Conscientious Consuming

There are a lot of sites out there that offer consumer goods and donate part of their profit to different causes. The first time I started noticing this was the (Product)RED campaigns that started some years ago where places like Apple and Gap would sell specific products and part of the profit went to help fund AIDS research.

It’s an appealing idea, paying a bit more at times for a certain item, having something tangible to use and knowing that part of the money you spent is also being used for good. Or, in some cases, knowing that the company has strong ethical values – taking care of their workers and the environment.



The idea behind Toms is, you buy a pair and they give a pair to someone in need of shoes.

I currently own three pairs of Toms, but I’ve been a previous owner of about three more. In the warmer months Toms are the main shoes that I wear and they usually wear out from the constant wear. Currently, I have in my possession the navy blue, sand, and black glitter pairs. They are comfortable and go with almost anything. I stick to the classic slip on styles though, because I bought two pairs of the ballet flat ones and they did not last the month – the heel frayed, quickly!

There are a lot more styles now, so if you’re not into the classic look I’m sure something else will work for you.


Similar to Toms, Warby Parker made a splash with affordable eyewear and the idea that, when you buy a pair they give a pair, by donating some of the profits towards training doctors and providing eyewear to folks in need.

It took me a while to join the Warby Parker bandwagon, but I finally did this year when I bought the Ainsworth pair in elderberry. I love my glasses! I mostly wear them for distance, and they are a great pair of glasses – plus the purple and green frame makes me happy.

If you’re shopping for someone else, they also have sunglasses (with and without prescription) so that could be a very thoughtful gift.


I haven’t tried them yet, though I have my eyes on a few things, but I recently heard of Krochet Kids and I thought it was a really great concept. They started out by teaching folks, who wanted to be independent and provide for their family, to crochet hats and grew from there. They would then sell the product and pay the maker a fair wage. Every piece is personalized with the name of the person who made it.


Two honorable mentions to this list are Patagonia (they take care of making their products in an ethical way) and Good Paper, very similar to Krochet Kids where they provide jobs for folks who want to be independent and help their families. I’ve bought cards from Good Paper’s Cards from Africa Christmas collection before, they are really well made and very adorable.


On repeat: Patapan/O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Mindy Gledhill


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