Socially Responsible Companies that Inspire Us
We just wrapped up a week at Summer Outdoor Retailer. Besides being our first trade show and an amazing opportunity to share Ethnotek with the world, we were fortunate to get a look at what others in the outdoor industry are up to. We found ourselves in the new exhibitors’ pavilion. To many it may seem like the little kids’ table at Thanksgiving, but we saw it as an awesome opportunity to be in the good company of exhibitors whose greenness and passion translated into a raw energy and willingness to talk to anyone about the work they are doing.
We had the good fortune to meet 4 companies who, like us, have built their company on being socially responsible. Doing good is at the heart of what each of these companies. We believe in these guys. What they are doing can - and will - change the world.
Besides keeping us laughing constantly at OR, CEO Greg McEvilly and the entire crew at Kammok are beyond passionate about their mission. While making the raddest hammocks around might seem like enough to build a solid company, Kammok has built their company on a bigger social mission: Bringing people together and building a community that takes care of each other.
Even the kangaroo references relate back to the mission. Not only do Kangaroos set the example of how to live as a community, but they are, and always have been, environmentally conscious. Kangaroos illustrate what Kammok wants to be: People that come together. People that look out for one another, especially the defenseless. And finally people who at the same time take care of the world we live in.
For each Kammok Roo hammock that is purchased, Kammok gives a treated mosquito net or health education to a family in Africa to fight malaria through their partnership with Malaria No More, an organization that is committed to ending malaria deaths by 2015. Learn more about Malaria No More’s mission at www.malarianomore.org.
And if that wasn’t enough, Kammok also gives 1% of revenue to Comfort the Children International (CTC). CTC is a Kenya based organization with five initiatives: education, environment, economy, health, and community. Check out the amazing work CTC is doing at www.ctcinternational.org.
Need a little inspiration? Check out Kammok founder Greg McEvilly speaking about “The Motivation for Everything” at TEDxWestlake
There are 4 million people on the Indonesian island of Bali. There is one motorbike for every 4 people on the island. There are two tires for each motorbike.. You see where this math is going… there are a heck of a lot of tires being thrown into landfills in Bali. After taking several trips to Bali and seeing the scrap tires littering the beautiful landscape, NoShu Footwear founder Ty Shemin had a lightbulb moment.
NoShu sandals have soles made of up-cycled motorbike tires, a technique that has been in use in Bali for more than 15 years. Every pair has custom-cut soles with unique tread patterns, each with its own distinct look. One tire makes 4 sandals or 2 pairs. NoShu shoes have soles made of 60% reground motorbike tire rubber mixed with natural rubber that is then shaped into a tire tread pattern.
The shoe designs also use rice grass-mat, cotton, and other natural fibers, plus up-cycled inner-tube, vegan micro-suede, and other re-purposed locally sourced materials, to make footwear that is as Earth (and Bali) friendly as possible.
So if you’re not entirely sold on buying a pair of NoShu shoes after hearing about the good they are doing in Bali, then you need to check out the shoes themselves. NoShu shoes are stylin’. With a collection of sandals, ballet flats, and loafers, there is something to keep your toes looking (and doing) good.
One fifth of the world’s 7 billion people do not have access to reliable electricity. These people are often forced to turn to polluting, hazardous, non-renewable and expensive solutions like kerosene and diesel to light their homes. Inspired by personal experience with dangers of these fuels—including witnessing the ravages of kerosene lantern fires on a 14-year-old in Benin while in the Peace Corp—Sam Goldman, along with co-founder Ned Tozun, launched D.light Design, manufacturer and distributor of solar-powered lanterns, to provide a safe alternative light source for the 2.3 billion people who live without access to reliable energy.
D. light’s mission is to enable households living without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity. D.light makes solar powered lanterns that are inexpensive enough for people around the globe to purchase as the light source for their homes. The light they give off is bright enough to replace the kerosene lamps that they are currently using, completely safe, and renewable.
D.light’s idea is big, but they have even bigger goals. They have helped transform the lives of more than 7 million people to date and it is their hope to improve the quality of life of 50 million people by 2015 and 100 million people by 2020. Wow.
Isn’t it a shame when you want to take an Instagram photos on your remote camping trip, but your phone is out of battery and you are hundreds of miles from the nearest outlet? BioLite has the answer. With the BioLite CampStove, you can charge your electronic devices while cooking your meals all powered by the twigs you collect on your journey, eliminating the need for heavy, expensive, polluting petroleum gas. I know, we’re blown away too.
BioLite is also passionate about making a positive contribution to the global community, particularly the 3 billion people worldwide who cook on open fires. Open fire cooking causes nearly 2 million premature deaths annually and contributes to climate change. The profits from the purchase of the BioLite Campstove help to support the one-time market establishment costs for the HomeStove. The HomeStove reduces smoke emissions by 95% and uses less than half the wood of a traditional fire used for cooking. This is not charity, or a one-for-one model, but simply the capital needed to incubate self-sustained energy access for the people who need it most.
So what do we think?
Be conscious and intentional about what you are purchasing. Learn about the products that you are using everyday and do more good where you can by supporting companies who have a bigger social mission at their core. Check out these companies and the organizations they support, purchase their products, and spread the love.