13 Brands That Give Back For An Ethical Shopping High
Let’s be real: buying things feels good.
Now imagine that happy feeling while also knowing you’re helping a worthy cause by purchasing from brands that give back to the environment, the community, and animal welfare.
To be clear: we’re not advocating a shopping spree here. The most sustainable products are those you already own.
However, if you do need something new, consider making your purchase matter by supporting a beauty, food, home, or clothing company that gives back.
So how can brands give back?
Between Certified B Corps, members of 1% for the Planet, and triple bottom line businesses, there’s no shortage of ways brands are making it easier than ever to shop to support a better world.
But what company gives the most to charity?
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Maximize Your Buying Power With The Best Brands That Give Back
That would probably be Patagonia, who’s profits are now entirely allocated to either improving their own sustainable business practices or to funding climate-positive organizations directly.
Dr. Bronner’s keeps giving at their company core, which means every time you use their all-in-one Castile soap products, you’re voting for an all-around better world.
And Who Gives A Crap about more than turning a profit on the toilet?
The give-back company of the same name, who’s humble toilet paper and other household paper products raise funds to ensure people around the world have access to proper sanitation.
The Full List Of Companies That Give Back When You Buy
- Ethique | Visit Store
- Dr. Bronner’s | Visit Store
- Patagonia | Visit Store
- Thrive Market | Visit Store
- Who Gives A Crap | Visit Store
- Elvis & Kresse | Visit Store
- Solios | Visit Store
- tentree | Visit Store
- EarthHero | Visit Store
- Mental Houseplants | Visit Store
- Outerknown | Visit Store
- Soapbox | Visit Store
- Indosole | Visit Store
If washing up is on the agenda, New Zealand-originated Ethique can help.
The brand creates all manner of personal care and household cleaning products.
All in zero waste bar or compostable cardboard stick form.
Ethique’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Ethique is easily one of the best beauty brands that gives back.
To date, they’ve worked with over 270 school groups, tree planting initiatives, beach clean-ups, animal welfare organizations, and more.
2. Dr. Bronner’s
About Dr. Bronner’s
Or, should we say, each magical bottle does it all!
Not only does Dr. Bronner’s help you and I clean up, but they help the industry clean up their act by promoting the use of organic, fair trade ingredients and regenerative farming practices.
Dr. Bronner’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
It’s listed right under #6: “Fund and fight for what’s right”.
In pursuit of this, they’ve become one of the best companies that give back to the community of farmers and makers around the world.
They contribute significantly (financial and otherwise) towards the raising of awareness for issues like fair trade and living wages, youth and community services, animal advocacy, drug policy reform, and more.
Dr. Bronner’s does this through multiple arms, including their Animal Advocacy Donation Program and Family Foundation—which fights for “systemic change by addressing the root causes of suffering, intolerance, and injustice faced by migrants and refugees around the world”.
Patagonia was one of the first to do capitalism with a conscience.
Between eco-conscious fabrics, responsible manufacturing, regenerative agriculture support, repair programs, and the option to buy/sell used Patagonia gear, this Certified B Corp (California’s very first, actually) gives back.
That means every purchase from their massive catalog of sustainable outdoor clothing not only helps you get into the outdoors, but also helps protect it.
Patagonia’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Patagonia has undoubtedly inspired other brands on this list—not least because they founded 1% for the Planet.
They go far beyond typical clothing companies that donate to nonprofits.
In the words of founder Yvon Chouinard:
“Nature is the salve for our souls. We owe it to everyone who comes after us and ourselves, to protect what little is left of wild nature on planet Earth.”
In fact, Chouinard recently changed Patagonia’s business dealings so that all voting stock is given to a “purpose trust” that seeks to continually improve their practices, and all non-voting stock goes to the non-profit Holdfast Collective and its mission to combat climate change.
So while not exactly a non-profit clothing brand, they come pretty close.
With an unfaltering commitment to the planet and belief that real change is possible with grassroots momentum, they fund environmental groups who fight for inclusivity, justice, action, and public involvement through their Patagonia Grants Program.
They also get everyday folks involved in environmental action groups through their Action Works program.
4. Thrive Market
About Thrive Market
Has getting through this list worked up an appetite?
Let Thrive Market help.
One of the best food brands that gives back, this sustainable store is good for the world and for grumbling bellies—no matter your diet particulars and values.
They have a variety of healthy food, body, and home care products that satisfy more than 70 different customizable values and diets.
Thrive Market’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Beyond that, they collect donations at checkout to further support those in need. Since 2015, they’ve raised more than $10 million for food equality—with goals to double that number by 2030.
That’s on top of providing almost $2 million for COVID relief and to healthcare workers and $2.7 million for disaster relief.
Beyond that, they’ve obtained more than 300,000 signatures to urge the USDA to trial food stamps online—more access to healthy food for those who really need it.
Believing in paying it forward, they also give Thrive Market members the choice to give their savings or any dollar amount at checkout to those in need.
5. Who Gives A Crap
About Who Gives A Crap
This eco-friendly toilet paper brand, that’s who.
Choose between 100% recycled paper, 100% tree-free bamboo, eco-friendly paper towels, and tissues.
Regardless of which paper you choose, you’re getting a soft wipe and cute plastic-free packaging.
Who Gives A Crap’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Who Gives A Crap’s business model is based on toilets, or rather building them.
50%(!) of the profits from every single roll goes to one of their impact partners to build toilets and provide other sanitation and hygiene services in communities that need them.
So far, they’ve donated over $13 million AUD and “still have a long way to go”.
If you want to hear more about this brand that gives back to the community, check out The Sustainable Jungle Podcast episode, where we interviewed co-founder Simon Griffiths.
6. Elvis & Kresse
About Elvis & Kresse
Fashion brands that give back are putting out the fires of fast fashion—or literal fires, if we’re talking about Elvis & Kresse.
That’s because their product line is made primarily with recycled London fire hoses, and some other recycled sustainable materials like upcycled Burberry leather, auction banners, military parachutes.
They express both luxury and a love for our planet with their range of sustainable wallets, backpacks, briefcases, laptop sleeves, belts, and more.
Elvis & Kresse’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
As a Certified B Corp and Social Enterprise Business for Good, it’s no surprise that Elvis & Kresse made this list of brands that give back to the community.
They support organizations like the WWF, Barefoot College (which empowers women in rural villages with solar engineering skills), and the UK’s Fire Fighters Charity.
In 2022, they donated almost £85,000 to their charity partners, following their 2021 giving season which donated almost £100,000.00.
Not only do they donate up to half of their annual profits to these charities, but they also give back to our planet by repurposing every single retired fire hose produced in London, using renewable energy exclusively for manufacturing, and offering lifetime repairs.
Watch out for this next Certified B Corp.
Because Solios is simply one of the best companies that give back.
The straps are interchangeable and the hyper efficient watches are solar-powered, reducing the need to buy wasteful, disposable batteries.
Solios’ Community & Charitable Initiatives
Solios buys time for the endangered places on our planet.
With a partnership with Rainforest Trust, every single watch purchase protects one whole acre of rainforest.
Because rainforests are home to countless animal species (50% of total species, in fact!), protecting it not only preserves carbon consuming trees, but necessary biodiversity, too—so in that way, they’re also one of our favorite brands that give back to animals.
Listen to Sam Le Roux (one of the co-founders), who we interviewed on the Sustainable Jungle Podcast, discuss the role of Solios in disrupting the watch industry by creating elegant yet uniquely sustainable timepieces.
Speaking of the founders, Solios’ have been volunteers of Make-A-Wish for years and donate $50 per watch from Make-A-Wish collection, with a goal of reaching $25,000.
tentree speaks for the trees and hopes you will, too, by donning their clothes that give back.
Everything in their collection of clothing that supports a cause is made using either natural materials–like organic cotton or lyocell—or recycled synthetics.
tentree’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
We can’t talk about companies that give back to the environment without talking about tentree and their tree planting mission.
As one of our favorite slow fashion brands who happens to also be one of the best clothing brands that give back, tentree supports Mother Earth by planting ten trees with every purchase.
They’re currently at 100 million trees planted, but because that number grows so rapidly, you can keep track of their progress online.
The trees are planted specifically in areas in need of reforestation. The trees also help developing local communities by providing employment opportunities, ecosystem support, and food.
Did we mention they’re Climate Neutral, too?
You can find many of the sustainable beauty, body, and homecare brands we love on their site. In fact, EarthHero only works with ethically-minded companies.
Their vast range includes low waste living essentials, clothing, footwear, baby and kids products, beauty and body care products, audio and tech gear, and items for travel, pets, sports, and so much more.
EarthHero’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
This ethical e-shopping empire won’t make you feel guilty when you click “Checkout”.
In addition to supporting small businesses by giving them a platform, they’re a Certified B Corp, fully carbon-neutral through CarbonFund, and a contributing member of 1% for the Planet.
As of their 2022 impact report, they’ve exceeded $100,000 in giving to-date.
They also put a creative spin on environmental initiatives, like their “Give-Back Friday” where they offer 20% off products, but give YOU the choice of how much of that savings you’d like to donate to environmental organizations.
10. Mental Houseplants
About Mental Houseplants
Did you know that plants can be used to help treat anxiety, depression, and stress?
Mental Houseplants knows, which is why this Massachusetts-based cool brand gives back advocates for the mental health benefits of plants on multiple fronts.
First, they do so by selling house plants so more people can enjoy the benefits of biophilic design.
From rare varieties like the Polka Dot Begonia to houseplant staples—like the gorgeous Golden Pothos we received from them—their website has a HUGE selection of plants to choose from, in addition to grow lights and soil to keep them alive.
Aside from making the world a little greener in a literal sense, they keep it green by practicing sustainable sourcing.
They prioritize local growers who are located under 150 miles from their supplier’s Florida greenhouse, and work exclusively with small, family-owned farms that have been producing high-quality foliage for over 60 years.
Mental Houseplants’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Selling plants isn’t all Mental Houseplants does to advocate for mental health.
Every purchase also sees 2% (a number they intend to grow as they themselves grow) goes to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), which is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the USA and supports thousands of individuals.
This is all in the name of Mental Health’s mission of:
“Cultivating wellness and breaking down stigmas by harnessing the healing power of indoor plants for mental health advocacy and awareness.”
They make tops, pants, tees, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, coats, and ethical swimwear.
The vast majority of their garments are made with recycled or natural materials, like organic cotton and hemp fabric, and are manufactured in Fair Trade supply chain entities.
Outerknown’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Every year, Outerknown collaborates with charitable partners who donate proceeds from the sale of product lines.
Past recipients include Ocean Conservancy, Skate to School, and more.
On certain days, they even donate 100% of the proceeds from online sales of clothing for good causes.
We’re talking hand sanitizer, hair and body wash, hand soap, and more.
Not everything the company sells is plastic-free, but you can buy zero waste soap and shampoo bars, and purchase liquid hand soap refill pouches.
Soapbox’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Operating on a one for one model, for every product purchased, the company donates one bar of soap, so far totalling over 34 million bars—on top of funding over 30,000 hygiene classes.
Donations are put into action across the world through one of their partners, including Clean the World Foundation (CTWF), Ecosoap Bank, and Sundara.
What’s cool about this brand is that they’re aware that giving back can sometimes have unintended consequences.
That’s why they believe in “lending a helping hand, not a handout” and work with partners to uplift and empower communities they serve, rather than breed dependence.
Each Soapbox product has a unique Hope Code, which you can enter online and find out just how your purchase helped make an impact.
For instance, we scanned the Hope Code on our Purifying Tea Tree Conditioner Bar and found out it funded an UrbanLight soap donation that helps fight the sex trafficking livingustry in Thailand.
Indosole is the product of two B’s: Bali and bikes.
Founder Kyle Parsons saw on his Balinese vacation that old motorbike tires were being used to make sandals. So he did the same.
This shoe brand that gives back offers recycled flip-flops, slides, and platforms for men, women, and kids, and for every pair purchased, someone in need gets a pair, too.
Indosole’s Community & Charitable Initiatives
Spotlighting Good Humans, the brand has a page of their website dedicated to people around the globe who are doing good things.
In addition to sharing their causes, Indosole supports them financially and through organizing events.
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Final Thoughts On Companies With A Cause
So what brands give back to the environment?
Turns out, a lot of them!
No matter what business these brands are in—from philanthropic clothing brands to brands that give back to animals— it’s not business as usual.
It’s business that’s better.
While we may not always be able to support brands that support global and grassroots organizations, every time we do we’re saying we believe our purchases have the power to do more.
It puts a little extra meaning to the phrase “vote with your dollar”, doesn’t it?
If your “save for your later” purchase list is a little short (kudos to you if it is!), pass this article along to a shopping addict so their next purchase can come with a clean(er) conscience!