2 years ago
Not to sound like an overly idealistic hippie, but there’s a way for you to double the power of your gifting this time of year. How? By buying items from brands that use the buy-one-give-one model of business that was popularized by TOMS Shoes. That is, for every pair of shoes you buy from them, TOMS will donate a pair to a shoeless kid in Africa. Or another place where children need shoes.
But businesses have gone way beyond sneakers these days. Many companies are now using the TOMS buy-one-give-one model to sell you everything from small items like toothbrushes and chewing gum (great stocking stuffers, by the way) to more expensive things like watches and sporting goods.
Check out RealClearLife‘s list below. For every item you buy from the following 16 companies, they’ll send the same item to a person in need somewhere in the world. Cool, right? Happy shopping … and giving.
One World Play Project
What They Sell: Indestructible soccer balls. Also: durable dog toys.
Comment: The musician Sting provided the initial funding for the project. Since 2008, they’ve distributed more than one million balls.
What They Sell: Toothbrushes, travel journals, and zippered pouches.
Comment: In addition to donating toothbrushes, they also help fund wish trips to children facing life-threatening medical conditions.
What They Sell: Bar soap, hand soap, body wash, and hair care products.
Comment: Started in 2010 by a college student, SoapBox has made more than one million donations.
What They Sell: Medical scrubs. But also casual clothing for men and women.
Comment: Their fleeces are quite handsome. And to date, they’ve donated nearly 100,000 sets of medical scrubs to developing countries.
What They Sell: New and used books.
Comment: They’ve raised more than $18 million for global literacy and local libraries. They’ve also diverted more than 73,000 tons of books from landfills.
What They Sell: Chewing gum and gummies.
Comment: Sampler packs include 12 packs of gum, with flavors like red velvet cupcake, rainbow ice, and front porch lemonade. The added-up proceeds from the candy are used to fund a number of programs such as feeding the hungry and healing the sick.
Out of Print Clothing
What They Sell: Book-themed clothing, mugs, and tote bags.
Comment: Their hipster-friendly products would fit in just fine in Portland, Oregon. Slaughterhouse-Five T-shirt, anyone? (With the T’s proceeds, they fund literacy programs and book donations in underserved communities.)
What They Sell: Health bars.
Comment: Flavors include blueberry almond, chocolate banana, and peanut butter and jelly. Via their brand, the company spreads the gospel of healthy living and helps fund programs to feed children around the world.
This Bar Saves Lives
What They Sell: Health bars.
Comment: The bars (in flavors like wild blueberry pistachio) are non-GMO, gluten-free, and fairly traded. Even bee-friendly. (Their mission is similar to Kutoa’s.)
TOMS (a.k.a. the original)
What They Sell: Shoes, bags, sunglasses, apparel, and more.
Comment: TOMS Coffee sells insulated bottles that will keep your beverage warm for six hours. Also: cool T-shirts.
—Shawn Donnelly for RealClearLife