Social impact refers to the positive change that a brand or organisation creates in the world, beyond just generating profits.

Social purpose brands, on the other hand, prioritise social impact as a core aspect of their business model. These brands often focus on giving back to communities, employing marginalised communities, providing social services, and promoting sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices.


In recent years, there has been a growing demand for brands to have a social purpose and make a positive impact in the world. Consumers are increasingly aware of the social and environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, and they are actively seeking out brands that align with their values. Social purpose brands not only help to address societal issues but also build trust and loyalty with consumers.


As consumers become more socially conscious, these brands have the opportunity to not only create a positive impact but also build a stronger connection with their customers.



Why Support brands with a Social Purpose?

You as a consumer have the power to drive positive change in the world by supporting brands that prioritise social purpose. When you choose to support these brands, you are not only making a purchase but also investing in the future of society and the environment.

You may not realise it but, your vote counts and your vote matters. When you purchase from brands driving positive change, it is a vote for the kind of future you want to see and a rejection of current fashion industry practices of exploitation, wasteful production and large environment impacts.


Your purchase from these brands supports the following initiatives and business practices:


  • Ethical and sustainable practices: Social purpose brands often prioritise ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices. This means that they pay fair wages, use environmentally friendly materials, and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Community support: Many social purpose brands prioritise giving back to communities. They may support local initiatives or donate a portion of their profits to non-profits. These initiatives can help to strengthen their local communities and create positive change.
  • Long-term impact: Brands that prioritise social purpose are committed to creating positive change over the long-term. They often invest in initiatives and programs that have a lasting impact, rather than just providing short-term solutions.


Here, we talk about 11 fabulous global brands and their social purpose.


Karuna Dawn – is a sustainable and ethical Australian bag and accessories brand. This brand works with ethical production houses who provide training, employment and opportunity to rural communities, marginalised and vulnerable people and those starting new lives after trafficking.  Each purchase empowers and supports women, artisans and workers and seeks to help break cycles of poverty.


Akola - is a jewellery brand that employs women in poverty-stricken areas in Uganda and provides them with fair wages and job training. They also reinvest their profits back into their communities to provide education and healthcare services.


Bombas – is a brand whose mission is to help those experiencing homelessness. For every clothing item purchased, a clothing item of the same kind is donated to those experiencing homelessness. 


Outland Denim - is a denim brand that employs survivors of human trafficking and provides them with job training and fair wages. They also partner with non-profits to provide resources and support to survivors. Workers are paid a fair wage and receiving training and support.


Pala - is a sunglasses brand that supports eye care projects in Africa. They donate a portion of their profits to non-profits that provide vision care and education to underserved communities.


Nisolo - is a shoe brand that partners with artisans in Peru and Mexico to provide living wages and working conditions. They also prioritise sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing practices.


Raven + Lily - is a bag and jewellery brand that employs women in marginalised communities around the world and provides them with fair wages and job training. The brand works with organisations that encourage women to seek opportunities in roles traditionally occupied by men.  


United By Blue - is a sustainable outdoor apparel brand that prioritises environmental conservation. They organise and lead clean-ups of waterways and donate a portion of their profits to non-profits that focus on ocean conservation.


Warby Parker - Warby Parker is a eyewear brand that donates a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold. They also partner with non-profits to provide vision care and education to underserved communities.


TOMS - is a shoe brand and when you buy TOMS, you help fund access to mental health resources for the millions of people who need them.  One-third of profits is dedicated for grassroots good, including cash grants and partnerships with community organisations, to drive sustainable change.


Cotopaxi - Cotopaxi is a brand that creates outdoor gear and apparel with a focus on social impact. They donate a portion of their profits to non-profits that focus on poverty alleviation and environmental conservation. They also organise and lead service projects in their local communities.


The above list is just a few of the many brands placing social impact and social purpose at the core of their business practice.

Karuna Dawn’s mission to uplift and transform lives is aligned to a sustainable and equitable future for everyone in the fashion industry’s supply chain. 


There is always room for improvement and whilst brands may not be entirely perfect, let’s take the time to applaud their efforts to create a sustainable future.