This shopping site will help you save the planet and save money this holiday season

Image: Mashable Composite; DoneGood

The holiday season is finally here, which means spending quality time with family and friends, spreading good cheer and goodwill, and … rushing to find the best shopping deals imaginable.

As Black Friday approaches, one website is trying to turn the holiday shopping experience on its head, all through a new site that makes you a more ethical shopper year-round.

DoneGood, a tech startup that launched last year out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, rolled out a new site Monday that helps people find ethical and sustainable alternatives to products typically purchased from corporate giants. The idea is that you’re looking to purchase these products anyway — why not buy them from companies you’ll feel good about supporting?

For example, you can find a hoodie that empowers workers in Peru and Uganda with wages that are 10 times the average, eco-friendly toothbrushes that help fight climate change, or earrings that help local artisans in India and Pakistan break the cycle of poverty.

The site clearly labels the kinds of impact each product has — such as empowering workers, being eco-friendly, coming from a business owned by women and people of color — and also offers exclusive discounts, so you can save money while you make a difference.

Image: DoneGood

DoneGood, which is a certified B Corp, launched a similar browser extension and app last year, alerting shoppers to ethical alternatives while they browse on any ecommerce site. But according to cofounder Cullen Schwarz, the company always planned to launch its own destination website, where users could search through hundreds of mission-driven brands in one place. 

“Our goal is to make it really, really easy for people to find the brands that are making great stuff and making the world better at the same time,” he said. 

“We’re looking for companies that are making the world better through their everyday business practices.”

Schwarz likens the new site to an “Amazon of the social impact economy,” or a “Kayak of the social impact space.” DoneGood partners with more than 250 companies whose business models have a demonstrated social or environmental impact. That means you won’t find brands giving 1 percent of profits to charity, or just touting a one-for-one giveaway model. 

“We’re looking for companies that are making the world better through their everyday business practices. If a company doesn’t pay workers well or has sub-par environmental practices, but gives to charity, we don’t partner with that business,” Schwarz said.

Some of DoneGood’s partners include Under the Canopy, which makes fair-trade and organic bedding and bath products, and Prosperity Candle, which sells candles made by refugees resettled in the U.S. There’s also Mpowerd, which makes solar lights that also benefit the 1.5 billion people in the world still living without access to electricity, and Sseko, a women’s fashion brand empowering female artisans in Uganda and sending them to college.

“One of the best parts of our jobs is talking to all these people who started brands that have a social mission and aren’t just out to make a profit … They’re working to prove that businesses can be successful and be a force for good in the world at the same time,” Schwarz said.

In spite of the stress and consumerism that Black Friday ushers in every year, Schwarz hopes the shopping site — along with the existing Chrome extension and app — can be bring together all the good parts of the holidays. These products make more unique and meaningful gifts, he explained, and there’s also a slew of discounts.

“You can still get a good deal, avoid the crowds, get more meaningful gifts, and make the world better. At the end of the day, making the world better is what the holidays are all about, right?” he said.

Schwarz isn’t just talking the talk. He and the DoneGood team are a part of a new initiative called Shop for Good Sunday, which fills the gap on the Sunday in the middle of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. 

The initiative, a joint effort among 50 do-gooder brands and organizations, is a day dedicated to shopping with brands that do good for people and the planet. The first Shop for Good Sunday takes place next Sunday, after Thanksgiving.

Image: DoneGood

Since it launched on Cyber Monday 2016, DoneGood has raised more than $750,000 in funding so far, including contest winnings from Harvard and MIT, according to Schwarz.

He said the response over the past year, from both users and brands, has been amazing. Multiple companies ask to join DoneGood every week, and users often suggest companies to add to the platform.

“Most people want to know that their money is supporting things they believe in.”

“Most people want to know that their money is supporting things they believe in. It’s just always been really hard and time-consuming to find companies that you know are doing good for the world. We work to make it easy. The easier we can make it, the more often more people can join in, and the bigger the impact we all have together,” Schwarz said.

He added that the more success social enterprises and social good brands like DoneGood’s partners see, the more big companies will start to change for the better. In fact, today’s consumers prefer to support businesses that have a social or environmental impact, even willing to pay more to do so.

DoneGood wants to help accelerate that change.

“The day all companies do business like DoneGood brands do, many of the world’s most serious problems will be solved,” Schwarz said. “Every time we make a purchase from a business that’s doing good for people and the planet, we help take a step closer to that world.”

More From this publisher : HERE ; This post was curated using : TrendingTraffic

Tags: activism black-friday business ethical-business giving-tuesday holidays holidays-2017 innovations social-good

Related Post "This shopping site will help you save the planet and save money this holiday season"

Mario Batali Steps Down After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
(AP) -- Celebrity chef Mario Batali stepped
Facebook for 6-Year-Olds? Welcome to Messenger Kids
Facebook says it built Messenger Kids, a
The Strange Case of the Look-Alike Credit Cards
First National Bank of Marin was a