The Most Sustainable D2C Wellness Brands

Why are wellness brands giving back?

As economic inequality grows, climates change, and political gridlock increases, consumer preferences have shifted. Research by Accenture found that “in an era of radical visibility, technology and media have given individuals the power to stand up for their opinions and beliefs on a grand scale.” Rather than making decisions based just on products and prices alone, “they’re now assessing what a brand says. What it does. What it stands for.” Thus many millennials are opting for a new kind of bang from their buck, sacrificing lowest cost for higher ethical standards and cleaner supply chains.
With carbon emissions and social justice closer to the top of consumers’ minds, companies have taken notice of shifts in shopper behavior. Many popular direct to consumer brands now understand that committing to impact and sustainability isn’t just good PR and recruiting, it’s crucial for bottom-line growth. After all, studies show that consumers spend more and remain more loyal with brands that support causes they care about. And tools like ShoppingGives — a platform that helps brands give back by enabling shoppers to donate discounts to charity — have shown the very real financial lift companies can realize by becoming more socially-conscious.
Thus supporting causes beyond shareholder value is no longer niche or isolated to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments. While lobbyists and activist investors have traditionally pushed corporations to redefine the stakeholders they serve, consumers are applying similar pressures by voting with their dollars. Add a global pandemic to the mix, and it’s not hard to see why more companies are suddenly focused on giving back.

Which wellness brands care most about impact & sustainability?

This is by no means a comprehensive list — there are too many D2C wellness comanies doing amazing things for the community — but here are a few examples of direct-to-consumer brands that have shown an impressive commitment to charitable causes larger than mere profits.

What causes are D2C brands supporting most in 2020?


Environmental Sustainability

Green initiatives focused on environmental sustainability have attracted the most donation in recent years. Startups like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market sell fresh produce boxes that reduce food waste and support local farmers. Organic tampon startup Tampon Tribe pushes an agenda of carbon neutrality with eco-friendly packaging and the elimination of single-use plastics. Finally Chippin is a forward-thinking dog food brand that uses sustainable protein sources (i.e. delicious crickets!) to lower the typically unscrutinized carbon emissions of man’s best friend.


Fighting  COVID-19

Naturally 2020 also saw a tidal wave of support for charities related to COVID-19 that improve health & safety, especially for front-line workers. The CDC Foundation, The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and PATH are among the most popular charities D2C brands have donated to during the crisis, according to Andrew Forman (founder of Givz, a platform that helps convert discounts into donations). 

Beyond just donating to charity, many startups have rejiggered supply chains to ship new products that remain in short supply. Examples include By Humankind’s production of hand sanitizer, as well as Vault Health and Everlywell offering at-home COVID tests. Meanwhile companies like DoorDash, Uber, and Ollie all chipped in by offering free or heavily discounted products to medical staff and first responders. It’s been awesome to see! 

Civil Rights

Protests related to Black Lives Matter (BLM) have swept the nation and galvanized both consumers and brands alike. According to the National Retail Federation, three quarters say “the way companies conduct themselves during these protests will impact whether they do business with those companies in the future.” To succeed, brands need to show not just what they’re doing to promote diversity inside their organizations, but also how they’re contributing to efforts that address racial tensions and inequality. Charities like the NAACP, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Color of Change have seen large in-swells of capital as a result.
While many brands’ social channels have shown support for black lives, defunding police, or just general calls for equality, we applaud Ben & Jerry’s for being bolder than most.


Mental & Sexual Health

We’ve also found that brands are increasingly supporting charities focused on mental health and overall well-being. Stress and anxiety are on the rise, and customers feel better about brands that are working to address this. Sexual health and body positivity are also trending, especially among female-led wellness companies like Modibodi that donates feminine hygiene products to underserved women around the globe.


Poverty Reduction

Helping underserved communities in general is also common, with hunger reduction being the most popular. While direct to consumer  pioneers like Toms and Warby Parker first popularized the buy-one-give-one approach, brands like Thrive Market have kept the traditional alive by donating free memberships to those in need. Whether it’s on the other side of the globe or in our own backyard, alleviating poverty hits closer to home for many D2C brands as income inequality continues to rise.

Time to step up: Your brand can make an impact too!

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