The holiday season is ultimately here, which intends spending quality period with family and pals, spreading good cheer and goodwill, and … rushing to find the best shopping deals imaginable.
As Black Friday approaches, one website is trying to turn the vacation shopping experience on its chief, all through a new site that builds you a more ethical shopper year-round.
DoneGood, a tech startup that launched last year out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, rolled out a new site Monday that helps people find ethical and sustainable alternatives to products typically bought from corporate giants. The mind is that you’re looking to purchase these products anyway — why not buy them from corporations you’ll feel good about supporting?
For example, you can find a hoodie that empowers workers in Peru and Uganda with wages that are 10 periods the average, eco-friendly toothbrushes that assistance addressing climate change, or earrings that help local artisans in India and Pakistan transgress the cycle of poverty.
The site clearly labels the kinds of impact each product has — such as empowering laborers, being eco-friendly, “re coming out” a business owned by women and people of color — and also offers exclusive discounts, so you can save money while you make a difference.
DoneGood, which is a certified B Corp, launched a similar browser extension and app last year, alerting shoppers to ethical alternatives while they browse on any ecommerce site. But according to cofounder Cullen Schwarz, the company ever planned to launch its own destination website, where customers could search through hundreds of mission-driven brands in one place.
“Our goal is to make it genuinely, really easy for people to find the brands that are inducing great stuff and constructing the world better at the same time, ” he said.
“We’re looking for companies that are building the world better through their everyday business practices.”
Schwarz likens the new website to an “Amazon of the social impact economy, ” or a “Kayak of the social impact space.” DoneGood collaborators with more than 250 corporations whose business models have a demonstrated social or environmental effects. That mean you won’t find brands giving 1 percent of earnings to charity, or only touting a one-for-one giveaway simulate.
“We’re looking for companies that are constructing “the worlds” better through their everyday business practices. If a company doesn’t pay workers well or has sub-par environmental practises, but gives to charity, we don’t partner with that business, ” Schwarz said.
Some of DoneGood’s spouses include Under the Canopy, which constructs fair-trade and organic bedding and bath products, and Prosperity Candle, which sells candles make use of refugees resettled in the U.S. There’s likewise Mpowerd, which constructs solar lights that also benefit the 1.5 billion people in the world still living without access to electricity, and Sseko, a women’s style brand empowering female artisans in Uganda and sending them to college.
“One of the best parts of our undertakings is talking to all these people who started brands that have a social mission and aren’t just out to making profits … They’re working to prove that businesses can be successful and has become a army for good in the world at the same day, ” Schwarz said.
In spite of the stress and consumerism that Black Friday usher in every year, Schwarz hopes the shopping website — along with the already existing Chrome extension and app — can be bring together all the good parts of the holidays. These products build more unique and meaningful endowments, he explained, and there’s likewise a slew of discounts.
“You can still get a good deal, avoid the crowds, get more meaningful endowments, and make the world better. At the end of the working day, inducing the world better is what the holidays are all about, right? ” he said.
Schwarz isn’t just talking the talk. He and the DoneGood team are a part of a new initiative called Shop for Good Sunday, which fills the gap on the Sunday in the middle of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Making Tuesday.
The initiative, a joint effort among 50 do-gooder brands and organizations, is a period dedicated to shopping with brands that do good for people and countries around the world. The first Shop for Good Sunday takes place next Sunday, after Thanksgiving.
Since it launched on Cyber Monday 2016, DoneGood has raised more than $750,000 in funding so far, including contest victories from Harvard and MIT, according to Schwarz.
He said the response over the past year, from both consumers and brands, has been amazing. Multiple corporations ask to join DoneGood every week, and users often recommend companies to add to the platform.
“Most people want to know that their fund is supporting things they believe in.”
“Most people want to know that their money is supporting things they believe in. It’s simply always been really hard and time-consuming to discovery corporations that you know are doing good for “the worlds”. We work to make it easy. The easier we can make it, the more often more people are able to are participating in, and the bigger the impact we all have together, ” Schwarz said.
He added that the more success social enterprises and social good brands like DoneGood’s spouses ensure, the more big companies will start to change for the better. In reality, today’s customers prefer to support business that have a social or environmental effects, even willing to pay more to do so.
DoneGood wants to help accelerate that change.
“The day all companies do business like DoneGood brands do, many of the world’s most serious problems will be solved, ” Schwarz said. “Every day we make a purchase from a business that’s doing good for people and countries around the world, we help take a step a little bit closer to that world.”