Here’s my first #GoodBrands roundup of companies that care beyond the bottom line…
Price: $-$$ // Products: beaded jewelry and baskets
With a home base in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you’re technically shopping local even though the products originate out of Rwanda and Costa Rica. The first time I browsed the HPH site, the prices took me by surprise. Most fair-trade vendors start their pieces in the $20-$30 range, but you’ll find HPH has jewelry at varying price points, making it easy to support the brand and artisans behind the products whether your budget is $10 or >$50. The Rwandan basket operations launched this past year, and I bought a basket for my mother in law. When it arrived, it had a tag inscribed with the name of the artisan, and I was able to show her the artisan’s picture on Instagram which really brought the gift full circle. In addition to employment (consisting of “an above fair wage”), HPH offers life skills classes and education support. Read more about their vision and operations here.
Price: $$-$$$ // Products: outerwear and casual clothing for an active lifestyle
Patagonia is known for their Environmental and Social Responsibility stance, offering a Fair-Trade collection, promoting Worn-Wear (an initiative to repair rather than replace worn garments), and in 2016, a collection utilizing recycled down. They made headlines this year with their pledge to give 100% of the Black Friday sales to the planet. Here’s an excerpt from Rose Marcario’s (CEO) letter:
“This year Patagonia will donate 100 percent of global Black Friday sales in our stores and on our website to grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water and soil for future generations. These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines. The support we can give is more important now than ever.
We’ll also provide information in our stores and on our website about how to get in touch with these groups and easily be active in your own communities—on Black Friday and every day.
For decades, Patagonia has demonstrated that caring for our planet is not in conflict with running a successful business. We are always looking for ways to further reduce our manufacturing footprint, including our company’s reliance on fossil fuels. We also fund grassroots environmental organizations by giving away 1 percent of our sales. To date that amount totals $74 million.”
As a result, they saw a record-breaking sales day of $10 million.
Price: $$$ // Products: traditional african footwear and handbags
Brother Vellies is one of the pricer options, but if you look at their Sustainability and About pages, you’ll see what’s behind the price tag. It’s driven by their unique design, commitment to quality, passion for minimizing environmental impact, and the artisan skill poured into each handmade product. Primarily selling high-quality, slow-fashion shoes and handbags, they’ve also launched the BV T-Shirt Project:
“The Brother Vellies T-Shirt Project collects used American t-shirts that were originally donated but then sold by the local community in markets around Kenya.
Stats suggest there are approximately eight American t-shirts for every one person in Africa; and all of our American generosity has ended up greatly damaging Africa’s own apparel industries.
Each season we will be donating proceeds from the T-Shirt Project to a deserving organization supporting development in Kenya. This season we are excited to partner with the Basecamp Foundation.”
So if you can’t afford to splurge on the main products, consider buying a t-shirt.
As part of my #ClosetFootprint challenge, I’ll be highlighting more brands for you soon.
Have a brand that should make the list? Share below!