We hear about awesome startups all the time—in fact, it seems like all of us know someone who's taken the brave shot at starting a new brand, product, or service. But a select few companies pack a two-for-one dose of do-gooding by benefiting the environment and tons of people in the process, whether it's offering food refrigeration in developing countries, providing free eye exams, or elevating people out of poverty through craftwork. Here are five worth knowing about.
Panda sells sunglasses made of bamboo (which, FYI, is the fastest-growing and most eco-friendly wood in the world) in partnership with the nonprofit organization Optometry Giving Sight. For each pair sold, they're able to provide free eye exams, prescription eye-glasses, and medical assistance.
This Italian brand makes wrist watches from wood (totally free of toxic or artificial materials). Plus, for each watch sold, WeWood plants a tree in partnership with nonprofit organizations like American Forests and Trees for the Future. So far, they've planted 442,246 trees all over the world.
Hand in Hand creates soaps made using ethical and environmentally-friendly methods and ingredients. Each bar is all-natural, palm free, and for every item purchased, the company donates one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in need.
This company was actually founded by three then-college students and works with artisans in Uganda and Indonesia, giving them meaningful work opportunities with sustainable wages, access to health care, counseling, and education. Some of their products include necklaces made of rolled up paper.
Using fair trade cotton, Conscious Step makes cozy socks that contribute proceeds toward nonprofit partners fighting for worthy causes like gender equality, clean water, affordable clean energy, and climate action.