May 21, 2013

Humanitarian, Do-gooder Brands

I started writing today’s post about the recent controversy surrounding Abercrombie & Fitch and the effect on its brand, but I discovered I couldn’t be happier that I’m not a reporter – no matter how I approached it, I couldn’t be objective. A few links surrounding the story are below this post; feel free to make your own conclusions.


So, I decided to turn a negative story into a positive blog post and focus on humanitarian brands – brands that do good, and look good doing it. The following are a few brands I admire for how they represent themselves and what they do.



In January 2011, two young entrepreneurs Dale Partridge and Aaron Chavez got together with the mission of leading a generation toward generosity. With a belief that people mattered, they began a journey to change the world. On June 13, 2011, Sevenly was born. By creating weekly cause campaigns where customers could purchase products that gave $7 to a weekly charity, Sevenly successfully unlocked not only a way to crowd-fund for causes, but to drive massive social awareness as well.


charity: water

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. There are 800 million people on the planet who don’t have clean water. It’s hard to imagine what 800 million people looks like really, but one in nine might be easier. One in nine people in our world doesn’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.


We’re not offering grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $20 a person, we know how to help millions.


To Write Love On Her Arms

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also invest directly into treatment and recovery.


Human Rights Campaign

As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide – all committed to making HRC’s vision a reality.


Founded in 1980, HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.


Finally, I stumbled across this last week and I find it a beautiful, philanthropic gesture from Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett – what’s even more incredible are those who have joined their pledge and the stories they tell.


The Giving Pledge

The Giving Pledge is an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or after their death.


I know there are hundreds more benevolent brands and organizations out there- and personally, I can’t wait to spend my time learning about them. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments!


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As promised, here are the Abercrombie & Fitch story links

  • The original interview (from 1/24/06): “The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch,”,
  • Greg Karber’s video: “Abercrombie & Fitch Gets a Brand Readjustment #FitchTheHomeless,”,
  • The story Karber’s video references: “Abercrombie Says It Would Rather Burn Clothes Than Give Them To Poor People,”,
  • Well-rounded story (IMO): “Half-Naked, All-American Models Won’t Be Enough To Keep Abercrombie Afloat,” Business Insider,
  • Finally, just because she’s awesome, here’s Ellen’s take:

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