Keep Good Company

My wife recently urged me to buy a new pair of pants for a meeting with a prospective new purpose-driven client. Priority level: High, but just behind a haircut, which she also advocated.

I got a nice pair of brown pants at an outdoor sports store here in town, made by Toad&Co. I’ve come to love them. Great fit, comfortable — don’t look half bad either. Unlike my other pants, they’re still reasonably new and look that way. And hey — we won the account of the new purpose-driven client, 1440 Multiversity, so they obviously worked their magic.

The other day I noticed a statement subtly sewn on a patch located next to the zipper. It said, “Live well. Do good.” I loved the fact its location was a whisper and not a shout, which is always more interesting.

But something troubled me. The needle on my B.S. detector started pulsing a bit. I discerned a feel-good marketing claim that wouldn’t be supported by actions in the real world, and that gave me the distinct sense I wouldn’t be feeling so good about my new favorite pair of pants. I figured a quick scan of their website would reveal their superficial claim to good.


Toad&Co (formerly known as Horney Toad) is actually a pretty cool company that can substantiate its social responsibility and make a fairly deep case for it.

It starts with their mission: To lead with integrity and weave optimism into everything we do; To create meaningful change through socially and environmentally smart business; To inspire people to live their fullest lives.

Living their fullest lives and keeping good company at Toad&Co.

When you visit Toad&Co’s website for outdoor clothing, you’ll find a simple top-level navigation on its website with just three things: Men, Women, and Good Company. (The full tagline beyond the inside of my pants is actually Live well, do good, and keep good company. Keep good company — three simple words that say so much, profound advice to all of us.)

And that last section on their site, Good Company, is chock-full of supporting work for their mission.

It starts by being a good citizen and includes a lengthy list of volunteer initiatives in its hometown of Santa Barbara, California.

They also forge a number of powerful partnerships with nonprofits:

Designed For Good, which they started in 1997, makes a contribution to a nonprofit for adults with disabilities every time a piece of Toad&Co clothing is sold.

A good-lookin’, hard-workin’ shirt that also helps support adults with disabilities.

They’re a member of the The Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor businesses that supports grassroots organizations working to protect wild places.

And last year, they joined with the National Park Foundation and Wilderness Inquiry in an effort to get 1,000 adults with disabilities into our national parks — Outdoor Access for All!

There are sections reporting on the company’s sustainability, its certifications, information on the organic eCo fabrics and fibers it uses, and its policies for overall corporate social responsibility.

It must also be a pretty fab place to work as it’s been named a “Best Place to Work” seven times by Outside magazine.

And those pants of mine? Through proof of product and now-substantiated marketing claims, they’ve been elevated even higher toward the summit of favored status in my dresser drawer. Only one thing could make them fit even better — if Toad&Co were to become a Certified B Corporation.

Originally published at

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