There are a wide variety of companies across America that work to use our outstanding manufacturing abilities for good– for example, with the sale of each product, donating one to somebody else. This increasingly positive attitude towards manufacturing-turned-philanthropy is one of the ways that someone looking to make a difference in the world can do so.
It doesn’t mean that we all need to give up every single one of our possessions for those in poverty, or spend tens of hours each week working at the homeless shelter (although if you can do either of these things, more power to you!) At its core, what these manufacturers are doing is making it easier and more productive for people to give to charity in very special, simple, ways.
It’s as simple as making the choice to buy your shoes from a company that gives to others, or replace Target store-bought soap with a product from a manufacturer that shares proceeds with African countries. Now, more than ever, manufacturers are changing the face of philanthropy and development in ways they never have before.
Here are a few of our favorite American companies revolutionizing the concept of making for others.
TOMS: TOMS is a massive company, but it began with a humble start: When founder Blake Mycoskie traveled throughout Argentina in 2006, he was appalled by the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. So, he created a for-profit business that wouldn’t need to be reliant on donations, but could still make a change. And today, TOMS has given over 35 million pairs of shoes to children around the world (every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS gives a brand new pair to a child in need). Since, the company has expanded to eyewear (helping give sight to those in need) and coffee (every bag purchased gives a week of clean water to a person in need). They have factories all over the world, but are headquartered in Los Angeles, California. To help support this company and their initiatives, purchase your next pair of shoes online here.
Pacha Soap: This Nebraska-owned and operated company in Hastings produces high-quality, freshly made soap, and donates a bar to an impoverished country for every one they sell. From their back room in a building in downtown Hastings, the team sends out bars to over two hundred stores across the country, including Whole Foods! You can also purchase apparel, bar soap, bath soaks, and scrubs on their website if you don’t have an access to their store. This husband and wife duo also works to create factories in poverty-stricken countries in hopes of teaching natives to manufacture their own soap. Manufacturers teaching manufacturing for good– there’s just nothing more inspiring.
Blanket America: Blanket America is inspired by the question of what if the greatest economy in human history matched what they donated with what they consumed? It’s a similar model in that every blanket purchase gives a blanket to a charity, but Blanket America is also very aware of how they and where they manufacture. From designing to sourcing and sewing, they make sure to create their blankets in the most sustainable way possible to help communities build stronger economic futures.
Questions? Want to learn more about ways manufacturing can be used for good? Leave a comment in the section below!
photo credit: TOMS via Instagram