Social impact-driven ecommerce brands are much more than a trend. They’re truly a win-win-win. A win for businesses, for their consumers, and for the causes they support. And who can argue with that?
But what exactly is a social impact-driven ecomm brand? Simply put, it’s a company that weaves value initiatives into the fabric of their brand. They’re businesses driven by social causes and awareness and know their potential (and responsibility) to have an impact.
Customers today want to buy from businesses that act with integrity around the issues they care about, and ecommerce has made shopping personal by empowering people to buy from brands that reinforce their identity and align with their values.
According to Forbes, “[w]hen given the choice between two similar brands or products, 71% of consumers will purchase from a purpose-driven company over the alternative. Nearly 80% of consumers are more likely to remember a company with a strong purpose and 4.5 times more likely to recommend it to friends and family.”
Many consumers find sustainability and inclusivity inextricably connected to day-to-day life and expect the brands they back to believe that, too.
How do I cash in?
If you’re trying to follow the trend, you’re doing it wrong. Social good brands are not a fad but a radical and holistic shift that has come from customers who demand transparency and integrity. A rebellion, one might say [wink, wink], that's been met by the ecommerce rebellion (ahem, you), whose businesses came to life from a desire to drive real change in their communities, within an industry, or in service of otherwise overlooked customers.
Gen Z shoppers are particularly motivated by businesses that align with their values and social causes. And it’s more than lip service. Zoomers have grown into their wallets in the age of savvy branding and endless claims; they can recognize authenticity and sniff out insincerity in an instant.
And in 2022, whether Zoomer or Boomer, customers want to see that brand values aren’t just surface level but are baked into your business and backed by real action. They connect with brands that state their values and put those values into action.
Size and gender inclusivity, sustainability practices, employee care, and social justice are all becoming baseline expectations that influence purchasing decisions. Customers expect eco-friendly materials and packaging, sound manufacturing practices, and supply chain transparency. And e-commerce businesses are rising to the challenge, and better still, are often the ones leading the charge and setting the (very high) standard.
THAT is the ecommerce rebellion we live for at Drip, and that makes us jump out of bed with excitement every morning.
Brands that get it.
So who is out there walking the walk behind their talk? Read our short, but inspiring, list of values-driven ecomm brands we love.
by Humankind puts it plainly. They’re a company “designed to reduce single-use plastic in your daily routine.” The origin of their brand story is rooted in that one true purpose. Each of their products is specifically designed to perform and cut down on plastic use and waste. They even offer a subscription to a plastic offset service to further reduce your carbon footprint.
Across their site, their emails, and their socials, by Humankind offers consistent messaging to consumers about the positive environmental impact their products can help them achieve. Their Instagram feed alternates between product highlights, education about circular supply chains, and inspiration from the natural world. And their brand story inspires consumers who want to feel good about the products they use in their daily routine.
Girlfriend Collective knows exactly what they are doing. From the jump, they set out to create leggings, bras, and shorts that are not only adorable, but ethically sourced and with size-inclusive designs. Their about page reads like a dream: “When we started Girlfriend Collective our first goal was to be as transparent as possible. So many companies tout transparency but only offer flashy headlines instead of substance. We chose every part of our process, from our raw materials to our facilities to our partners, with care.”
And y’all, this is what we’re talking about! From business plan to implementation, Girlfriend Collective considered every aspect of their brand and strove for sustainability and hasn’t veered from this commitment. They don’t need to add any frills to their brand story or come up with a spin, they simply have to show off the goods and tell the truth about how and why they do what they do. As they say at Girlfriend Collective: Don’t make waste. Wear it. Frankly, they make it look easy.
With the initial, simple goal to create a good pair of underwear, TomboyX started something exceptional. As a brand, they believe that everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their underwear. Size inclusivity and gender neutrality make it easy for customers to find a pair that feels good on their body and affirms their individuality. Because as their welcome email states: We fit you.
Beyond their commitment to fit everyday bodies, TomboyX prioritizes sustainable practices. They have a full page on their website dedicated to sustainability where they discuss the environmental challenges facing the fashion industry as a whole and offer a glimpse into their present state and future sustainability goals.
All in all, TomboyX built a business that feels like home for people who’d otherwise been overlooked, then rooted their mission in values that are good for the planet.
Ever wonder what happens to the produce that doesn’t perfectly fit the display? Imperfect Foods is the grocery delivery service that finds homes for perfectly edible, albeit not picture perfect, produce that would otherwise be thrown out. They buy surplus produce from farmers and grocery stores, and carry a wide range of imperfect, upcycled, and other quirky products for the discerning consumer. What’s not to love?
To ensure a seamless sustainable approach from end to end, Imperfect Foods builds their values into every aspect of their brand. To cut down on carbon emissions, they deliver by neighborhood once a week. They utilize sustainable boxes made from 100% recycling fibers and offer a clear breakdown of the makeup of their packaging materials. Need help recycling your packaging? Imperfect Foods offers a packaging return program so your materials don’t end up in a landfill.
Cuyana has built an intentional fashion house around one simple maxim: fewer, better things. They encourage their consumers to invest in key, capsule pieces to elevate their wardrobe and keep fast fashion waste out of landfills. They state on their sustainability page that their sell-through rate is higher than average at 90%, they choose their factories on the highest ethical and environmental standards, and in 2022, they expect 100% of their garments to be made from sustainable materials. They’ve held fast to their vision to help consumers create a high-caliber wardrobe with a reduced impact on the people and planet producing the garments.
Plus, pieces are designed to be worn across seasons for maximum versatility and flexibility. Their Instagram feed serves as a styling lookbook, a glimpse into the chic and fashion-forward self you could be with their key pieces in your wardrobe.
What’s your angle?
To best position your brand, and best support your customers far and wide, be an ecommerce rebellion that’s making a change in the world.
Ready to dive in? Get clear on your values and the ways your business might be contributing to a problem, evaluate your processes, think critically about the touchpoints where you can change your impact, consider (and get feedback) from diverse voices, and make bold choices that center your findings at the heart of your business.
When all the pieces are in place, you can simply tell the consumer the truth. Communicate transparently about where your brand is at in your impact initiatives and where you plan to go. You don’t need to twist the facts. Let your integrity and values shine through. That way, you’ll connect with like-minded consumers and build a brand and a community doing what you do best.
Ready to share your vision? Try Drip for free today and be a part of the ecomm rebellion making change for good.