3p Weekend: One-for-One Brands That Help You Vote With Your Dollar

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

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The one-for-one business model — in which a brand donates an item to someone in need for each item sold — is gaining in popularity among socially-conscious, for-profit companies. For consumers, shopping with one-for-one brands is the perfect way to make an impact with every purchase.

So, the next time you need to swap your toothbrush, buy a new pair of shoes or are craving a night out on the town, look to these one-for-one brands to make a difference at the same time.

1. Toms

Best known for its stylish slip-on shoes, Toms is a pioneer of the one-for-one giving model and has only increased its impact over the years.

The brand started by giving a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased by one of its customers. It has since expanded its one-for-one model to glasses, providing a pair of corrective lenses to someone in need every time a customer buys a pair of Toms’ trendy sunglasses. The company also gives access to safe water through its one-off coffee brand, Toms Roasting Co. Customers can also help expecting mothers get the medical attention they need through the purchase of a Toms bag, or give students the gift of education with the purchase of a backpack.

Not satisfied with all of that impact, Toms has since moved beyond the one-for-one model. The company helps new social enterprises get their start with its socially conscious online store, Toms Marketplace, and invests in vital programs around the world that improve healthcare and reduce poverty.

2. Warby Parker

Warby Parker enjoys something of a cult following, largely thanks to its socially -conscious mission statement and one-for-one business model. Warby Parker customers can browse frames for their prescription lenses online and even choose five pairs of glasses to try on at home. Once they find that perfect pair, they get the added bonus of knowing another pair of glasses will be sent to someone in need. The company has distributed over a million pairs of glasses since its one-for-one program began.

3. Bombas

Learning that socks are the most requested items in homeless shelters was the catalyst that inspired David Heath and Randy Goldberg to found Bombas, a New York City-based sock company based on the one-for-one model.

Its collection of men’s and women’s socks, which was launched in 2013 after a successful Indiegogo campaign, is built for athletic performance. And for every pair purchased, Bombas gives a new pair to Hannah’s Socks, an Ohio-based nonprofit that donates socks to local homeless shelters. Nearly 400,000 pairs of socks have been donated to date.

4. Kno Clothing

Kno Clothing sells trendy duds for men and women made from fairly-traded, organic fabrics. And when you buy a shirt for your back, you can help put one on someone else’s, too. For every item purchased, the company donates an article of clothing to someone experiencing homelessness in the U.S.

5. Roma Boots

Looking for a stylish new pair of rain boots? Check out Roma Boots, and shop with a purpose. With a one-for-one model similar to Toms, Roma gives back to children in need with every purchase. For each pair of boots its customers purchase, Roma sends a new pair of boots stuffed with school supplies to a child in need.

Additionally, 10 percent of all sales proceeds go to the Roma For All Foundation, which helps provide education and poverty solutions to children around the world.

6. Smile Squared

Toothbrushes are one of those items that you’ll continue to buy for life (at least we hope). So, why not buy a toothbrush with a purpose. As its name implies, Smile Squared gives a toothbrush to a child in need for every toothbrush purchased on its site or in stores. Its initial goal is to donate a million toothbrushes to children around the world.

7. MealShare

This innovative take on the one-for-one giving model lets you feed someone in need when you dine out. Hungry customers can search for a MealShare partner restaurant online. When they find one that suits their fancy, they can head down and order a MealShare menu item — and MealShare will provide a meal to someone in need. Giving back simply by enjoying a night out? Sounds like a win to us.

Image credit: Toms via Facebook

Mary Mazzoni

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is the senior editor of TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and social justice. You can contact her at mary@triplepundit.com.