For many of us, the thrill of bagging a mass produced bargain has long since worn thin, and we are now much more likely to forego price savings for peace of mind when it comes to our shopping choices, which are becoming increasingly ethically motivated. And for their part, companies are no longer simply aspiring to do well, but making it their mission to do good, with many aligning with, and actively supporting relevant causes and social programs.
Here we highlight three modern homeware companies which as well as being committed to the ethical sourcing and production of their products, are mindful of their social responsibilities, each having chosen to give back to their communities.
Founded by former marketing consultant Jacob Xi and Anni Stromfeld, an Investment Banker and strategy consultant, Olive Wren launched earlier this year debuting its high-quality linen bedsheets made from 100% French flax. The direct-to-consumer company is based in NYC, and has built solid relationships with its suppliers, the same factories that make homewares for international luxury brands. Its linen is made from small-batch harvested flax seed from Southern France, which needs no irrigation and uses much fewer fertilizers and pesticides than cotton, and is Oeko-Tex certified, which means that the fabric is free from harmful chemicals and synthetics.
As well as making an impact through their luxurious yet practical homeware, the pair were also keen to create a brand with integrity and a social mission, and so a portion of all sales is donated to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors through a partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation. “We spent months searching for the right charity to work with,” Stromfeld told Forbes.com. “When we found out about the Joyful Heart, we knew we had found the perfect partner whose core values align seamlessly with ours: integrity, community, mindfulness, and sustainability with a mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever”.
Selling an assortment of homewares that have a relaxed, gender-neutral aesthetic, Venice Beach-based Parachute was founded in 2014 by Ariel Kaye, a former advertising agency executive. Averaging growth of 400% year-on-year since it launched, the company secured $30 million in Series C funding last month to facilitate the opening of more stores, create products in new categories, and invest in marketing, tech, and supply-chain improvements.
In terms of sustainability, the company’s bedding is manufactured by artisans who have been weaving world-class linens for over 80 years, a collaboration that not only ensures premium quality, but upholds the high standards and heritage of their respective regions. And fabrics are free from harmful substances and chemicals.
Socially, Parachute partners with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to send life-saving malaria-prevention bed nets to those in need. For every Venice bedding set sold, one bed net is donated, with consumers also offered the opportunity to contribute at checkout, and to date over 30,000 bed nets have been donated. And for every Dog Bed purchased, a percentage of sales is donated to Love Leo Rescue, a foster-based shelter located in Los Angeles.
Ecuador-based lifestyle brand Equal Uprise supports and celebrates artisans who craft ethically-made pieces that incorporate traditional production methods as well as organic materials. Founded by former corporate executive Denise Paredes, the company helps create and sustain jobs for marginalized artisans from rural communities in both Ecuador and Tunisia, connecting them with conscious consumers across the globe.
The income created at the workshops Paredes partners with funds education for the children of the artisans, and in some cases, funds education for the artisans themselves. And in addition to paying them a fair wage, 10% of profits is directed to business development projects for the artisans that craft each item.