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What. Do. You. Stand. For?

2 min read

As conscious consumerism continues to rise, more and more organisations are adopting a proactive approach to positively impact humanity and the world we live in.

Brand activism is the term that refers to the efforts an organisation takes toward social, political, economic and environmental issues, and it’s not going away any time soon.

Why? Because 21st century people want more from their job than just a good payslip. A study by Edelman (2018) revealed nearly 2 in 3 people are belief-driven buyers. Meaning they will support, avoid or boycott a brand based on their stand to societal issues.

What can we learn from brands that do good?

For starters, we’ve picked out three of our favourite purpose-driven brands and listed their actions in support of their company’s mission.

Patagonia, an outdoor clothing brand, for activity and sports, which pushes for change around ethical + environmental issues.

Their mission: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”

How do they keep to their word?

  • They have a self-imposed 1% earth tax which they donate to environmental not-for-profits
  • They previously made a switch from conventional cotton, which was responsible for 20% of their profit, to organic cotton
  • They have a grant scheme for organisations who identify and work on root causes of environmental issues
  • Plus, they donated 100% of their Black Friday sales to environmental organisations back in 2016

Tony’s Chocolonely, a Dutch chocolate company, which uses 100% slave free practices in their production processes.

Their mission: ‘100% slave free the norm in chocolate’

  • Tony’s Chocolonely is 100% free from slave labour
  • Chocolonely Foundation is funded through chocolate sales – donating 1% of its net revenue to ‘slave-free’ chocolate projects
  • They work directly with farmer cooperatives so farmers can sell their beans for a better price. This means the coco mass in the chocolate bars are fully traceable to farmers they hold personal relationships with
  • Tony’s pay coco farmers 25% more than the standard price they receive on their cocoa. This is based on calculations so farmers have a ‘living income’.

Ethique, a skincare company who is plastic free, cruelty free and palm oil free which uses plant-based, vegan ingredients.

Their mission: ‘to rid the world of plastic waste’.

  • To date Ethique has prevented over 6 million plastic bottles from being made
  • They are Palm oil free
  • In 2019 Ethique’s customers helped to save 2,970,000 litres of water
  • They donate 20% of their profits to environmental groups annually

What’s the secret to being a better force for good?

  • Authenticity – do your actions align with your image? Put simply do you do what you say you do? People want to support and connect with brands that hold ethical and environmental issues close to their core, rather than a quick fix project to boost ‘image’.
  • Purpose driven missions – How do you give back? People want to hear about the good you are doing with the profit you are making. The value doesn’t lie in the profits at the end of each month, it lies in why your company even exists in the first place.
  • Brand activism – use your voice for positive change! People want to be part of something bigger. Don’t just say it, prove it. You can start by asking people which causes they care about and have people come up with ideas on how they can support social, political, economic and environmental issues.

Remember social and environmental cause initiatives should not be designed to directly create business results, instead align them with your purpose and values.

For more advice on ways your company culture could thrive through purpose, get in touch with a member of our team happyhq.co.uk.