It’s almost summertime. Time to dust off the old board shorts and tank-tops and get to the beach and the barbecues. But if the summer stuff you’re bringing up from the basement isn’t in as good a shape as you remember, with these brands you can get cool new summer stuff AND know that the dollars you’re spending are making the world better.
Warby Parker is a pinnacle example of a brand gettin’ big while stayin’ good. Their operations are 100% carbon neutral, all full- and part-time employees earn a living wage, and they give a pair of glasses to someone in need for every one purchased. They also happen to make really cool (and affordable) glasses and shades. Check out their free home try-on program — they’ll send you 5 frames to test out for 5 days and they’ll ship them to you for free!
Summer is a time to let them toes breath. Sseko Designs can help with their signature leather ribbon sandals, wrap sandals and flip flops. Handcrafted in Uganda, Sseko provides opportunities for women to end the cycle of poverty with good paying jobs by helping young women attend college. To date, they’ve enabled 87 women to attend university—and they’re sending their biggest class to date (fifteen) this year!
If you’re ready to get your adventure on this summer, Cotopaxi is quickly making a name for themselves as the go-to supplier for badass backpackers and people who truly love the outdoors. Their colorful packs stand out in the crowd: they’re durable (61 year guarantee), and are made the right way — empowering the people who make them, providing grants for non-profits in the developing world, and using leftover fabric whenever they can. They even have one pack that’s made entirely of reclaimed pieces chosen by the people making them so no two are alike. Cotopaxi is also hosting Questivals in major cities across the U.S. this summer; basically a 24 hour race with friends where you get to check a bunch of amazing experiences off your bucket list.
The best summer weekends in the city include picnics with friends and trips to the farmer’s market. Apolis offers customizable Market Tote bags where you can give a shout-out to your favorite city and neighborhood. They’re all made from natural material, can hold up to 100 lbs, and empower workers around the world through fair wages. They’ve got pretty cool guys’ clothing too. If you’re a global citizen who appreciates a classic look, you should check Apolis out.
The colors and poms accenting Boutique Mexico‘s artisan crafted bags are about as summer cool as you can get. They’re classy, fun, and unpretentious all at the same time just like the company’s founder, Jenn. She started the business after her travels into the most remote areas of her new home in Mexico allowed her to meet some amazing women making some amazing bags. If you’re looking for a new bag to bring to the beach this summer, consider these one-of-a-kind pieces made by women earning a fair wage.
If you’re anything like us, you’re gonna be throwing some parties this summer. Preserve has all the bowls, plates, cups, and cutlery you need, and it’s all reusable and made from 100% recycled material. The company has been working for over 20 years to move the needle on turning recycled materials into everyday home products, without sacrificing design for a greener product. Make your party or BBQ a good one with Preserve.
SolSource Solar Grill
Nothing says summer like grillin’ stuff! But the gas and charcoal can be a drag on the environment. The founders of SolSource created their greener solution in the Himilayas, working with a local community to provide a life-changing tool for the remote area. Humanitarianism remains at the core of the company’s mission today, but they also make an AMAZING product. This thing gets hot, quick! On a clear sunny day, SolSource reaches grilling and baking temperatures in 5 minutes and can boil a liter of water or reach searing temperatures within 10 minutes. Get your solar grill on!