Tag Archives: Benefit Corporation

Summer Sales from @Good Cloth

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This stylish #vegan messenger bag fits all your work (or #weekend!) necessities. Perfect for #work and #travel.

 

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Good Cloth’s #vegan leather cork designs are 30% off. These award-winning items will keep you in #sustainable #style.

 

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This award-winning #yoga mat bag will keep you in style and can carry a variety of goods, like your favorite vino and a small blanket for a midday park getaway.

 

 

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Summer Sales From Good Cloth! A Benefit Corporation. @shopgoodcloth

 

adapted_messenger_bag_530x
This stylish #vegan messenger bag fits all your work (or #weekend!) necessities. Perfect for #work and #travel.

 

 

adapted_cor_intuition_model_side_530x
This award-winning #yoga mat bag will keep you in style and can carry a variety of goods, like your favorite vino and a small blanket for a midday park getaway.

 

adapted_IMG_3054_nobutton_small_b71fb683-154f-4b3f-9a5f-fe4155f7974a_1024x1024
Good Cloth’s #vegan leather cork designs are 30% off. These award-winning items will keep you in #sustainable #style.

 

 

How to Build an Ethical and Sustainable Wardrobe Via The Good Blog @shopgoodcloth

Shop, purge, repeat. My relationship with fashion was toxic. Every other week I’d buy a dress, a sweater, a new necklace. Twenty bucks here and there added up to hundreds of dollars per month, and as a grad student I was always wondering how to pay off my credit card and get out of debt.

READ THE REST HERE…….

A Video Worth Watching – They issue coupons too! @unilever

Unilever is one of the largest publicly traded benefit corporations in existence.

They own quite a few brands such as Lipton, Seventh Generation, Knorr, Ben and Jerry’s, Hellmans, and Talenti Gelato.

They give the planet and people the same consideration as profit.

You can regularly find coupons for their products HERE:

#SALE: Good Cloth’s #vegan leather cork designs are 30% off. These award-winning items will keep you in #sustainable #style. @shopgoodcloth

SUMMER SALE!! THESE WILL NOT LAST LONG! FEATURED ITEMS FROM GOOD CLOTH. A BENEFIT CORPORATION.

This stylish #vegan messenger bag fits all your work (or #weekend!) necessities. Perfect for #work and #travel.
This award-winning #yoga mat bag will keep you in style and can carry a variety of goods, like your favorite vino and a small blanket for a midday park getaway.

Unilever and Kroger. The perfect couple.

Here is a super simple way to start shopping ethically and save money in the United States.

Did you know that you have a way to save money and support one of the largest Benefit Corporations in existence? The name of the company is called Unilever and they are responsible for some really great things such as giving the planet and people the same consideration as profit.

You can read about what Unilever is up to HERE

They also regularly publish coupons for their products such as Lipton, Seventh Generation, Knorr, and Hellmann’s.

You can access the coupons HERE

Here is a list of Unilever Brands

Now, if you happen to have a Kroger supermarket around, you are even in a luckier position. Kroger happens to be certified Fair Trade. They also carry their own brand of organic and cruelty free items called Simple Truth.

They also regularly issue coupons for their Simple Truth products as well as hold regular sales of Unilever products.

This means is you can match the coupons up with the sales, you are in for some major savings on groceries and you are able to support some sustainable companies.

Happy Shopping and don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!

PS- If you happen to get to Kroger in the early morning hours, you will also be able to find markdown items on their organic perishable items. This means $3.50 for a gallon of organic milk…

 

 

 

An Ethical Consumers Alternative To Fast Fashion

In an earlier article, I talked about the sheer amount of waste society produced in an effort to keep up with the speed of daily living.

Everything is now fast and we need the convenience to move fast. One of the sectors that has been “revolutionized,” in response to consumers demands for fast, has been the fashion industry. This has been dubbed, “Fast Fashion.”

What once was a 4 time a year catwalk of trends has now turned into an 11 to 15 time a year strut down the runway of life, without any end in sight.

Because of this, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that 15.1 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2013, of which 12.8 million tons were discarded. In addition to ungodly amounts of waste being created, many supply chains of fast fashion employ sweat shops all over the world in order to meet the demand of a quick and cheap product.

According to the U.S general accounting office, a sweatshop is “an employer that violates more than one federal or state labor law governing minimum wage and overtime, child labor, industrial homework, occupational safety and health, worker’s compensation or industry regulation. 

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This is a picture of a little boy in Dhaka that worked in a sweatshop for 10 hours a day to earn US $1

So, when you buy that cheap article of clothing, know that the reason it is so cheap, is because the person that made it was basically paid chicken scratch. They also probably worked in precarious conditions to make that shirt hanging on the rack in front of you.

 As an ethical/conscious consumer, I can’t keep this fast fashion catwalk up. I don’t know about you, but my feet are starting to hurt from so much strutting. My sciatica is acting up and my ankles are swelling. This madness must stop.

As a conscious consumer you know your dollar vote counts for quite a bit. Don’t buy a company’s product, and they cannot make any money. Plain and simple. So instead, you choose to support ethical companies. Such as THIS ONE. You support companies that give people and the planet the same consideration as profit in their business model.

What if I told you that as an Ethical Consumer, you have alternatives to “Fast Fashion.

Besides purchasing from the companies that are considered ethical, what if I told you there is a way to save money on your clothing budget, plus end up with original pieces that nobody else possesses? What if I told you, that you could be a trend setter instead of a follower?

I have one word for you. Upcycle.

Also known as “Creative Reuse.” Ok, that is actually two words. But, by mastering this craft, you can help with cutting down textile waste, keep money out of the pockets of fast fashion companies, and just spread the love in general.

Upcycling is the art of taking something used, and then recreating it to be used as something else. I cannot express to you what I feel when I get to brainstorm new ideas as to how to reuse old t shirts from the thrift store. Seriously. Go get on Pinterest and type in “upcycled clothing ideas,” and see what happens. You will pull up things that will blow your mind. Such as…

A Strapless Summer Top. Who in their right mind would not want to strut around in this upcycled dandy on a warm summer night? The stretchy T-Shirt material keeps things in check…..if ya know what I mean 😉

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Or, what about this cute little number for a child that will be made out of recycled t-shirts with different patterns and colors? How cute is this?!?!?

 

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This photo is from www.iammommahearmeroar.net

 

These items can be made with minimal effort and sewing skills. However, if you are sewing machine challenged such as myself, you can watch YouTube tutorials that involve no sewing such as THIS ONE or THIS ONE. Then end up creating a masterpiece. You can match your new additions with vintage jewelry pieces and VIOLA! You will have everyone asking you how you ended up with what you did, and then you get to watch their faces when you inform them that, “I made it.” ‘

I will also have you know that upcycling is a form for being creative. Which in actuality is a form of art and being creative is actually clinically proven to lower stress and raise self-esteem. I don’t know about you, but I can use as much low stress and high self esteem as I can get!

In addition to upcycling trends, there are also growing movements involving swapping clothing via online platforms as well as movements to repair your clothing vs just throwing it away because it ripped.

These alternatives are an effort to become conscious and mindful of our resources that are available to us. They offer viable solutions to the problems we are facing in terms of what Fast Fashion is creating. I don’t know about you, but I find alignment in this and you should too. Now if you will excuse me….I am off to the thrift shop to find my next project 🙂

Until Next Time,

Sarah Childers

PS- Share any upcycled projects you have done with me and I will tweet them out to everyone 😉

Follow me on Twitter @EthosDeal  or on

LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barephilanthropy

Being A Conscious Consumer By Being Mindful of Waste

In this day and age, when we are moving at a break neck speed, it is very easy to become caught up in all the white noise. I am not even going to list all of the things we encounter every day as grown-ups, spouses, parents, siblings, and children. Our lives are interwoven with complex anomalies waiting to be solved and just usually succeed in overwhelming the senses, and leaving us listless by sundown.

I think the major contributor to this is the fact that we are constantly connected via technology.

This fact alone leaves us vulnerable to the whims of others and what they need. According to a recent eMarketer report, adults spend 23 hours a week staying connected in the form of text, social media, or emails.

This in turn leads to a vicious cycle of commitments, appointments, after school awesomeness, and lots of cool stuff that make it convenient to run around like we don’t have a lick of sense. Whatever the reason is for chronic busyness, I know most days it causes me to be reduced to becoming a brain dead zombie by nightfall that secretly wishes for take out to magically appear on her counter.

I know I am not alone.

Seriously, all statistical evidence aside, how many times just in this week have you or someone else made a comment pertaining to the whip lash they are receiving from life in general? Fess up.

“Adulting,” these days means maintaining a busy state of existence in order to achieve progress.

Because of the ancient law of cause and effect, now that we are a fast paced society, we have also fallen into the habit of becoming a fast paced consumer.

Fast food, fast fashion, fast life.

All in the name of convenience to suit the need to keep up with whatever it is we are trying to keep up with. Everyone is guilty of subscribing to this at some point in their lives. Not because we woke up one morning and decided to be this way. No. Things just kind of progressed and here we are.

Creating more waste so we can have convenience to keep up with our busyness and progress.  

Case in point:

According to the Center of Sustainability and Commerce, The average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day. This is 1.6 pounds more than most produced back in 1960. We are producing more trash than our parents did. Companies are also observing that we are too busy even for small tasks these days.

Such as peeling oranges and slicing avocados.

So, they are helping us, and therefore there has been an uptick in packaging to assist us with being busy. This is producing more waste.

Consumers also pay more for convenience. You do know that 15% of a product’s price is due to packaging? Right?

In addition, according to the World Bank Group, global trash is on track to TRIPLE by the year 2100.

Besides what one would think of as the usual “trash,” it does not cross someone’s mind of all of the other things we throw away that end up in a landfill.

How about those old clothes you just cleaned out of your closet to make room for the ones you just purchased?

According to the EPA, 13.1 million tons of textiles are thrown away and The Council For Textile Recycling says that only about 15% of clothing is donated each year. The average American throws almost 65lbs of clothing away each year!

What about last year’s cell phone after you have upgraded for a more faster and efficient model?

According to the Clean Air Council, cell phone disposal is a major waste problem and that in 2007, only 10% of the 140.3 million cell phones decommissioned that year were recycled.

Seriously, I could go on and on about the waste we accumulate all in the name of consuming and do not get me started on the mental and physical stress we are experiencing because of the fast paced society we live in……

What I am getting at is this:

I am well aware they may be steps we all can take in order to slow our lives down. I also know for some, there are not a lot of options available to do just that. So in addition to trying to slow our lives down just for the sake of sanity, maybe it is time to be more mindful of how we are consuming our resources, and figure out ways to be better stewards to what we have at our disposal?

I know it’s easy to be overwhelmed where your day to day tasks get lost in translation.  But, I am a firm believer that perhaps if we take a second to really be aware of our surroundings, and really think about what we are doing, not only will we benefit from it, everything we come in contact with, will as well. Not to mention it will be easier on the pocketbook.

Here are a few small ways you can start being mindful of waste.

Be Mindful Of Your Purchases – Before you purchase it, ask yourself if you really need it. Or, do you just WANT it….

Buy in Bulk– Not only will you save money, you will save on packaging (trash) costs in general.

Stop Buying Water Bottles – Did you know that currently, 38 million plastic water bottles make it to the dump each year? Instead, try purchasing a bottle you can wash and reuse each day.

Recycling – No, I don’t mean having recycling bins that divide up plastic and glass (even though those are good and you need to do that.) What I am talking about is just recycling things in general. Those old whipped cream containers can make very whimsical cereal bowls. You know those gelato containers that have screw on tops? They make perfect food storage containers my friend. I also use those things to pour glaze in before letting my Jr. High kids paint their ceramics. I have it on good authority that used (washed) TV dinner trays make superb painting trays for young children and husbands alike.

Upcycling – MY FAVORITE!!!!!!! How many times do we make an object into something else and use it for NOT its intended purpose? The sky is the limit for this. Go for it. God speed. Go get on Pinterest. Type in Upcycled Projects. You are welcome.

Use Reusable Shopping Bags– You can search ways to make these things out of old T-Shirts by the way. These are my favorite types of reusable bags because they are soft and stretchy. Here is a great tutorial for one.

Shop Thrift Stores – Once again, easier on the pocketbook. If you manage to get good at the upcycle thing, you will end up with gorgeous, one of a kind pieces.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas as to how to cut down on waste.

Share how you are mindful in order not to produce waste below in the comments. I want pictures of upcycled projects if you have them!

Until next time,

Sarah Childers

Bare Philanthropy LLC

Follow me on Twitter @ethosdeal

PS- If you are looking for a more in depth information as to why you should be more mindful of the waste you produce, by all means, feel free to check out Morgan Spurlocks documentary series called: Inside Man. One of his episodes is titled: United States of Trash, and its available on Netflix. It is a pretty interesting little piece.

Explaining The Corporate Social Responsibility Movement

 

Do you ever wonder what a company means when they say their product is “Sustainably Sourced?” Have you read any articles lately that are talking about things such as “Benefit Corporations,” or “Fair Trade,” and it has peaked your curiosity?  I myself have been witnessing quite a few terms being used these days to describe a business model. Such as Social Purpose, Benefit Corporation, Corporate Responsibility, Ethical Capitalism, Mission Driven, etc.….and I am sure there are many more. The bottom line for all of these names are the same:

 Harnessing the power of business to do good in this world.

This concept is not a new one by any means. One can attest to this by what Charles Dickens wrote about in his story, “A Christmas Carol,” in 1843. Everyone is familiar with the plot of this story and it ends with the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, deciding to use his financial position to promote good will in his community, instead of spreading negativity, so to speak.

I think that perhaps since you are reading this, you too are in a position to try and make a difference in others lives. Maybe you are wanting to be more mindful of your purchases? Maybe you are a new business that is looking to incorporate a positive aspect into your business model? Maybe you are an already established business? Maybe, you were just visiting by three ghosts last night and they told you to look me up, maybe not. If they did, I don’t want to know.  Either way, I want you to know that this is a very murky area right now.What I am getting ready to tell you all falls under the term “Social Enterprise.” Well, at least right now it does. As of Feb 2016, the time frame that I am writing this, the following is what I am witnessing.

  • Up until a few years ago, businesses in the U.S. could talk all day long about how they were “helping others.” Just take a look at any corporate website and you can see items such as “Community Support,” and “Social Investing.” However, there was never an actual 3rd party standard a business got to adhere to that really proved they were walking the walk with the entire company, not just talking the talk, so to speak. For example: It makes zero sense to say that you give X amount of profits to charity, when you are simultaneously inadvertently poisoning a community’s water supply when manufacturing your product. Right? So, as we sat with our head in our hands and becoming frustrated with these types of circumstances, someone took notice. Then, lo and behold, like the answer to a bat signal, there was actually such a thing that businesses can adhere to, that can prove they are an all-encompassing entity that makes a profit, as well as being a benefit to others and the planet. Which leads me to my next point….
  • With that being said, there are two main movements that I am seeing gaining major steam. The first movement is called becoming a “Benefit Corporation.” It was a movement that was spearheaded a few years ago by a nonprofit called, “ The B Lab,” and this idea is going global.  Make sure to visit their website at www.bcorporation.net.  Its great stuff and I am completely smitten with the concept. It is basically a process that a business can go through that will promote transparency and contribute to the greater good, all the while still making a profit. It adheres to what is called in the accounting world as “the triple bottom line.” This means that people and the planet are given the same consideration as profits. I also know of a few very large companies that have joined this movement such as Ben and Jerry’s and Etsy. However, know that as of right now, not all 50 states recognize a benefit corporation as an actual legal entity. Other states have passed a hybrid of sorts that does resemble a benefit corporation but are not called such. But, if your state is not one that recognizes this type of legal entity, you are still free to participate in the B Lab’s certification process if you would like. This concept is also known as “Corporate Responsibility” or” Ethical Capitalism.” As of April 2015, there are over 1200 certified B Corporations across 41 industries in 121 countries. If you would like a more in depth explanation of what a B Corp is really about, feel free to watch this YOUTUBE VIDEO.
  • The second movement is a whole plethora of platform based initiatives happening. These methods actually utilize a third party process that have the end goal to indeed create a positive impact in society. This is essentially when a business sector, nonprofit sector, government,and/or person acts as the investor for a venture that is intended to make this world better. Each blend has its own method of madness when it comes to investing for social impact and measuring its effort. This concept is known as “Impact Investing,” or “Social Impact Investing.” According to the Global Impact Investing Network, otherwise known as the GIIN (Pronounced JEN), there are approximately $60 Billion dollars invested globally for this specific movement and just like ice cream, there is not just one flavor. Feel free to check out their website at: www.thegiin.org for more information. Once again, its pretty great stuff.

Confused yet?

Don’t be. Think of all of this as a really cool Van Gough painting where all of the colors stand out, but yet complement each other and are connected in some way. Close up, it looks like a mess. But when you stand back and look at the whole thing, it takes your breath away.

For the sake of throwing more information at you, here is a another YOUTUBE VIDEO explaining CSR from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.

Do I think any of these stated ideals will fix everything? No. I can see how some of these methods need to be modified and some may even fail.

I also know that there are many critics in the background voicing their opinions pertaining to social enterprise.

But, you know what?  I liken all of these concepts with a rage against the dying of the light in this crazy world that we are residing in. This is a step in the right direction and God Bless the ones that have honest intentions with any of this, and are really trying to make a difference. That concept right there ladies and gentleman, makes me feel a bit better, and it should do the same for you too. If that makes me a naïve little Pollyanna, then so be it.

You can show your support for these companies as well if you would like, by visiting my ethical business promotional page HERE. They have some really great things going on I think you may need to go check out 😉

Until Next Time,

Sarah C.

Follow me on Twitter @ Ethosdeal

or LinkedIn at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barephilanthropy

#socialpurpose #socialimpact #doinggood #benefitcorporation #corporateresponsibility