5 One for One Brands We Love
Blake Mycoskie is a native Texan who started numerous businesses before founding TOMS, among which was a campus laundry service that was later sold. He also competed in CBS’ primetime series “The amazing race”, and came really close to winning the million dollar prize! He is passionate about travelling and reading, and he strives to inspire people to create a better world by giving to those in need.
In 2006, after seeing how many children were growing up without shoes while on a trip in Argentina, he decided to found a for-profit sustainable business that wouldn’t have to rely on donations in order to help improve the lives of millions around the world. His revolutionary business model was based on an idea called “One for One”, which meant that his company would donate one pair of shoes for every pair that they sold – and over the course of the first five years TOMS had already started doing the same with eyeglasses and drinkable water!
TOMS has provided children all over the world with more than 35 million pairs of shoes, and donated eyeglasses to more than 275,000 people since 2011. Their coffee sales have also helped bring drinkable water to people in need. In 2015 TOMS will start training birth attendants and help equip them with birth kits, which contain everything a midwife might need in order to deliver babies safely.
It’s no wonder that People Magazine featured Mycoskie in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and his company was featured in Bill Gates’ article “How to Fix Capitalism” that was published in Time Magazine!
Nowadays, TOMS provides us with a stellar example of what an environmentally and socially responsible business should look like, and that’s why it’s one of our favorite brands; TOMS is inspiring us to give everything we’ve got in order to improve the lives of those in need!
2. Warby Parker
After having experienced first hand how hard it is to replace broken eyeglasses while on a budget, the founding fathers of Warby Parker decided to find a way to provide great quality, beautiful glasses to the people -and at a fraction of the going price!
But how, you might ask… They managed to circumvent the traditional channels that kept the prices artificially high, started designing their glasses in-house and removed all middlemen. In essence, you could say that Warby Parker are selling glasses wholesale, since they eliminate all of the mark-ups people would normally have to pay!
This business model allowed them to adopt a “Buy a pair, give a pair” policy; they started working with various non-profits, such as VisionSpring, in order to ensure that for every pair of eyeglasses sold, a person in need would get their own glasses, as well.
However Warby Parker doesn’t just donate the glasses; they sum up the profits from their sales monthly, and then donate to their non-profit partners, who in turn train men and women in developing countries. They are taught how to give basic eye exams and sell eyeglasses to the people around them, who are in need of support and access to affordable eyecare. This solution is more sustainable than donating, as it doesn’t create a culture of dependency, and everyone seems to win!
Bill and Courtney are a couple of entrepreneurs who founded the “Hand in Hand Soap” company in 2011, in an effort to improve hygiene and combat diseases that were caused by poor water quality in many parts of the world. Hand in Hand soap is an eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable business that sells wonderfully scented soap bars, candles, lotions, bath salts and more.
But that is not all; for every bar of soap sold, Hand in Hand Soap offers another bar of soap to children in need, as well as a whole month of clean water. You could say that they sell a basic, everyday item that has the power to save lives!
Their love for what they do and the happiness they bring into these children’s lives are evident in the heartwarming photo gallery on their site and on their instagram.
One Million Lights is a company that is part of the World of Color public charity. They strive to provide children and adults around the globe with clean and healthy lighting that can help them extend their day and improve their families’ quality of life.
One Million Lights offers affordable solar-powered lights to rural communities in developing parts of the world via partnerships and donations, in an effort to improve their households’ health, and to replace kerosene lamps (which are dangerous and polluting).
Kutoa, which means “to give” in Swahili, is based on the touching story of its founder, Joey Grassia, a sensitive young man who was shocked by the torments that children in his travels had to endure, and the hopelessness of their overworked and exploited parents who couldn’t provide the basics to their families.
This experience, along with a health scare of his own, led the company’s founder to create Kutoa, a health bar company whose products are made from natural, GMO-free ingredients, cooked in small batches and sold either online or at the company’s store. Part of the profits goes towards feeding starving children around the globe.
Kutoa strives to combat malnutrition, which is the #1 cause of childhood mortality, by distributing micronutrient packs, sandwiches and nutrition bars to children in developing countries. Since 2011, the company has sent almost 200,000 meals and, thankfully, it’s still going strong!