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10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support

by Quelcy Kogel

This past fall, I had the great privilege of attending the last book tour event in Philadelphia. It was a week after the election. Spirits were understandably dashed, but definitely not defeated. The creative community came together, shed a few tears, laughed heartily and felt inspired by each other. Above all, there was a very palpable commitment to be stronger, more confident, to listen and to be heard.

I’m truly grateful for the Design*Droits-Humains community because just when I start to feel the state of affairs weighing on me, I’ll read a post or jump on an assignment that reminds me of this: creativity and design are important! We designers can make an impact. We do not have to be made of time or money to support the causes we believe in because we can think outside the box.

I hope this roundup of 10 socially conscious brands inspires you not only to support these creative businesses, but also to find your own voice and your own way to stand up for your causes. I know they inspired me. This is merely scratching the surface, so please share other inspiring businesses or projects to support in the comments below. —

10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
is a sanctuary for women who are survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. Named for the resilient, prickly flower that grows through the roughest of terrains, symbolically, Thistle “Farmers” harvest the world’s beauty from the rough. social enterprises employ residents and graduates of the residential program to acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. They run , , a cafe, a studio for arts training and .
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
To stay informed and active in today’s political climate requires a fair bit of self-care, too. If quiet time with a flickering candle is your thing, be sure to add to your collection. Every candle purchased from helps provide a living wage for women who have recently resettled from refugee camps and are working to build a brighter future in the United States. Be sure to read and send them notes of encouragement.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
What if we invited refugees from across the globe to join us in our kitchens and dining rooms, to enrich our own culture? This is the concept behind , a crowdfunded restaurant in Utrecht, Netherlands that employs recently arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees, offering them a platform to share their cuisine, to earn money, to share their stories and to pursue educational programs. The menu is Syrian with a European twist -- think red beet hummus and flaky puff pastries with za’atar. Food becomes a bridge to language, to friendships, to acclimating without losing a rich history, and !
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
Maybe a trip to Utrecht to eat at isn’t exactly feasible, so here’s the next best way to eat in support of Syrian refugees. The profits from the sales of the cookbook will be donated to help fund food relief efforts through the . Who knows? Maybe through a pot of homemade soup, you’ll be able to help someone else in need in your own community, or possibly convince someone to share a table instead of building a wall.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
At last, an excuse to eat more fried chicken and donuts! Every week, Philly’s serves its iconic fried chicken sandwich and donuts, then turns 500 pounds of spare chicken parts into broth for its sister restaurant, , which donates 100% of its profits to the . Guests at BSM are seated by a host and eat a three-course meal, prepared by a professional chef, served by a volunteer wait staff. BSM also serves as a mailing address, enabling guests to get an ID, housing, employment and benefits. #EatWellDoRight
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
“If you're tired of being told you should be seen and not heard, crabby about social justice issues, and find it difficult to not voice your opinions - join the Club,” the , that is. Founded by , club activities include “petting dogs, eating chips, reading comics, and illustrating weird things,” and most importantly, wearing this patch! Gwynne is donating 100% of the profits from her Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Dissent” series (, these and a ) to , , and . Buy all three so you’re covered by RBG in all situations.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve; wear your beliefs around your neck with one of the silk scarves from founded by designers May Shek, , Raquel Martinez and . Depending on the scarf, 100% of the proceeds go toward either , The Trevor Project, the or . This bright beauty supports , which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
Whether you’re writing to your senators or your closest friends, jazz up your correspondence with a quirky patterned card from Molly Kennedy-Darling’s . Inspired by the , is donating all of her 2017 Etsy shop profits to . She also offers wholesale pricing, so if you are a shop owner, consider stocking these cards both for their whimsy and for a good cause.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
Maybe you’re looking for ways to give, but you don’t have a product to sell? Take a page out of studio mates and book, and offer your artistic services in support of your favorite mission. Lisa is an illustrator () and created the “Wall of Love” filled with positive vibes. For the month of February, Sara, a “” is offering stress-free, 10-minute, family-friendly photo sessions in front of the wall, and 100% of the session fees support the and . So far, Sara has hustled hard and raised $1,600 for those causes. Be sure to check out to soak up some positive vibes.
10 Socially Conscious Brands to Support via Design*Droits-Humains
Hey, it’s me, and that’s the fella I introduced you to in my roundup of Urban Farmers. He also happens to be my partner, my biggest supporter and my sounding board for all my work. While telling him how inspired I was by this assignment, we started talking about how we could help. Standing Rock was really weighing on us, so Kyle put his graphic design skills to work and designed , and I found - a site that makes it super simple to sell your designs for your chosen cause. 100% of the proceeds will support the as the Water Protectors continue to fight for clean water and sacred land. Photo cred: .

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