Finding inspiration from the ethos of others
Professional inspiration can come from anywhere: from other brands, billboards, and friends; inspiration is all around us. Anything and everything a business does is subject to public scrutiny, perhaps this is why some businesses try hard than ever to create and maintain a positive image, both for their brand and the communities they serve. The following three brands go above and beyond earning profit and help better their communities.
Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company you may remember from their 2011 campaign asking you not to buy their products. While this may seem like an odd thing for a company to do, Patagonia is dedicated to giving back and reducing their environmental footprint. Their Common Threads Partnership asks people to rethink their purchases and avoid overshopping.
They also provide resources on how to repair and recycle an item. Some Patagonia stores even buy back worn apparel (in fairly good condition) so they can reuse and repurpose the item.
By encouraging recycling, reusing, repairing, and rethinking, this company is helping others think about what they buy and how they use not only Patagonia items, but everything.
Not only does Starbucks offer insurance and a free college education to their full time employees, but they also help the world’s water crisis situation. Their Ethos brand water assists in giving clean water to communities in need. More than one billion people on our planet cannot get clean water to drink.
Every time you buy a bottle of Ethos water, $0.05 goes to the Ethos Water Fund, a division of the Starbucks Foundation. So far, more than $7.38 million has been granted to help support water, sanitation, and hygiene education programs in water-stressed areas. These efforts have benefited more than 430,000 people around the world.
The famous ice cream brand has been around for 35 years. Besides being fantastically addictive, they have always been a brand that merged business with activism. Ben and Jerry’s values revolve around a three-part mission that aims to create prosperity for everyone that’s connected to their business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike. They provide their workers with fair, livable wage and recalculate them yearly to adjust for the cost of living in Vermont, where the company is based. They also only buy Fairtrade sourced ingredients, cage-free eggs, and dairy that is produced humanely and sustainably, non-GMO.
They are also dedicated to reducing their environmental impact, both through the farms they use and their manufacturing plants. Finally, Ben and Jerry’s also founded the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, which strives to further social justice, protect the environment, and support sustainable food systems. They give back to Vermont communities through small grant programs and community service projects.
Regardless of the industry, you can use these brands and many more like them as examples of how you can run a business at a profit and still give back to your community because when you give back, everyone wins.