There has been a global shift in commerce taking place over the past two decades.
More companies are looking to find creative ways to stack social impact with the products they bring to market. One of the first companies more globally known to do this would be TOMs shoes. A business that popularized the buy one, give one model. In their case it is purchasing a pair of shoes that will give a pair to someone in need.
Old business used to care about one thing only, “how much money are we making?”
Problems arise fast with this mindset. Companies cut costs by paying unlivable wages and dumping toxic chemicals into the environment as proper disposal can be costly for example.
For this reason, it is important to celebrate those companies who are aligning impact and income for their organizations. It is possible to create a win for the consumer, win for the environment, and win in the finance department. The key term for this ideal in business is Triple Bottom Line.
One company that has stood out to me in this way is TenTree.
The vision started as two friends explored the wonder and beauty of Hawaii. Looking over a valley after hiking to the top of the mountain, the two decided that they wanted to create a way for consumers to have impact through their purchasing power. This single idea has now planted over 30 million trees and their plan is to keep going.
TenTree currently has 2.6 million followers on Instagram. Instead of just using their massive platform to show off their clothing, they provide additional advice for those looking to become more environmentally conscious. On their site they recommend additional ways that we can all make big changes through taking small steps. The list includes – riding your bike to work, bringing reusable bags shopping, and supporting businesses that align to your own values on the environment.
This article isn’t here to persuade you to buy a shirt. This article is here to bring this mindset of “triple bottom line” into your own workspace. It is also here to provide a reflection on how you, a consumer, can vote for companies based on the dollars you spend with them.