The social role of companies is currently changing. In a time of increasing consumer awareness, it is no longer just about maximizing profits. Customers want to know the money they spend with a brand makes a difference. The keyword here is social impact. But what does that mean?
WHEN “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE” IS THE MISSION STATEMENT
It is refreshing to see how many companies support a social cause, give to charity or plant a tree for every purchase. However, an impact brand is way more than that: It’s a business built around the idea of solving a specific problem, improving conditions for certain communities, and in short, making the world a better place. It’s a company that has a good cause in its DNA.
Usually, when you build a business, the idea for a product comes first. That is true even for most impact brands and social businesses. However, when Courtney Apple and her husband Bill Glaab started their company “Hand in Hand”, they only decided on a suitable product after finding the cause they wanted to support:
“We didn’t start a business to make personal care products. We started it to make a difference. In 2011, millions of children were dying each year from water-related illnesses that could be prevented with hand washing alone. So, we got an idea: what if we could create a soap that could also save lives? With that, our BUY ONE, GIVE BACK program (and company) were born.”
I came across their story when vetting Hand in Hand soaps for inclusion in the askBelynda plugin. If you want to have awesome products like theirs pop up while you shop on Amazon, get the free Chrome extension here:
Sustainable shopping made simple.
WHEN EACH PURCHASE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
I’m not trained in psychology, so I can only guess why the concept “buy one – give one” is so successful, but it certainly is. My theories include the idea that when you go shopping, you have already accepted that you will part with some of your money. I also wonder if maybe while you buy something that has run out in your household, you are in the best possible position to have empathy with those who cannot afford this product.
Hand in Hand initially donated one bar of soap to communities in need for every purchase. After the terrible earthquakes in 2010, Haiti was among the first countries to receive donations. Today, the company has donated over 17 million bars of soap in 25 countries and expanded its support to include access to clean water.
“When it comes to giving back, we believe more is more. So in addition to our BUY ONE, GIVE BACK program, we also partner with two incredible organizations to deepen our impact at the community level. This includes installing and repairing clean water wells as well as recycling and distributing leftover hotel soap.“
HOW YOUR SHOPPING CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
According to poll after poll, consumers are willing to pay more for packaging with less plastic, sustainable manufacturing, and products that have a positive impact. But sometimes it’s hard to find out which companies actually deliver what they promise. We are here to help you with this.
If you want your shopping on Amazon to have a positive impact, you can simply install the askBelynda Browser plugin. It works in Google Chrome, installs quickly and easily, and is completely free. When you search for products like personal care, clothing, or household items on Amazon, it pops up and shows you the sustainable alternative, right there on Amazon. All the included products are thoroughly vetted, and by clicking on the “Reasons Why”, you can find out more about your purchase's impact.
We are continually vetting new companies and adding new products and categories. It’s never been simpler to make the more impactful choice.
Let’s make shopping sustainable!
Jennifer Scales is a photo artist and train travel enthusiast. When she is not vetting companies for askBelynda, she spreads her love for sustainable travel by capturing the beauty of nature seen through the train window.