Customers want to support brands that do good in the world. Often, that means voting with their wallets to purchase social impact products that give back.
71% of Americans think companies have a greater responsibility than ever to address social issues. And they want brands to do more than just talk—they want to support brands that back their words with actions for causes they care about.
When given the choice between two similar brands or products, 71% of consumers will purchase from a purpose-driven company over the alternative. Nearly 80% of consumers are more likely to remember a company with a strong purpose and 4.5 times more likely to recommend it to friends and family.
As social issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to COVID’s disproportionate negative impact on poor communities, environmental issues and women’s rights continue to gain traction, consumers increasingly want to do their part to support socially responsible brands that make a difference.
Here are 20 innovative companies that give back:
1 . BLQK Coffee
Former NFL player Justin Watson created BLQK Coffee to represent the intersection between coffee as a drink and a community. The startup pours 25% of its profits back into Black communities and donates to organizations that improve access to education, bridge opportunity gaps and cultivate food justice.
2 . Toms
As the original one-for-one company, Toms started by donating a pair of shoes to children for every pair purchased. The company shifted away from the model to allow for more freedom in how it donates. Toms now gives one-third of its profits to grassroots organizations on the frontlines of causes including mental health, ending gun violence and increasing access to opportunity. Toms has positively impacted 100 million lives.
3 . Sackcloth & Ashes
Sackcloth & Ashes is both sustainable and socially conscious. Its blankets are made of 100% recycled material and an eco-friendly wool blend. For every blanket sold, the company donates a blanket to a homeless shelter in the buyer’s zip code, helping customers make a direct impact in their communities. Sackcloth & Ashes hopes to donate 1 million blankets by 2024.
4 . FIGS
FIGS creates high-quality scrubs that can withstand everything healthcare professionals deal with on their long shifts. The company donates a pair of scrubs to healthcare workers in resource-poor countries with every item sold. To date, FIGS has donated hundreds of thousands of scrubs, as well as other medical equipment, to dozens of countries around the world.
5 . Two Blind Brothers
Two Blind Brothers is a comfort clothing company created by two visually impaired brothers, and 100% of the company’s profits go towards funding research to cure retinal eye disease. Customers can browse and purchase individual items or “shop blind” and purchase mystery boxes without seeing the products—much like the people they are supporting.
6 . STATE
STATE originally donated a bag filled with school supplies to kids in need for every bag sold, resulting in tens of thousands of bags helping kids at motivational “Bag Drops”. STATE recently retired its one-for-one model to instead deliver help how it is needed most by listening to its charitable partners and championing important causes, like mass incarceration and racial injustice.
7 . Mable
Seemingly small plastic items like cotton swabs and floss containers add up to major pollution in landfills. Mable sells sustainable alternatives to everyday items, including completely biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes. For every toothbrush Mable sells, the company donates a toothbrush to a child in the U.S. and teaches schools about personal hygiene and sustainability.
8 . Thinx
Thinx pioneered period underwear with its innovative products that change how women think about their bodies and periods. The company donates a portion of its profits to support puberty and reproduction education, as well as grassroots activism and equal access to menstrual products, through its GiveRise program.
9 . Bombas
Sock company Bombas donates socks and t-shirts to at-risk people around the world with every purchase. The donation items are specially designed to last with reinforced seams, antimicrobial treatments to reduce bacteria and darker colors to minimize visible wear. So far, the company has donated more than 40 million socks and t-shirts to 3,500 community organizations.
10 . The Right To Shower
For people struggling with homelessness, finding a shower or place to get clean can be a struggle. The people behind The Right To Shower believe cleanliness is a basic human right. The company sells natural and ethically made soaps and body washes, with 30% of profits going to build mobile showers in cities around the world to help the homeless.
11 . Warby Parker
Billions of people around the world need glasses but don’t have access to them. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to someone in need. The company also empowers people to perform basic eye exams and sell glasses at ultra-affordable prices. Warby Parker has donated more than 8 million pairs of glasses to 50 countries.
12 . Tentree
To date, Tentree has planted more than 57 million trees. The company sells a wide variety of clothing items, each made of eco-conscious fabrics designed to have the smallest environmental impact possible. For every item purchased, Tentree plants 10 trees, with a goal to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.
13 . cuddle+kind
The husband and wife founders of cuddle+kind set out to create a company that brings joy to kids and helps eliminate hunger. cuddle+kind sells stuffed dolls and animals for kids of all ages made in Peru to provide income and jobs to local women. For every doll sold, the company donates 10 meals to children in need to provide one million meals every year.
14 . ONEHOPE
ONEHOPE’s founders know the power wine has to bring people together and build connections. A portion of all ONEHOPE profits is donated to local and international charities covering a variety of causes, from clean drinking water to healthcare access and education. To date, ONEHOPE has supported more than 20,000 local nonprofits and donated more than $7 million.
15 . Marriott
Members of Marriott’s Bonvoy rewards program earn points as they travel and stay in Marriott properties around the world. Customers can then turn those points into donations to more than 20 organizations that provide COVID relief, work to fight racial inequality or address other important issues. Marriott matches the points then converts them to monetary donations.
16 . Birdy Grey
Birdy Grey sells beautiful bridesmaid dresses but understands that many customers don’t wear the dresses after the wedding. The company makes it easy for customers to mail their dresses back to be donated to The Princess Project that provides free prom dresses to high school students who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
17 . ArtLifting
After realizing that homeless shelters across the country have art groups with pieces collecting dust, the founder of ArtLifting set out to give homeless artists a platform to share their talent. ArtLifting is a marketplace with a wide variety of art by homeless and disabled artists and supports more than 100 artists across the country.
18 . Ben & Jerry’s
Since its creation, Ben & Jerry’s has been dedicated to raising awareness and funds for important causes, ranging from environmental issues to social justice and sustainable food sourcing. Through the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the company donates 7.5% of its annual profits to philanthropy by offering grants and supporting grassroots efforts to fight for social justice.
19 . Dog For Dog
Dog for Dog sells all-natural, grain-free dog food designed to keep dogs happy and healthy. And it wants all dogs—not just their customers—to feel the same way. For every Dog for Dog item purchased, the same item is donated to a shelter to help a dog in need. To date, Dog for Dog has donated more than 1.4 million pounds of dog food.
20 . 5028
Made in small batches with upcycled and responsibly sourced materials, every pair of 5028 artisan shoes is a work of art. The husband and wife owners also understand the importance of mental health and donate $5 from every pair of shoes sold to mental health support groups.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Be part of the brand new Customer Experience Community here.