Shopping is a bit like taxes: it doesn’t matter how you feel about it, you still have to do it. But whether you’re shopping for groceries and other basic needs, or just for things you want and enjoy, you’ll be faced with decisions, just like you are every year…in the voting booth.
Every dollar we spend is a “vote” for the kind of world we want to live in, which is why it’s so important to vote for brands whose actions are already helping to create a better world.
Here’s a list of 6 trustworthy brands whose positive track records and recent contributions to the Black Lives Matter movement are inspiring us.
These 6 Brands Are Really Supporting Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racism Initiatives
Etsy’s cash donations are huge: half a million to the Equal Justice Initiative, which helps stop discriminatory sentencing, and half a million to the Borealis Philanthropy’s Black-Led Movement Fund, which helps fuel world-changing, life-saving movements.
But Etsy is doing more. In addition to matching their employees’ donations to anti-racist organizations, they’ve been extra-responsive to customers’ questions on social, clearly explaining what happens when an Etsy seller, for example, posts racist merchandise, and responding to those who insist they quickly curate a Black-owned seller page. (They did.)
Glossier, a company not yet 10 years old (and by some standards still in its infancy,) is giving away an extraordinary $1M to fighting racial injustice. Half of that will be given in the form of grants, directly to Black-owned beauty businesses. The grant application is easy to find on their site, and easy to fill out—no red tape, as far as we can tell.
Beyond that, Glossier’s biggest impact might be in their ability to lead the way in saying, “We can do better.” CEO Emily Weiss wrote in a recent statement:
“I also want to acknowledge and own that when it comes to changing the beauty industry, we have meaningful work to do within Glossier. …we currently have no Black representation at the leadership level. Creating an inclusive beauty industry starts with taking a hard look at where Glossier falls short and actively working towards building an organization that better reflects the customers we serve and the world we want to see. We plan to start holding ourselves accountable publicly by sharing our progress on an annual basis.”
3. Thrive Market
Thrive Market is a young brand that has stepped up to the generosity-plate big time in big ways, like by providing meals to those affected by natural disasters, to unjustly detained immigrant families on the border, and to dozens of other underserved groups around the world. They will be donating $50,000 to Black Lives Matter, as well as matching employees’ donations—not just 1-to-1—but 2-to-1: $2 for every $1 an employee donates, specifically to Black Lives Matter, Know Your Rights, and the Atlanta Solidarity Fund.
Even better, the company turned to their Black Thriver Resource Group for direction on where today’s donations were needed most. The three nonprofits named above were chosen through their direction.
4. Ben and Jerry’s
We could write a paragraph about why the historically vocal Ben and Jerry’s should be on this list. Instead, we’re just gonna go have a pint of Justice Remixed and leave this right here: a link to their Black Lives Matter statement that went viral. (And maybe this statement too, for good measure.) (Okay, and this one.)
Levi’s track-record is imperfect, but historically positive. Over the decades, the company has made headlines in its efforts to right wrongs in their supply chain, snuff out sweatshops, and focus on sustainability. Some argue there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to prioritizing fair wages and increasing transparency around supply chains, but given its track-record and diverse leadership team, Levi’s makes our list as a brand supporting anti-racism in ways that extend beyond donations alone.
The Levi Strauss Foundation has given over $7 million to civil rights causes over the last 10 years, including a recent $100k to “long-standing partner” the ACLU, and $100k to Live Free USA. They have also made over $1 million in donations to anti-gun violence initiatives. Currently (June 2020), they’re holding a regular Instagram Live series called Use Your Voice, where viewers can learn by listening to Black leaders discuss critical current issues.
This brand, famous for its impeccable customer service and groundbreaking company culture, is not only making donations to nonprofit Color of Change and the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP, it’s also doubling its employee donation matching to any civil rights nonprofit, investing in its long-standing group the Zappos’ Black Awareness and Empowerment Circle, and being transparent about the work it’s doing to diversify both its workforce and its catalogue.
What is Giving Assistant?
Our browser extension makes the whole thing even easier: just download it for free, then shop like normal. If cash back, donations, or deals are available, the extension will let you know. No need to visit our site!
About This List
Tiny sparks fuel big fires, and small wins energize big movements.
As a company that works with thousands of brands, and whose mission is to turn the everyday act of shopping into everyday steps towards a better world, we publish these lists in part to encourage shoppers to “vote with their wallets,” but also, to celebrate when companies and people do the right thing.
Before you shop, we encourage you:
- Choose one of these nonprofits (or another anti-racism organization or bail fund) to make a direct donation to.
- If you choose to shop and donate your cash back with us, donate your cash back to anti-racist causes. Every cent helps.
If you’re curious about what else you can do (and what we’re doing) we’ve curated a list of resources. But the best resource is still Black voices. Find them on social, in the media, in books, and in your own social circles. Let your guard down. Be still and listen. Let them speak. This is how we learn.
No blog post from us can make up for the things we’ve already left unsaid and undone.
Together, we will be better.