Written by Christel Schultz
In a largely materialistic and disposable society, it’s refreshing to discover various ways in which to give back to the community and the environment. I got thinking about the basic needs we have in everyday life and how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day with our families, our jobs, our homes, you name it! Sometimes just living seems all consuming, so it’s important to remember the little things we can do to make a difference.
Most of us have to get up, get dressed, and leave the house nearly every day. If you have the benefit of working at home, you still leave at some point for groceries, coffee with a friend, or whatever your thing is! Ultimately, we all have to clothe ourselves and present to some portion of the world, at least briefly! So what about clothing? Donating to thrift stores, shelters or churches is beneficial to everyone and gives clothing a second or third life, even. Buying and wearing new clothes has its place in the network of giving back, too, though.
Many companies are adjusting their business practices to meet the demands of today’s more conscious consumers, and that is great news! Minimizing energy consumption, diminishing waste production, and responsibly sourcing materials are just a few of the progressive steps being taken toward more sustainable business practices. Aside from that aspect, though, I decided to search for companies and organizations that sell clothing of some kind and give directly to a cause. This was a fun, inspiring project, so I’m sharing some of my favorite finds.
- Happy Earth apparel is unique in the fact that 50% of net profits go directly to supporting conservation efforts. A group of “nature-loving scientists,” Happy Earth encourages a global effort to address environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, and ocean pollution. Happy Earth supports rain forest and ocean protection, clean energy, river restoration, environmental litigation specialists, and marine mammals threatened with extinction. With every order placed, at least one tree is planted through Trees for the Future, too!
- Sevenly is an organization that collects and promotes cause-themed art to advocate and bring awareness to those causes! They have clothing products to benefit the environment, encourage faith, supply food and water provisions, support the fight against human trafficking, and much more! The Sevenly selection is ever changing and created by passionate people who strive to make a difference! They pledge $7 per purchase as part of 7-Day Campaigns and 7% from their Collections sales! The effort has resulted in donations totaling over $5 million to a multitude of non-profits since being founded in 2011!
- Tentree actually plants ten trees for every item purchased! They even have a tree registration program so you can track the trees that you planted, and that’s important because their goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030! Tentree is reaching beyond sustainability to revolutionize the apparel industry. They offer a variety of clothing products created with fabric blends that include materials like coconut, organic cotton, and cork. Over 21 million trees have been planted as part of the Tentree mission!
- Sand Cloud embarked on a journey to “Save the Fishies” with their product sales. Many of their shirts are made entirely of recycled material – 8 plastic bottles per shirt, to be exact! They also donate 10% of profits to partner organizations that work to protect vital marine ecosystems, conduct beach cleanup and preservation activities, rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals, and educate youth about environmental degradation and conservation in coastal communities.
- Marc Skid takes a different approach to giving back – through the sales of brightly colored underwear! They offer bikini and hipster options for gals and boxer briefs for guys, with the exception of their white line that includes standard type boxers! You can “Feed the World” with a purchase from the green collection, “Cure the World” with a piece from the bright red assortment, “Save the World” with a little something in true blue, or choose your cause by making a traditional white selection. Marc Skid underwear is made with Organic Pima cotton that comprises “only 0.0005% of the world’s cotton supply” for “special softness, durability, and resistance to pilling.” Recycled water bottles are used to make a specific kind of polyester that is used for the waistbands – it takes one recycled bottle worth of material to create each waistband. The contribution from each purchase is $4 for all products.
Giving while getting something useful in return makes good sense! What moves your heart?