I love supporting companies that give back. There is nothing better than picking up a little something for yourself and knowing that your purchase is going to help someone else!
A few years ago I saw a gorgeous pair of wedges in a magazine. They were blue and white striped canvas with a peep toe and a 3 1/2 inch wedge. Absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, the picture in the magazine was only a preview and the wedges weren’t even available yet. I stalked the website for two full months until the wedges were finally released and I snatched up a pair. Thus I was introduced to TOMS and the concept of companies that give back. Haunting their website for so long gave me a chance to read all about their mission and become really excited about the fact that having the coveted shoes on my feet would mean a pair of shoes on someone else’s feet as well.
I think one of the best things about the Internet is that it connects people with needs to people who can help with those needs. Companies that give back are becoming more common and they are doing a lot of good in the world by providing employment, monetary assistance, and desperately needed goods and services. Many of them are Internet-based, which makes it a lot easier to connect talented artisans in India, Guatemala, Uganda, and other developing countries with consumers around the world.
Another perk of shopping with a philanthropically minded company is that a lot of them are also mom-and-pop type operations. Let’s hear it for supporting small businesses AND helping to save the world!
Companies That Give Back 1 of 17
Click through to see them all!
TOMS Footwear 2 of 17
TOMS started off with a simple slip on and a one-to-one donation goal. They've branched out a lot since then and their latest offerings (like this strappy wedge) are pretty awesome. For every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates a pair to a person in need in one of over 60 countries.
Find these wedges at TOMS for $69
TOMS Sunglasses 3 of 17
TOMS expanded into sunglasses a couple years ago and now offers a wide range of styles from aviators to wayfarers and beyond. And, again, when you buy a pair of sunglasses, TOMS gives back! They provide prescription eyewear, sight-saving surgery or medical treatment to a person in need.
Find these sunglasses at TOMS for $139
Noonday Collection Necklace 4 of 17
Jewelry company Noonday Collection sells handcrafted pieces by artisans from around the world. Women from Uganda, Ecuador, Guatemala, Rwanda, and many other places contribute their skill to create necklaces, earrings and bracelets with an ethnic flair. In return, they are paid a fair wage and are better able to help support their families!
Find this necklace at Noonday Collection for $42
Noonday Collection Bracelet 5 of 17
Noonday also contributes 10% of their trunk sale profits to families looking to adopt internationally. Further, they regularly give financial support towards orphan care and prevention.
Find this bracelet at Noonday Collection for $20
Sseko Sandals 6 of 17
Sseko sandals are handcrafted from real leather and have 5 loops that allow for almost endless styling options (seriously. It's mind-boggling) using interchangeable fabric straps. The company is focused on helping women in Uganda go to college but they also employ women from all walks of life.
Find these red sandals at Sseko for $49
Sseko Clutch 7 of 17
Sseko also carries clutches! This beauty was handcrafted in Kenya by a partner organization of artisans and profits go toward helping a Ugandan women further her education and help end the cycle of poverty.
Find it at Sseko for $65
Tukula 8 of 17
Tukula is an accessories line based in Uganda. They hire trained seamstresses who are unable to find steady work. They receive fair wages, medical care, a positive and safe work environment and other opportunities. Plus, the stuff they make is crafted from beautiful African fabrics!
Find this Shami bag at Tukula for $20
Better Life Bags 9 of 17
The unemployment rate in Detroit is abysmal. Better Life Bags employs women in lower-income communities in and around Detroit to make these stunning custom bags. Their tagline is "Custom with a Cause" and they donate 10% of every sale to a low income entrepreneur in a developing country.
Find this striped laptop sleeve at Better Life Bags for $75
Not For Sale Tee 10 of 17
The factory in India where these shirts are produced provides jobs to women who are survivors of trafficking or who are at high-risk for being trafficked. The factory offers women a competitive salary, free childcare, health care, and English classes as well as access to vocational programs and job opportunities. They also make pretty awesome tee-shirts.
Find this tee at Not for Sale for $28
Hydros 11 of 17
These water bottles are both stylish and functional (they include a filter!) but they also give back. Each purchase helps support sustainable water projects for the 1 in 7 people around the world who lack access to clean water.
Find it at Hydros for $27.99
Krochet Kids 12 of 17
Krochet Kids started with a group of high school guys who discovered a love for the art of crocheting (yes, really). Eventually, they realized that teaching the skill to people in developing countries could be a means of breaking the cycle of poverty. Thanks to Krochet Kids, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and receiving mentorship. You can even meet the women behind the pieces in their shop!
Find this tank at Krochet Kids for $29.95
Sevenly 13 of 17
Sevenly has a "mission of leading a generation toward generosity." Seven dollars from every purchase from their shop goes toward their cause of the week. The cause changes weekly. Pretty clothes for an awesome array of charitable causes!
Find this tee at Sevenly for $28
Barnabas 14 of 17
The Barnabas brand has a wonderfully positive message driving them- they want to "be intentional about living our lives with purpose and action- to live a life worth imitating." They also give 10% of all sales to The Living Room, a non-profit which provides hospice care to men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya. I may have cried while reading about that one.
Find this unisex tank at Barnabas for $26
Hipitipico 15 of 17
These awesome bags are eco-friendly, made from recycled coffee sacks and local leather. Crafting the bags provides stable work for Maya artisans in Guatemala. The bags come in small, medium and large, have adjustable straps and zippered pockets.
Find it at Hiptipico for $95
Red Earth Trading Co. 16 of 17
The Red Earth Trading Company offers handcrafted jewelry and homegoods created by artisans in Uganda and Kenya. They provide a "double dose of good" by providing work and a fair wage for artisans as well as donating all profits to sustain the community development work of Know Think Act.
Find this pendant at Red Earth Trading Co. for $32
Burt’s Bees 17 of 17
Burt's Bees is the bees knees. They don't test on animals, they use recycled materials as much as possible in their packaging, they disclose ingredients AND they give back. Since they opened their doors in 2007 they've given over 1 million dollars in grants through the Burt's Bees Greater Good Foundation.
Find my fav lip balm at Burt's Bees for $7