Every now and then, it’s good to remind ourselves that there are brands and people out there who are actually doing good. And we’re not talking about companies who do outreach and other kinds of corporate social responsibility programs. We’re talking about ones that we’re actually founded on the premise of making a difference in other people’s lives.
From their products, ways of operating, employees, and even the organizations they choose to partner with, these entities have the “do good” principle weaved into their very DNA, which makes them very appealing to people who are searching for more meaningful ways of working, or a way to integrate helping others into their daily lives.
As a reminder that there are still lots of people with the desire to do good, we invite you to take a look at three big companies that make a positive impact!
Founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, TOMS has evolved from being a shoe brand to one that sells all sorts of apparel in the name of helping people in need. They were the first ones to come up with the idea of ‘One for One’, which means that for every pair of shoe purchased, the brand would donate to a pair to a child in need. Blake thought about starting the company after a trip to Argentina where he saw impoverished children walking to school without any sort of ways to protect their feet.
The name TOMS stands for “Tomorrow’s Shoes”. Since its founding, the brand has evolved and came up with a new way to give back—for every $5 they make, TOMS would give $3 to a person in need. This new scheme came about after years of experience when Blake realized that while giving shoes makes a huge impact, giving out shoes and grants makes a bigger one.
It’s important to note that aside from all the efforts the brand is doing abroad, it’s also helping make positive change in the U.S. by supporting organizations that provide a sense of physical safety in communities and free mental health support to youths, among others.
For most young people these days, you can’t mention ‘eyeglasses’ without them thinking of Warby Parker. Founded by individuals who believe that everyone who needs them should have access to quality eyeglasses that make them feel happy and look good, Warby Parker offers their designer eyewear at a much lower cost compared to competitors.
The company’s story started out when one of the founders lost his glasses during a backpacking trip back in college. It took him one whole semester to replace them simply because he could not afford what was being sold out there. Since then, the group of friends set out on a mission to bring the gift of sight closer to everyone. And when they say everyone, they mean everyone.
For every purchase of a Warby Parker eyewear, the company donates another pair to a person in need in developing countries through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Since its founding in 2010, they’ve already given out more than 7 million pairs worldwide.
Based in Santa Monica, California, Tala is a microlending company that believes in giving people chances. Their way of operating is guided by a principle they call “radical trust”, which is based on the fundamental belief in people. Basically what this says is that the company believes that anyone has the potential to grow and progress if given the opportunity and right tools.
Tala lends anyone with an Android phone and a valid ID with money—money that they can use to start a small business or make payments for things that will help them do better. Most of their customers are marginalized individuals who have been unbanked their whole lives.
In addition to helping people get access to finance, Tala also provides its customers with financial literacy programs so they can manage their money better and possibly grow them. They are also very vocal about fighting for women’s rights and have helped many housewives and young adults in Kenya, Mexico, India, and the Philippines build a source of income for themselves and their families.
To date, the company has provided opportunities to over 2.5 million customers globally.