As the founder of a mission driven business, I'm attracted to and fascinated by other businesses that are trying to effect change in the world. I love to see how they put their values into action and I draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from the good they do and how they do it. There are a few big companies that get a lot of attention for their extraordinary dedication to their mission, like Patagonia, but I'm excited to share a few with you that you might not have heard about.
Here's a list of 5 mission driven businesses that inspire me to do more good.
Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company producing beautifully designed and thoughtfully made goods in Florence, Alabama. They use organic cotton in their products that they painstakingly source from seed through fabric, as well as using repurposed and reclaimed materials. (Yay!!) Their educational program, The School of Making, strives to preserve the hand sewing skills that literally built this country (Betsy Ross, anyone?). And, in an age where more and more companies claim they can't afford to manufacture in the U.S., Alabama Chanin employs dozens of local women in rural Alabama to hand sew their products and pays them a living wage to do so. That has a radically positive impact on their local economy. I am super inspired by both the local and educational components of their business model AND the utterly lovely way in which it all comes together.
Gather Here Stitch Lounge is a self-described "Part sewing studio, part fabric and yarn shop" in Cambridge, MA that aims to put everyone in touch with their inner maker. Recently, they've been using their platform to encourage all citizens to choose inclusion and progress. Their "You Belong Here" window installation displays stitched affirmations collected from fans and friends from all over the world, so everyone who walks by feels the love and hope we all need so desperately right now. PLUS, they've been opening up their studio free of charge to folks who want to work on the #pussyhatproject in community with others. I crush super hard on folks who build community and create a space where people can connect with themselves and each other!
A Mighty Girl is the world’s largest collection of books, toys, movies, and music for grownups dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls. It's an incredibly well curated collection that's only gotten better with time. I first became aware of Mighty Girl back in 2012 when their long form Facebook posts starting to appear in my feed. They use their social media platform to highlight amazing women and girls throughout history, all over the world. A recent post featured India's only female truck mechanic and I just think that rocks. Every time I read one of their posts, I learn something valuable and inspiring to pass along to my own kids. Big thumbs up to a business that saw a need (more awesome stuff for girls) and leaped up to fill it!
There's no better way to tell you about Stasia's style school than to use her own words. It's a "5-week online class and lifelong sisterhood that will teach you how to identify YOUR own personal and unique style so you can be the BRAVE BOLD BEAUTIFUL woman that you are…EVERY. DAMN. DAY!" I absolutely LOVE Stasia's empowering message to women and her emphasis on what she calls "inside out congruency" which is essentially, getting your outside self to accurately reflect the fabulousness of your inside self. Her love of thrift store shopping is the cherry on top. (All four members of my family LOVE thrift stores - every time we travel to a new city, the first thing we do is explore the thrift stores there.) Oh! And the cherry on top of the cherry is the utterly contagious joy in every single one of her photos. Mad, mad props to Stasia for speaking to women who feel that the conventional fashion industry falls short of encouraging self love.
Simply the name and the tagline that reads, "The conversation no one else is having", make me want to leap from my chair and pump my fist in the air. YES! In a world that offers precious few opportunities for men to connect to themselves and each other, The Good Men Project is a media company for curious, intelligent, compassionate men to share their thoughts about everything from fatherhood, family and sex to ethics, war, gender and politics. When I feel despair about the current political situation and feel there's nothing significant I can do to effect change, I remind myself that raising the next generation to be compassionate, independent thinkers with the strength of character to say and do what they believe is right, is a radical way to improve the future. Changing cultural norms around masculinity and gender are a big, huge part of that. Thank you, The Good Men Project!
See why I'm so inspired?! These companies absolutely rock and when I support them, I get an awesome rush of happiness that I'm taking part in the good they're doing in the world. Win, win, baby!
There are lots more do-good companies out there! What are some of your favorites?