I want to preface this by saying that we do not support or condemn American Apparel, we are simply trying to open up a discourse about their ads.  Below the photo are the 13 companies we absolutely support!!!

Sell things.  With your genitals.  You know, give ’em a peek at the good stuff.  Leave ’em wanting more.  This seems to be American Apparel’s obvious slogan.  And while I do dislike their ads, I can get on board with the fact that they use real looking models often times unedited looking and they produce their apparel in the good old U.S. of A. at least they’re holding true to their name.

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And lately Abercrombie and Fitch has been in the news and as much as I don’t want to give attention to a sucklord (unless it’s THE SUPER SUCKLORD– artist, who is featured in our next issue btw) I did want to rant it out.

I don’t want to show a picture of the sucklord or repost his ignorant remark but I do want to say and do this.

Dear everyone out there– if you choose to wear Abercrombie or Hollister, that’s fine.  I can’t make you stop.  What I can tell you or hope for you, rather, is this:

We as the consumer have ALL the power.  Everything is aimed at us, conditioned to pop into our minds at just the right moment to give us a certain psychological feeling.  They do it with everything strategically.  Sell.  Sell.  Sell.  Buy. Buy. Buy.  And that’s what we do BUT the power is in the BUY.  You can decide what you buy.  Sure some of it has to do with cost but think of it this way, your money although indirectly goes right into Sucklord’s pocket.  Think of “old white man behind a desk in corporate America” guy.  He’s buying his 4th mansion now.  This magazine is all about highlighting the people/companies who are open minded, talented, humble, the givers-back of the world.  NOT the people who suck.

Here are 13 companies who DO NOT SUCK…..  Be a conscious consumer.

 

1.  TOMS.

Buy a Tom’s shoe, the company will give a pair of shoes to someone who is in need.  Great concept!  And it has expanded to eye wear now too.  Blake Mycoskie founded the company when he was just 26.  Inspired by his travels he is giving back to the bigger picture— giving over 2 million shoes to those in need.  Read his book Start Something That Matters if you want more inspiration.

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2. Whole Foods.

Aside from the fact that they treat their employees really well (found on the list of “Best Companies To Work For” by Fortune Magazine), they are also a super inspiring company.  Why?  You mean besides the fact that they support sustainable agriculture and promote the reduction of waste and consumption of nonrenewable resources.  How about the fact that they started a program called Local Producer Loan which provides nearly $10 mill in low-interest loans to small local producers to help grow their businesses. The Whole Planet Foundation helps to fight poverty by microlending in rural communities around the world.

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3. Timberland.

“Real change begins not with rhetoric, but action.”– CEO Jeff Swartz

Not only does he encourage giving back to the community via Timberland’s annual “Serv-a-polooza” day which involves 5,300 employees, vendors and volunteers who devote their day to non profits around the world.  Timberland employees also get 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer for service.  Then to top orf the “serving your community” sundae,  the company also offers a six-month, paid sabbatical to employees who want to “pursue a personal dream that benefits the community in a meaningful way.” 

4.

The Container Store

Happy wife.  Happy Life.  Kip Tindell, CEO of the Container Store, keeps the “wives” happy, wives being his employees in this weird analogy I’ve come up with.  It’s true though, be grateful of your employees, treat them well, and their loyalty will run supreme.  The Container Store full time employees get paid well (upwards of $46,000 yearly) and since our economy bomb in 2008, the company has not laid off one employee, that explains why they are on Fortune’s “Best Companies To Work For” 12 years in a row.

5.

Seventh Generation

Cleaning products.  We don’t really think about how toxic they really are.  But that soap, that runoff from washing your car, that goes into the ocean, that paper towel goes in a landfill.  Most of the time we can shrug it off but Seventh Generation is making recycled home cleaning products so you can just shrug it off without a guilty conscious.  Made from 100% recycled materials and non toxic cleaning products this company promotes corporate responsibility, gives back to their communities, and supports various important charities like Save the Rainforest .

If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 4-pack of 352 sheet virgin fiber TP with 7th Generation 100% recycled TP we could save 1,267,000 trees.

On another note, I found this on a TED talk take two minutes out of your life and it’ll make you think of him whenever you wash your hands either out or at home.

6. Patagonia

Traditional. HA!  Patagonia is a super inspiration mostly because of this quote by their CEO, Yvon Chouinard who has said that he wishes “to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”  Hardcore treehugger and enviro-lover, Chouinard started a venture fund called $20 Million & Change, that will invest in startups working to make the world a better place via the clothing, food, water, energy, and waste industries.

I will admit, no, I don’t own anything Patagonia.  And even after looking at their designs, I’m not thrilled to buy their clothing BUT now that I know about this companies efforts, I can make an effort to express to them about what I’d like to see and hope that in the future I will want to purchase a must have Patagonia piece.

We have the power to change.

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7. Burt’s Bees

Burt’s is on the list but maybe not for the reason you suspect.  Starting out with two people Roxanne Quimby and beekeeper Burt Shavitz, the two sold honey and beeswax products at craft fairs throughout Maine.  Soon Quimby bought out Burt and sold the company to (ugh) the Clorox company.  Weird, right?  A company so committed to natural products that they pioneered the standards for what constitutes a truly natural product, they’re now with the mega toxic Clorox company??  Well, here’s Clorox’s take on the sitch.

“Clorox attributed the success to the company overcoming three common consumer complaints about green products: They don’t work, are hard to find, and cost too much. “The products that are explicitly green we want to get them to the same prices as conventional products,” (Clorox CEO Don) Knauss said. “If we could give people a natural option at the same price that they would pay for a conventional cleaner, for example, we think we could explode the category and really make it part of the mainstream.”

Change has to start somewhere.

 

 

8. Starbucks.  I know, I know, you may hate that they are on every corner BUT rest at ease, these guys have committed to providing fair trade coffee, sustainability, not to mention the fact that they treat their employees well.  The company supports products such as Ethos Water, which brings clean water to the more than 1 billion people who do not have access. To date, Ethos Water has committed to grants totaling more than $6.2 million.

 

9.  Ben and Jerry’s

I had the pleasure of visiting the Ben & Jerry’s open factory in Vermont.  The tour was educational both in the making of ice cream and the idea of dream to reality.  Ben & Jerry ‘s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have infused the company with the notions of giving back in every way possible.  Sure now we hear words or abbreviations like organic, hormone free, GMO and fair trade but these were things that Ben Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld…oops, I mean Jerry Greenfield thought about when they opened their shop in 1978.  And when Unilever bought the company out 13 years ago it inspired the B Corporation.  B Corporations are legally allowed and required by certification to make business decisions that consider social responsibility as well as obligations to shareholders. Companies seeking B Corp designation must meet and maintain rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

The company donates a full 7.5% of pretax profits to charitable organizations.  In their own words, they “strive to show a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.”

10.  Pedigree Dog Food

Pedigree donates one bowl of food to animal shelters every time it gets a Facebook fan, and it did the same when the company’s 2009 Super Bowl commercial was viewed online. Pedigree’s goal is to donate 4 million bowls of dog food, enough to feed every shelter dog in America for one day.  What a great way to give without reaching into your pocket.

11.  Method

They have streamlined bottles, eye catching packaging, which by the way is environmentally responsible with biodegradable packaging, and are one of the fastest growing companies in the world with $100 million in annual revenue.  Aside from their commitment to the environment, their products are made from natural ingredients such as soy, coconut and palm oils proving that even cleaning products can be green.

 

12.  Honest T

Seth Goldman was thirsty.  Complaining that there wasn’t a natural drink that wasn’t either too sweet or too tasteless… he couldn’t seem to find an honest tea.  LIGHT BULB.  Striving for all natural, healthy, honest, and conscious efforts toward the environment, Honest T was born.  From plant to table Honest T wants to be sustainable and transparent throughout every level of their company.
In an effort to prevent landfill buildup, its “Upcycling Honest Kids Drink Pouch Brigade” program converts its used drink pouches into fashionable tote bags. Honest Tea even goes one step further by donating $.02 cents to the charity of your choice for every drink pouch that is sent back for conversion.

 

13. REI

They’re sustainable, they enviro-conscious, yes, yes, we’ve said it in nearly every company above.  How about this one— the CEO Sally Jewell was offered by our Obama, Secretary of the Interior which means she’d regulate oil drilling, she’s also is in charge of setting land aside to be protected permanently, and developing regulations on fracking.  Don’t know what fracking is?  Check it for a fun video with celeb guests.  Did I mention she’s climbed mountains in Antarctica? Dope.

 

This concludes my rant of conscious buying…