When you buy a product, do you care about the story of the company that created it?
When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings, we are doing to ourselves.
—David Suzuki, Founder, The David Suzuki Foundation
Products with purpose
Many businesses create products made from natural, organic materials that are safe for the environment and convenient to use.
Just as we benefit from having a purpose greater than ourselves in our personal lives, these companies exist for a definitive purpose. They believe in creating something more valuable than a product that drives revenue. They want to make a difference and take us toward a better future.
According to marketing expert, Seth Godin, this is ultimately what separates the influential, high-impact brands from the forgettable ones. He states, “if no one would care that your business disappeared tomorrow, then your business is replaceable.”
More and more businesses are putting their hearts and souls into creating products with a purpose. And more and more consumers are starting to care about the story behind those products.
If, as consumers, we accept that it’s our responsibility to protect and preserve the world we live in... how can we do that?
When you support companies tied to a social or environmental cause, you indirectly donate to that cause. You become part of something important. Something bigger than the small item you just bought.
We live in a time when altruism trumps profit. The traditional 9-to-5 “mom and pop” shop—committed to feeding a family and putting away a nest egg—has evolved into the modern online store that grows a powerful brand then gives back to the world.
How and why did this shift happen?
The why is straightforward: giving back feels good. Elevating impoverished sections of the globe is the right thing to do. Putting green back on the globe and supporting grassroots causes makes the world a better place—a safer place. A more educated place. A cleaner place.
The how is a different story, but it’s based on a beautiful model of giving back. It works according to a kind philosophy and an understanding that small contributions go so far in lesser-developed nations and where sections of the globe have been stripped of resources.
Who leads this charge?
Happily, many companies are adopting this approach. Let’s take a look at three of the early adopters:
At 1% for the Planet, we state our purpose plainly: We exist to ensure that our planet and future generations thrive. The problems we’re facing now have to be solved on a global basis, and can only be solved by people working together and staying tough together—like all of you in the 1% for the Planet community. We’re taxing ourselves. Patagonia’s self-imposed Earth tax, 1% for the Planet, provides support to environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land, and water around the globe.
Since 1985, the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, has pledged 1% of all sales to grassroots environmental organizations through their “1% for the Planet” initiative. This is an alliance of businesses that understand the importance of preserving our natural environment.
Collectively, member contributions total almost $90 million in donations—1% of annual sales turnover. Patagonia created a top 1% reputation in the outdoor clothing industry by giving away 1% of its profits. That’s a recognizable thing that raises what would otherwise be any other outdoor clothing company above the rest—and that’s great marketing.
When you buy a product from Patagonia, you create impact with every purchase you make. You feel good buying Patagonia gear and Patagonia feels good contributing 1% to the planet and fuelling an altruistic approach to consumerism. Pretty smart.
We're tentree. We create aspirational outside products. We motivate and encourage environmental stewardship through earth-first apparel. We believe that big change starts small. Whether you’re bringing eco-bags to the grocery store, or have a fancy reusable water bottle, we are here to celebrate the small wins. At tentree, we empower everyone to plant trees with their purchases, while offering sustainably made products for everyone to enjoy.
Tentree.com manufactures clothes using sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, hemp, and cork. When you make a purchase, you receive a “tree token.” You can register this token code to track the ten trees that are planted on your behalf. Tentree’s currency is trees. To date, the company has planted nearly 44 million of them. Their goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. At BeeBAGZ, that’s something we can get behind.
A thriving humanity means a thriving planet. Our mission has always been using business to improve lives, and that includes taking good care of the place we all call home. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to making choices that benefit our customers, employees, and the planet—from the materials and vendors we choose to the way we get each product to you.
As one of the very first give-back companies, TOMS has given almost 100 million shoes to people in need. TOMS makes shoes from natural eco-fibres like hemp, linen, jute, and organic cotton grown without toxic chemicals or genetically-modified seeds. Outsoles are made from carbon-negative sugar cane and wood pulp from responsibly-managed forests. Pigments come from plant dye. Recently, TOMS decided to dedicate one-third of its profits to a fund managed by a Giving Team that will work with selected organizations across the globe. One-third of the profits! That’s a lot. Plus, the shoes are stylish and extremely comfortable.
Back home, our very own founder, Kristi MacDonald added her mark to products that make an impact on the planet.
BeeBAGZ, the first 100% plastic-free beeswax wrap baggie—made from cotton, Canadian beeswax, jojoba oil, resin, and lots of love—was born from a desire to keep her kids’ lunches healthy and to be part of a solution that helps to address the global environmental crisis.
When you buy beeswax baggies, you support our goal to live with zero-waste, plastic-free. That’s a lofty goal, but it’s an important one. Here’s why:
The world is currently full of plastic. Most of it is single-use plastic that’s not recycled properly—it’s dumped into oceans or landfills. Environmental challenges and climate change issues are plaguing our planet. We created BeeBAGZ with the aim of reducing the use of plastic in our daily lives.
Why are all-natural food storage bags better than plastic Ziploc bags?
- They’re better for your produce: Food stored in all-natural, environmentally-friendly beeswax wrap bags stays fresh for longer. The beeswax and jojoba oil have antibacterial properties that prevent your food from going bad—whether it’s raw vegetables stored in your fridge or the sandwich you carried with you for lunch.
- They’re better for your wallet: BeeBAGZ beeswax wrap bags are easy to clean and more cost-effective than having to buy 100s of single-use plastic bags! You end up saving a lot of money, while also saving the earth.
- They’re better for the planet: Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the zero-waste movement by providing consumers with socially-responsible alternatives that will clean up the planet, one bag at a time.
People buy beeswax baggies because they are safe, economical freshness-extenders. But under those reasons, people support our grassroots company because they care as deeply for the preservation and betterment of the planet as we do.
Today, thousands of BeeBAGZ™ are out there making life simpler and greener, all thanks to our customers—thank you!
Hive members in photo: Paula, Kate, Kristi and Heather)
A percentage of our profits are given to the David Suzuki Foundation, 1% For The Planet, and The Land Between. We support local, national, and global organizations doing good for the planet and the people.
Know the story of the company you’re buying from
The story behind products with a purpose is founded on sustainability and business practices that make eco-friendly products. Do these stories resonate with a cause you are passionate about? If the answer is yes, then buy those products, recommend them to your friends, and create a community that’s committed to a better tomorrow.
When we have the support of whole communities, we collectively create a big impact. It’s not about doing huge hardcore things. It’s about the small changes we make: ride your bike to work, trade plastic for sustainable alternatives, plant a tree.
BeeBAGZ is a grassroots organization from a small town in rural Ontario. We’re in the business of selling beeswax bags. Why we sell those bags is because we’re in the business of taking care of the planet we call home. We're doing our part to be more sustainable.
We’re not as big as Patagonia, TenTree, or TOMS—yet!—but our hearts are as big. We’re passionate about building a community of people who care about our planet. And we invite you to be part of it—a community who makes conscious choices to ensure a better future for the planet.
We hope you will join us in our mission to clean up the planet, one reusable, 100% biodegradable beeswax wrap bag at a time!
Feel good about doing good!