Social Entrepreneurs Focus on Supply Chain Ethics

It has been eight years since TOMS introduced a one-to-one model of social entrepreneurship, and up-and-coming companies with a focus on social justice are changing the way that businesses do good in the world.

TOMS has long focused on donating one product for every one sold, whether it be a pair of shoes or a bag of coffee. However, some critics have questioned how much this model actually helps people, and new social entrepreneurs are focusing instead on ensuring that products are made ethically. In a sense, they are redefining how business is conducted.

For example, the brand Jungmaven is supporting the use of the alternative fibre hemp to replace organic cotton, which requires a lot of water and land to grow. Bureo uses recycled fishing nets that can clog up oceans to make skateboards and sunglasses. Leaders focus on everything from how supply-chain employees are treated to the environmental impact of the materials they use in their products. The concerns go far beyond helping a “cause,” looking deeply at the impact that the creation of such products has on people and the environment.