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7 Great Examples of Socially Responsible Businesses

In the modern business world, providing a great product and shopping experience will only get you so far. If you really want your customers to keep coming back, you need to let them know that their dollars will be doing some good.

Many businesses recognize the importance of being socially and environmentally conscious, and will often advertise charitable initiatives, such as annual fundraisers for a cause, or a volunteer project their staff worked on. But companies that incorporate social responsibility into their business model prove that a dedication to these initiatives goes a long way, both for the cause and their reputation.

These 22 examples represent just a handful of the countless organizations that put social good at the heart of their business.

Accessibility Partners – Many people take their computers, smartphones and tablets for granted, but for those with disabilities, using these technologies can present significant challenges. Accessibility Partners works with private and public IT manufacturing companies, federal agencies and other organizations to test and review products that make information technology accessible to individuals with a variety of disabilities. More than 70 percent of the company’s employees have disabilities themselves, so the company promotes disability advocacy in all of its operations.

Altered Seasons – Kelly Reddington founded his eco-friendly candle company Altered Seasons in 2003 at age 14 with the help of his mother. When he assumed ownership of the company, he shifted it to a one-for-one model to do more for the community. For every candle sold, Altered Seasons provides a meal to an American in need through Feeding America.

Charitable Agents – Anyone who’s sold or purchased a home knows how cutthroat real estate agencies can be about their commissions and fees. But what if you knew that part of that commission was going to support your favorite charity? With Charitable Agents, a network committed to helping homeowners and Realtors make a positive impact in their community, you can do just that. The company matches buyers and sellers with a top-performing local Realtor, and when the transaction closes, 10 percent of the agent’s commission goes to charity.

Children Inspire Design – Artist and mother Rebecca Peragine began selling her whimsical wall art, cards and posters to promote environmental education for children. In addition to using recycled materials, eco-friendly inks and biodegradable packaging for Peragine’s original designs, Children Inspire Design sells handcrafted paper ornaments made by a women’s cooperative in Mexico, and a special poster whose full proceeds go to Future Fortified.

Cole and Parker – This Canada-based sock company does more than just sell colorful footwear. Through its partnership with microfinance organization Kiva, Cole and Parker donates proceeds from every sock sale to a fund that is used to provide small loans for entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Do Good Buy Us – The mission of Do Good Buy Us is to sell “goods that do good.” This e-commerce website is dedicated to changing consumerism by selling products made by organizations that support social causes. Additionally, 50 percent of the company’s proceeds go toward fighting poverty, hunger, disease and other global issues.

Fashion Project – If you’ve ever donated some old clothes by dropping them into a public collection bin, you know that it’s nearly impossible to discover the impact your donation may have had. Fashion Project, a “re-commerce” platform that allows consumers to donate and shop for secondhand clothes, offers people the opportunity to make a tangible difference with their donations and purchases. Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk, this company gives up to 55 percent of the net profits from every item sold to the donor’s charity of choice.