We’re all familiar with the powerhouse shopping days that kick off every holiday season: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. But what about the Sunday sandwiched in between?
Good news, particularly if you’re a socially conscious shopper. The Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26, this year) now has its own name and philanthropic shopping theme. Welcome to Shop for Good Sunday.
Billed as a "day to shop with companies that do good for people and the planet," Shop for Good Sunday is the brainchild of Cullen Schwarz and Scott Jacobsen. Last year, the duo co-founded DoneGood, a public benefit corporation (B Corp) that offers a free Chrome browser extension, phone app and website to help altruistic consumers find sustainable, ethical and artisan-made alternatives when they shop online.
For this year’s inaugural Shop for Good Sunday, DoneGood has teamed up with 50 social-impact brands, many of them companies featured on its platform, as well as organizations like B Lab (certifier of B Corps) and Social Enterprise Alliance. The idea, says Schwarz, is to funnel some of the enormous sums Americans shell out during "the most wonderful time of the year" toward businesses that produce eco-friendly, cruelty-free, fair trade, organic and other socially responsible products.
Holiday shoppers can avoid Black Friday madness and put their money where their values are by buying gifts from socially responsible companies on Shop for Good Sunday. (Photo: Powhusku/flickr)
"Last year we all spent over $1 trillion during the holiday season," he says. "And 60 percent of all online sales during Cyber weekend went to just 10 giant retailers that don’t have a social mission. If just a small fraction of that money supported brands that are alleviating poverty, fighting climate change, and otherwise making the world better, that would make a really huge impact."
Purchasing power for good
Shoppers are encouraged to start by checking out Shop for Good Sunday partner brands (see a list here), which include sustainable product companies like Looptworks, Highway Robery, Meliora Cleaning Products, Tuckerman & Co., Fair + Simple, and Corkor. They’re also encouraged to support other mission-driven businesses they find on their own, as well as those featured on the DoneGood platform.
"A lot of our brands are offering special promotions," Schwarz says. Some will cut prices, while others are donating a portion of profits to charitable to organizations. DoneGood, for instance, plans to donate 100 percent of its revenue on Nov. 26 to Oxfam and 1% for the Planet.
"By shopping these brands you get a discount, while also getting more unique and meaningful gifts, avoiding the crowds, and making the world better at the same time," he says. "That sounds like a way better deal than Black Friday to me."
Rise of socially responsible companies
The business-as-a-force-for-good movement has seen tremendous growth in recent years, Schwarz says. He cites the expanding number of Certified B Corps that grew from 0 to 1,000 between 2006 and 2014, and then doubled to more than 2,000 from 2014 to 2016. Today, there are over 2,300 of these for-profit companies around the world certified to meet stringent environmental, social and transparency standards.
"The more we support companies that have a mission to make the world better, the more of those kinds of companies there will be, and the more other companies will follow suit," Schwarz told MNN last year. "It’s already happening — we just want to help speed up that progress."