Brands that Give Back

Giving back has always been important to Chanel and I. We were raised to offer help to those in need by donating a portion of our earnings or time. It's obvious that we like to shop, and if you can shop while helping people that's even better! We've found a few ethical brands that we really believe in and we're excited to share why!

We have a bit of a unique story and if you’ve been following us a while you may have heard it before but if not, here it is for those of you who are new around here.

We grew up in the beautiful Okanagan, close to the lake, with the belief that somewhere in the deep, unexplored depths lurks the Ogopogo, a mythical lake monster. With a little nudge from our parents, Chanel and I had the bright idea to capitalize on the tourism that doubles the population of our small hometown in the busy summer months. Over many laughs and dinnertime conversations, Ogopogo Poop was born. We packaged and labelled thousands of watermelon jelly beans over the following 7 years and successfully sold our product in more than 35 stores from as far as Osoyoos to Kelowna.

Simply selling our product wasn’t enough for us. From the very start we decided to donate twenty-five percent of our proceeds to various charities. It wasn’t enough for us to blindly write cheques to charities we didn’t know or trust, so we saved our every penny to go to these places and donate not only our money but our time and labour as well.

When I was 11 years old I was standing on top of a garbage dump in the sweltering heat of Puerto Vallarta overlooking the ocean littered with cruise ships, trying to hold my breath from the stench, while trying to comprehend the fact that this is where people live. Not only do they live in these conditions, the garbage is all that they have. It’s their livelihood and their home. It’s safe to say that this moment drastically changed the way that I viewed the world. From then on, we continued selling our product while raising funds and supplies for The Children of the Dump and even revisited them a few years later.

Although the business hasn’t been around for years now, we try our best to keep the social awareness/activism alive in our everyday actions and choices. One of the things we believe to be important is conscious consumerism. Our everyday purchases and decisions add up and can have a drastic impact on the world, which is why we try to shop local and support brands who are doing good things. (Chanel touched on this a little bit in her Poppy Barley post)

Here are a couple brands that I’ve found recently that uphold these values.

Tribe of Lambs
When travelling India, my friend Bobbi discovered that India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. 2.1 million people are living with the virus and approximately 170,000 of these are under the age of 15. Bobbi and her business partner Phil decided to create Tribe of Lambs in order to do something about this!

They spend part of their year in India working with artisans and developing strong relationships to create quality and ethically made jewelry. Their artisans know that their products are directly helping children in their community and are paid fairly to do it. Tribe of Lambs donates 100% of their proceeds to Indian non-government organizations, homes and orphanages who work solely for the care and education of children who are either infected or affected by the HIV virus. Not only are their products trendy and fashionable but they are making a big difference on a global scale.

Milk Jar
I came across Milk Jar when I was browsing in some small local shops. Upon smelling their captivating scents I was instantly drawn in but when I found out what they stood for, I  was hooked.

They are 100% soy candles with a natural wood wick, free of paraffin wax, palm wax and dyes. They don't come with a useless lid that will just end up in the garbage. Not only do they smell great, but they also donate $1 from each purchase to a local charity here in Calgary AND $1 from every returned jar to a featured charity.

I love my bergamot and blood orange!

Give Guatemala
Give Guatemala works closely with local designers and artisans to provide them fair wages and sales of their products. Not only do they enable a sustainable and comfortable life for their workers but they also donate a portion of their wages to local charities.

Pictured here are the Worry Doll Coasters. Traditionally you are to whisper your worries to the dolls, place them under your pillow and sleep your worries away. Each coaster is made with 12 worry dolls, plexiglass and repurposed wood so you can now drink your worries away.

Shop these amazing brands:

I hope you feel inspired to think twice about the brands you support and where you're spending your money. Now, more than ever, we need to promote love and unity! Who knew you could do that with your buying power.