When you purchase a handbag, jewelry, or even undies and condoms, we’d be willing to bet that you don’t consider the exchange of your dollars as world-changing. Guess what? Depending on where you shop, your purchase could be doing good across the globe, beyond the enjoyment you get from wearing that brand new knick-knack.
We want you to know about five brands that are changing the world one sale at a time. These companies employ a female-centric triple bottom line: they are founded by women, create products for women to use and enjoy, and are using their businesses as a vehicle to help women in need all over the world. Buying products from the girl-powered companies profiled below is truly a win-win-win.
Founded by Antonia Dunbar and twin sisters, Radha and Miki Agrawal, Thinx is a company “committed to breaking the taboo surrounding menstruation.” They sell leak-protective underwear that is comfortable, discreet and sexy. For every pair of undies they sell, girls in developing countries receive washable pads that allow them to attend school while on their period. Who knew buying something that covers your bum could be such a life-changing decision for another girl across the world?
Sustain wants you to have world-changing sex. Meika Hollender, cofounder of the company that sells Fair Trade, all natural, environmentally-friendly condoms markets specifically to women. Meika believes that so many of the world’s problems can be avoided if family planning, sexual education, and basic healthcare services are accessible to women. That’s why Sustain donates ten percent of its pretax profits to women who currently lack access to such fundamental services. So next time you’re ready to wrap it up, consider Sustain a win-win for you, your partner, and the world.
Raven + Lily
Founded by Kirsten Dickerson and Sophia Lin, Raven + Lily is a fashion brand that offers handmade, Fair Trade, eco-friendly clothing and jewelry. The company employs marginalized women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, Guatemala, and right here in the U.S. It is the hope of Dickerson and Lin and the mission of the company that the women they employ will break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Not many people can say the necklace they’re wearing gave a woman in a faraway country access to a safe job, health care and education, but those who shop Raven + Lily can.
Next time you need a journal or cute thank-you cards, check out Flora Stationery’s product line. Founders (and twin sisters) Ashley and Victoria VanBuskirk started the company with the mission to send young women to college. Young women in Eastern Europe are able to attend a full semester of college - all expenses paid - with proceeds from Flora’s profits. This semester the company is supporting six women in Kosovo. So if you’re shopping around for your next diary, check out Flora Stationery and give the gift of higher education to six more young women.
Future Glory Co.
Theresa Lee and Jennie Chen founded Future Glory Co. in San Francisco with the aim of helping female victims of sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. With every purchase, a portion of the company’s proceeds is donated to organizations committed to rebuilding the lives of women. Talk about a cause worth getting behind. Their handcrafted bags and accessories are locally made in San Fran, and not to mention absolutely beautiful.