the frontline of numerous disaster relief efforts. I'm passionate about social entrepreneurship and I love discovering and writing about new trends in the social good space.

    Image Credit / Description For The Featured Image Above: Warby Parker Girl Image By Joel G Goodman / Flickr CC, Tshirt Boy Image From NoNasties and Circle of Shoes Image From SoleRebels

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