Fashionably sporty and ready to join some friends for a picnic. Thrilled you have a new shirt that shows your sense of style and good taste. What else does it say about you?
This particular stone-washed shirt shows a surfer at sunset. You like the ocean. You like to surf. You’re romantic. You wear it proudly. The brand is prominently displayed. PATAGONIA!
You chose this brand intentionally because you commend their values. You like what they stand for. You want to support businesses doing well AND doing good. You loved their newsworthy and revolutionary campaign, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” Their owner, Yvon Chouinard, wrote a book called “Let My People Go Surfing” and trusted his employees to manage their own schedules. You admire his commitment to being a good boss. He started 1% for the Planet where Patagonia, and other companies, pledge to give 1% of their total income to help NGO’s working toward environmental and conservation solutions. You are proud to wear Patagonia because you TRUST the brand, their business ethics and their values. Wearing this brand makes you a good citizen for all the world to admire.
Patagonia is one example of an honorable and sustainable business. They clearly care about people, planet and profits. Their company’s mission statement is “Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Read more about their philosophy on Becoming A Responsible Company.
Another company is H&M who are leading the pack in fair living wages for garment workers. They also care about animal welfare by a public commitment stating “We care about animal welfare and endangered species. We’ve banned the use of real fur in our products for years, and don’t test any of our own brand cosmetics on animals.” For a full list of their corporate social responsibility commitments, check out these Conscious Actions.
TOMS is one of the first to launch a buy one, give one model. One for you and one for a child in need. Blake Mycoskie wrote an inspirational book, “Start Something That Matters,” that outlined his transformation into retail as a social entrepreneur. He wanted to do something to help children worldwide after he saw the poor conditions in which they lived. He thought, I could open a non-profit and get donations. Then, he thought some more and found a way to help 3rd world economies, their children in need and create a viable business model. “I’ve learned that the keys to poverty alleviation are education and jobs. And we now have the resources to put investment behind this,” says Blake Mycoskie. (Source: TOMS Sets Out To Sell A Lifestyle, Not Just Shoes in Fast Company)
Vote with your Dollar$
~ Every time you purchase from Patagonia, you are helping our planet.
~ Every time you shop at H&M, you are ensuring fair wages for people employed worldwide.
~ Every pair of shoes you buy at TOMS will also supply a pair of shoes to a child in need.
What other companies do you support that are “doing good and doing well?”
Consider, not buying at all
Or only buy what you need. Not making a purchase is also a statement about your values and how you choose to live your life. If you do decide to buy something new, why not buy clothing you are proud to wear AND support a company you trust?REGISTER FOR NEWSLETTER Read More »
Plant nursery owner
Green Tea Addict
Being green-minded is not just for tree-huggers anymore
Consumers worldwide embrace green practices as part of everyday life. Savvy business owners reap benefits from Earth-conscious practices. A study by Cone Communications reveals 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop. If you’ve considered breaking into the eco-business industry, now is the time. New businesses looking to gain exposure turn to niche conventions to maximize visibility. Regardless of your home-base, select trade shows throughout the country offer great networking opportunities. Oregon, Washington and Colorado lead the nation in sustainable efforts. Residents of these cities seek ways to improve their sustainable efforts. Innovative products and services that support the cause are in high demand. Integrate any of the following events into your marketing strategy and gain a loyal following of ideal customers.
Sustainable Living Fair
Nestled in the Rockies, this college town lives up to Colorado’s top-rated green community culture. Fort Collins welcomes eco-focused entrepreneurs with open arms. The Sustainable Living Association hosts an annual to support natural and sustainable concepts. Through outreach and education, the event hopes to inspire eco-friendly practices within the community. Connect with prospective customers and gain industry insight. Regarded by environmental advocates, the event draws thousands of eco-minded attendees.
Event tip: This fair is all about hands-on interaction. Make the most of your exhibition by hosting a workshop. Not a great speaker? Presentation skills are a must for business owners. Perfect your technique with a few visits to Toastmasters and become the voice of your brand.
AASHE Annual Conference and Expo
Rated among the top 10 most sustainable cities in the nation, Portland is the hub of sustainable innovation. The city expands its goal to become the most sustainable place in the world into all aspects of business and life. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) hosts its annual expo in October. The focus is on greening the education industry by promoting on-campus sustainability. Businesses big and small take part in the opportunity to present their products to this niche segment.
Event tip: This event hosts thousands of exhibitors. Make your display stand out from the rest. Popup stands that are light weight and portable present a professional appearance. Always use high quality banners to display your logo and message with. No last-minute Walgreens runs for these events.
South Sound Sustainability Expo
Targeting local market segments can reap national results. Companies big and small target niche markets as part of strategic marketing efforts. Rather than appealing to the masses, businesses maximize program effectiveness by growing in segments. Tacoma residents further their sustainability knowledge at The South Sound Sustainability Expo. Sponsored by City of Tacoma and the University of Washington, this local event has strong community ties. The expo welcomes new small businesses as well as growing national companies like Zipcar.
Event tip: Make your business memorable with promotional products that support your brand. Small take-aways like pens and key chains keep your business at the top of peoples’ minds. For best results, make sure your promo item stays true to sustainable practices.
Photo credit: http://depositphotos.com/REGISTER FOR NEWSLETTER Read More »
The more sustainable your business is, the better for you, your employees and your bottom lines (people, planet and profit). Sustainable businesses have the cutting-edge, competitive advantage when operating profitably, innovatively and responsibly.
Could your company benefit from learning what industry leaders are doing now? Could your team use some inspiration for new thoughts, processes and innovations?
Perhaps, it’s time to participate in an Introduction to Sustainability Workshop.REGISTER FOR NEWSLETTER Read More »
CVS Caremark hits a homerun with a courageous move to align their brand and their core values. 7,600 stores nationwide will no longer sell cigarettes and related items (as of October 1, 2014).
Will there be a loss in revenue due to taking cigarettes off the shelves?
Yes. Estimated at $2 billion a year.
Will there be more brand loyalty and trust for CVS?
Probably. Accountability and corporate social responsibility are becoming competitive advantages in today’s market. Doing what’s right for the health of our citizens will most likely overcome any losses in short-term sales. “People before Profits” leads to more stakeholder engagement and loyalty. It’s also leading to more public attention and rampant publicity as highlighted by Forbes.com article.
Yes. A calculated risk that could have huge pay-offs as seen by other socially responsible businesses (i.e., Patagonia, Tom’s, Chipotle). This bold move could be especially beneficial since they are leading the way.
Is this the right thing to do?
- Cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year.
- Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke causes nearly 42,000 deaths each year among adults in the United States.
Is this a long-term strategic decision?
It appears to be part of a bigger plan for their healthcare initiatives. CVS has already established in-store mini-clinic with nurse and physician staff to assist customers. They are initiating a smoking cessation program. These strategic decisions and shift in services could recoup any losses in cigarette sales.
Care to share your thoughts?
Please comment below.REGISTER FOR NEWSLETTER Read More »
What exactly does GMO mean?
Why are GMOs controversial?
Approximately 80% of US processed foods contain GMOs.
GMO seeds are produced primarily by Monsanto (alongside five other smaller companies). In addition to providing seeds for corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, canola, sorghum and sugar cane seeds, Monsanto is the producer of RoundUp Weed Killer. They have manufactured a way to place built-in pesticides into the seed so bugs won’t eat produce as it grows. They have modified the DNA so fruits and vegetables grows faster and larger than conventional seeds.
Research has linked dis-ease, cancer, tumors and organ failure in 80% of rats fed GMO foods. However, Monsanto’s website says, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.”Read More »