In our philosophy “Living a Life of Importance” Ryan and I stress our belief that you can do something good for yourself and you can do something good for other people. You can make money and you can change the world.
We believe companies can do the same. They can make money and give back to society. There are many companies that are proving this belief to be true. This new business paradigm, often referred to as conscious capitalism, is starting to pop up in several industries, especially the clothing industry.
One of the best examples is TOMS Shoes. Founder, Blake Mycoskie , created TOMS Shoes under the One for One ideology. For every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need. With the One for One business model, the buyer is no longer a “consumer” but a giver.
Another example of a for-profit company is USELESS. Founded by Mark Simmons and Kathy Fletcher, USELESS sells sustainable products and gives 10% of profits to water and sanitation projects. USELESS is not against consumerism, just irresponsible consumerism. Considering the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste, it is extremely important we start to use less.
There are many more like, EDUN, founded by Ali Hewson and Bono. EDUN is a for-profit business – founded on the premise of trade as a means of building sustainable communities in developing countries to help foster economic growth rather than provide charity. EDUN utilizes locally run factories in Africa, South America and India.
These three companies are different in the way they give back, but all give people the power to become activists with their dollar instead of merely consumers.
They also provide people entering the job market with a new avenue. This new business model is an unique combination of a corporation trying to maximize its profits and a non-profit trying to make the world a better place. I believe it is this collaboration that the business world has been missing and the one which will change the world.