22 Businesses That Are Changing the World
When businesses give back to the community, everybody wins. Here are some savvy corporations with a heart, that are doing it right.
Spreading good in the world, as well as the home
THREADED is an affordable, all-natural bedding brand known for top-notch, incredibly soft sheets, shams, duvet covers, and blankets (we’re loving the modern Honeycomb Melange Duvet in 100 percent cotton). They work with factories primarily in India that are mostly owned or managed by women. THREADED’s factories favor non-toxic materials, eschewing plastics and chemicals for coconut buttons and organic cotton. Their partner factories rely on water recycling and solar power. THREADED’s goal is to provide factory workers with an ecologically conscious, safe place to work without compromising quality. At the same time, you can manufacture products that do not add waste or pollution to the environment and can support female empowerment. Read about 10 lives that were forever changed thanks to the power of generosity.
Supporting creativity and communities at home and abroad
Subscription box company GlobeIn sells eclectic, unique homeware hand-made from every corner of the world. They source these lovely, fair trade products directly from local artisans from countries such as Ghana and Peru, providing them with a global customer base and an income. Not only is the merchandise spectacular—we love the Moroccan hand-painted platters, the Caminito woven basket, and the Nepal Namaste Light Roast coffee—but so is the social and economic impact of its business. For example, GlobeIn has fed hungry children in the United States, employed homeless women and artisans in Malaysia, provided sanctuary for elephants in Rwanda, and facilitated an income stream for disabled artists in Cambodia.
Being a light in the darkness for young homeless moms
Courtesy Bright Endeavors
Homelessness and poverty have reached epidemic levels in the United States, with more children living in shelters nationwide than ever before. An extraordinary social enterprise is helping young mothers in this situation beat the odds through a paid job-training program. Chicago-based Bright Endeavors teaches homeless moms how to create and make soy candles in a supportive, professional environment. You can support these young families by making a tax-deductible donation, by volunteering, or by buying a candle this holiday season. The Honey-Vanilla is our favorite! Learn how one pair of socks led to a movement that helped 350,000 homeless people.
What’s really behind the golden door
Courtesy Golden Door
Denizens of holistic living know California’s Golden Door spa as a sanctuary, where guests can revive their body, mind, and soul. Many don’t know, however, that 100 percent of The Golden Door’s net proceeds go to charity. The philanthropic missions that benefit from this generous support include the I Have a Dream Foundation, the Whole Planet Foundation, and The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. If you can’t swing a spa visit, Golden Door sells wonderful bath and body and skincare products, including handmade Kasu soaps, Hinoki Shea Body Butter, and Golden Face Oil.
Giving thanks, giving food
Courtesy Megan Gery Photography
For many, Thanksgiving is more about the food than about the thanks, or the giving. A new startup, Turkey on the Table, is trying to change that, especially in the hearts of children. The company was started by two moms on a mission to teach kids and adults the true meaning of Thanksgiving while making sure that no one goes hungry that day or any day. Turkey on the Table sells activity kits that turn being thankful into a daily exercise during the entire month of November. For every kit sold, Turkey on the Table donates $1 to the hunger-relief organization Feeding America, which buys ten meals for individuals experiencing food insecurity in the United States. You’ll never believe what these 12 girls created to battle homelessness in their community.
Safeguarding the world’s beauty and culture for future generations
Travel brand Trafalgar wants to ensure that the wild and wonderful places they take tourists to visit get to stay that way. JoinTrafalgar is a bold initiative in sustainable tourism, promoted through the company’s nonprofit arm. JoinTrafalgar’s mission is to support the economies of local communities around the world so that they can maintain their locale’s natural beauty, culture, and traditions. Travelers can help by getting involved in the Be My Guest initiative, which enables tourists worldwide to eat foods that are natively sourced, meet local artisans, and learn about new cultures in a hands-on way. For example, in Perugia, Italy, Trafalgar is working to preserve the ancient art of lacquered-loom hand weaving by taking tourists to visit a local weaver. This helps the weaver sell more goods while educating travelers on local customs.
Chocolate that restores the rainforest
Courtesy Alter Eco
Everyone loves to eat chocolate, but Alter Eco organic chocolate also gives back to the farmers and the land on which it grows. Alter Eco works with cacao partner, Acopagro Coop, to replant and conserve a portion of the Peruvian Amazon—an effort that improves the quality and yield of crops, boosts biodiversity, and provides a retirement plan for farmers in the form of sustainable forestry once the trees mature. Now through December 25, for every purchase of Alter Eco Holiday Gift Boxes—with rich Swiss-made chocolate bars, truffles, and clusters—Alter Eco will plant a tree in the Peruvian Amazon where its fair trade farmers grow its organic cacao. Not only will you be giving your loved one a decadent treat, but you’ll also be giving back to Mother Earth, a drool-worthy win-win this holiday season!
Courtesy Cruelty-Free International
When it comes to organic cruelty-free lotions and potions, The Body Shop is leading the charge. The store chain was one of the first to receive Leaping Bunny certification for their commitment to cruelty-free best practices. The brand recently signed a petition started by Cruelty Free International, imploring the United Nations to ban worldwide animal testing, such as the Draize eye test for cosmetics. Recently, The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International presented over eight million signatures supporting the petition at the U.N. You can help further this cause by signing the petition. To check if your self-care products are cruelty-free, this is what the symbols on the back of your hair and beauty products really mean.
Helping coffee farmers laugh all the way to the bank
Courtesy Laughing Man® Coffee
Unfair wages for coffee farmers is no laughing matter—just ask Hugh Jackman. The hunky Australian actor may be better known for his role in The Wolverine than for his philanthropic company, Laughing Man Coffee. However, it is through this effort that he is making his largest impact. Laughing Man Coffee’s philanthropic arm helps to support coffee farmers and their communities, ensuring fair wages and maintaining sustainable, ecological practices. Not bad for a simple cup of Joe. You can help by buying great-tasting Laughing Man Coffee at Target.
Spreading holiday cheer to the hungry
Each year, Kiehl’s, in conjunction with artist Andrew Bannecker, produces Kiehl’s Collection for a Cause. This limited edition daily skin-care gift set would be awesome to give or get based on its merits alone. But for extra incentive, Kiehl’s contributes 100 percent of this gift set’s profits to Feeding America, providing around one million meals to families in need during the holiday season. You can help by purchasing a gift set, volunteering at a homeless shelter or food pantry, or by making a direct contribution to Feeding America.