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4 Ways You Can Tell If A Brand Is A Conscious Brand

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Almost gone are the days of shopping fast fashion brands. Companies from industry leaders to emerging brands are focusing on their societal impact now more than ever. These conscious brands care about people, the planet, and profits.

Here are the 4 ways that you can tell if a brand is a conscious brand…

1. Its donates products to those in need through a Buy One, Give One promise

You may recognize this model because TOMS famously created it. For every pair of shoes TOMS sold, it donated a pair of shoes. Since then, other conscious brands like ROMA and Bombas have taken on the Buy One, Give One promise.

This model works best when the donations do not undermine the local economy, as TOMS found out when its shoe donations undercut local shoemakers in the community.

2. It donates money to a specific cause

Brands take on specific causes and donate a percentage of sales or profits to organizations that help that cause.

For example, Patagonia donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. While it may not sound like much, Patagonia has donated $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups since 1985.

Another example is Olori, a conscious brand that donates a percentage of sales to provide tuition for girls in Africa.

3. It uses sustainable materials in its products

This model is the most blurry, as many brands claim to be sustainable. However, when done right, this model is the most impactful.

The truth is that fashion is incredibly wasteful. Most clothes you wear are made from material that will sit in landfills for hundreds of years. They were made using a process that wastes tons of water and emits tons of carbon. This contributes to environmental issues that affect our health and the health of our descendants.

Conscious brands are solving this by using natural materials, recycled post-consumer materials, or green processes. While donating to environmental causes is good, it just replaces the bucket under the overflowing sink. Being sustainable actually turns off the sink.

For example, SAOLA is a conscious shoe brand that makes kicks from recycled and bio-based materials like natural cork, natural algae, and recycled plastics.

4. It provides opportunity to disadvantaged people

The brands you know likely take advantage of disadvantaged people. These brands give overseas factory workers poor working conditions and poor wages, then turn around and sell their products back home for a hefty profit. Unfortunately, only 2% of garment workers around the world make a livable wage. This means they can’t afford basic needs.

A conscious brand gives opportunity to disadvantaged people. They empower their workers to get out of poverty, avoid human trafficking, or get an education.

For example, Daria Day is a conscious jewelry brand that works with artisans living in the remote mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan – some of which are the most isolated and poor communities in the world. “By supporting the economically disadvantaged, Daria Day hopes to make a difference by breaking the cycle of poverty and to show that we are all connected.”

Another example is Fox & Robin, a conscious activewear brand that audits all the factories that handle its products and is the only activewear brand that publishes the wages of workers. Its goal is to ensure 100% of factory workers are paid a livable wage. “Two of our (eight) factories do not pay what we deem to be a livable wage to all employees. Additionally, the average workweek of our factory workers is 55-60 hours with one day off. As a small brand, we do not have a lot of leverage with these factories, but as we grow and gain more leverage, we are committed to pushing our factories to continually improve workers’ compensation and workplace conditions.”

Here at Choobs, we categorize brands by their cause. Some brands support environmental causes, while others support women’s causes. Whatever cause they support, all brands we sell are conscious brands!

You can find out more about how we select brands to sell on Choobs here or check out all the other cool conscious brands we support too.

RELATED: Conscious Clothing: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

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Choobs News Socially Conscious Brands

Kicks That Kick Back: Introducing An Awesome Conscious Brand

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We’re excited to offer another awesome conscious brand to the Choobs marketplace, and we think you’ll love them too!

SAOLA is on a mission to design casual kicks that look good, feel great, and are made with as many eco-friendly materials as possible. They are outdoor lovers, parents of future generations, and they are dedicated to making a difference.

SAOLA makes sustainable kicks that kick back. Here’s why they’re so great…

Super comfy, Extra light shoes

SAOLA shoes are super comfortable and extra light. They’re so soft, you can even wear them barefoot! The insoles are made from natural cork, which makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud.

These shoes are light as a feather! They weigh less than 0.4 pounds – lighter than Allbirds!

Fairly priced

SAOLAs are priced fairly compared to other shoe brands, especially other conscious brands. You can get a great pair of shoes for as little as $69, and the maximum you’ll pay is $99.

A bonus is that you’ll get free shipping!

Sustainably made

SAOLA knows that sixty to seventy percent of the environmental footprint of a pair of shoes is a result of the product’s materials, so they’ve made eco-construction the central pillar of SAOLA’s shoe development. They carefully selected the materials that go into the shoes…

As mentioned, the comfy insoles are made of natural cork. An advantage of natural cork is that the bark can be harvested without cutting down the trees! These trees continue to grow and generate a new bark which can be taken again a few years later.

The uppers of SAOLA shoes are made with recycled plastic bottles, otherwise known as PET. When recycled, PET goes through a cleaning, grinding, and melting process that results in a thread, giving second life to plastic and reducing trash in our landfills. And what happens to this thread? Well, it’s then woven into various fabrics to create the comfy and stylish uppers for SAOLA shoes. Depending on the style, each pair of SAOLA shoes contains between 3 and 7 recycled PET bottles.

If that’s not enough, check this out… Rising temperatures and excess chemicals in our lakes and rivers contribute to the growth of algae – harming the lives of plants, animals, and humans. SAOLA partnered with the team at Bloom Foam to harvest harmful algae and create eco-friendly, bio-sourced materials for the insoles and outsoles of their shoes. Bloom Foam removes harmful algae from the water and puts it through a process that dries, crushes, and converts it into powder. This powder is then mixed with EVA (a synthetic material) to become Algae Foam, used for sole construction. Using Algae Foam allows SAOLA to use fifteen to twenty percent less synthetic materials in their soles, cleans lakes of harmful algae, and prevents the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Now that’s what we call a win for mother nature and a win for your feet!

Oh, and the laces are made from organic cotton.

Gives back to wildlife preservation

Not only can you buy shoes that are comfy and sustainable, but you can also help support SAOLA’s social mission. SAOLA has been committed to the preservation of wildlife since its creation. It’s even in the name… the Saola is one of the rarest animals found on our planet with only 700 or so animals left.

the-saola-description
The Saola – a critically endangered “Asian unicorn” that lives in the mountains between Vietnam and Laos.

This conscious brand donates one percent of sales to wildlife conservation projects so that in another 40 years, our planet’s animals are not a thing of the past.

SAOLA donates this money to MWALUA WILDLIFE TRUST, a grassroots organization in Africa that is fighting droughts to supply sustainable water systems to wildlife communities, while also promoting human-wildlife coexistence. Volunteers work with communities to raise awareness about conservation, promote ecological restoration, and increase ethical economic opportunities to protect Kenya’s nature and biodiversity.

Machine washable

Like all my favorite things, SAOLAs are easy to clean! Throw them in the wash (on cold) and you can also tumble dry them on low.

SHOP ALL OF SAOLA HERE!

RELATED: Shop Consciously: Karma Collective

Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping socially conscious brands!

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Choobs News Socially Conscious Brands

SHOP CONSCIOUSLY: Karma Collective

Discover and shop sustainable brands online

We’re very excited to welcome another incredible socially conscious brand to the Choobs family, and we think you’ll like them too!

This brand is spreading good karma, so scroll down to learn all about Karma Collective!

Karma Collective is a lifestyle apparel brand on a mission to empower people to live their best life

One look at their designs and it’s pretty obvious – Karma Collective is here to share the positive vibes! Whether you’re rocking the ‘Happy’ Terry cotton pullover or our personal favorite, the ‘Trust The Universe’ crop tank, you’ll be sure to stay uplifted while wearing these inspiring reminders!

The brand was inspired by a silent meditation retreat

After completing a 10-day silent meditation retreat in the rain forests of Hawaii- Karma Collective’s founder felt evoked to share her experience with the world by spreading good vibes and impacting change. This got her thinking, what better way to express yourself than by style?

The brand’s name is also inspired by the retreat

The concept of donating, not paying, to take part in the retreat is like sharing good karma points which persuaded Karma Collective to inspire others to support their communities.

Karma Collective donates a part of their profits from every item they sell

In fact, 10% of the profits donated go to World Housing, a hybrid organization that provides safe homes to families in need around the world!

It’s all about the positive vibes

All Karma Collective designs have a positive meaning to them that empowers each person who wears them to take part in small acts of kindness and positivity because they can make a big difference!

They believe in trusting the universe

Karma Collective is all about following your passions, listening to your gut, and trusting the universe- so if you’re looking for a sign – this is it!

Shop Karma Collective here!

RELATED: 5 Up-and-Coming Mission Brands To Watch

Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping sustainable brands!