Not all companies are solely focused on turning a profit. There are many that actively give back to good causes like charity, environmental protection, and local agricultural endeavors.

Patagonia is an American clothing company specializing in outdoor clothing. It was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973; based in Ventura, California. Patagonia works to reduce the adverse social and environmental impact of products. Ensuring clothing and equipment is produced safely, fairly, legally, and under humane conditions from start to end in the supply chain.

The company consistently audits its materials and methods for production to reduce any impact their products could have on the environment as well as supporting NGOs and other organizations who share the same mission.

Patagonia has gone so far as to donate 100% of their Black Friday sales ($10 million dollars in 2016) to various organizations. Additionally, much of their grassroots efforts are dedicated to the preservation and protection of public lands; offering $2.5 million in grants in 2017.

Working in conjunction with the company’s hefty donations, Patagonia operates Patagonia Action Works which helps others connect and network with grassroots movements focused on the environmental crisis. In 2017 alone, Patagonia saved $10 million in federal tax cuts and donated it all to groups focused on the changing climate.

Amount Donated

$89 Million

Causes

Charity, Environmental Protection, and Local Agricultural

Years of Impact

34


Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) was founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson and currently headquartered in Kent, Washington is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation.

Focusing on outdoor gear such as sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing, REI has dedicated itself to cultivating a greater appreciation for the outdoors and nature. Setting the bar high, the company set a $100 million dollar goal in 2017 toward connecting women and girls to the outdoors and since then has invested $8.8 million dollars to 400+ nonprofit partners to both the protection and easy access to the outdoors

REI has also been utilizing BlueSign to transition from fabrics and components to those textiles that have the least possible impact on the environment.


Amount Donated

$80+ million

Causes

Public Lands, Waterways, Youth Outdoor Organizations

Years of Impact

43


Cotopaxi was founded in 2014 with $3 million in seed funding by Davis Smith, CJ Whittaker, and Stephan Jacob. Creator of innovative outdoor equipment and clothing, as well as experiences.

By 2015, Cotopaxi had raised 6.5 million in Series A funding with their mission to have every product they make is tied to a specific humanitarian cause in the world’s more underdeveloped and impoverished companies; grantees including the Fundacion Escuela Nueva (Latin America), Educate Girls (India), and Nothing But Nets (Sub-Saharan Africa).

They work with high-impact organizations to build sustainable solutions that benefit local communities globally. Following this guiding principle, the company ensures the average lifespan of the products last 61 years.


Amount Donated

1% of all sales 

Causes

Humanitarian 

Years of Impact

5


Ten Tree International was Co-founded by Dave Luba and Kalen Emsley. It was pitched to the Dragon’s Den after generating $120,000 in sales by themselves--of the span of 3 months. After explaining their mission and company, they received support from two dragons: for $100,00 toward working capital, they gave the dragons, Bruce Croxon and Arlene Dickinson, a 15% share in the company.

Tentree is an outdoors gear and clothing company focused on sustainable textiles and eco-friendly materials.

Their promise to customers is ten trees planted for every product purchased. With that promise in mind, Tentree has planted 20+ million trees across 10+ countries since 2012. They have a goal of 1 billion trees by 2030


Amount Donated

10 trees planted per every item purchased

Causes

Reforestation

Years of Impact

7


Adidas was founded by Adolf Dassler in 1924, as an athletic footwear and sportswear company and has given to its share of causes. It’s also the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, second only to Nike.

Adidas has worked with a number of athletes, as well as celebrities including Kanye West and Pharrell Williams to make charitable contributions and encourage communities around the world to inspire and take part in positive changes around them.

In 2017 Adidas sold 1 million eco-friendly shoes made of ocean plastic. Each shoe reused 11 plastic bottles in the laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers. 


Amount Donated

521, 487 units of product 

Causes

Sustainability, Human Rights in the Labor Force, Environmental

Years of Impact

30


Nike was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, originally called “Blue Ribbon Sports,”. The company started with a focus on athletic footwear before venturing into other athletic apparel and gear.

In 2007, Nike was ranked one of the top three companies considered “most climate friendly.” One of their current initiatives, Nike Grind (Reuse-A-Shoe Program) has been going on since 1993. The program takes and recycles worn-out athletic shoes to create new materials for sports surfaces, new footwear, apparel, and more.

Their charitable giving includes working closely with communities and enriching the availability of sporting equipment and footwear, advancing health research (The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute), and working towards more sustainable and climate-friendly supply chains and materials.


Amount Donated

$25 billion

Causes

Health Research, Community, Climate Change

Years of Impact

25


POW was founded by Jeremy Jones, a professional snowboarder, in 2007. The company’s focus, aside from selling snowboarding apparel and activism-inspired clothing, is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to become climate advocates.

Unlike the other companies on this list, POW is more an advocate for climate change solutions and environmentalism. As such, the company and their supporters are involved in a lot of grassroots movements geared toward those two purposes and pursue their mission with the financial support of environmental agencies and other environmentally focused outdoors and winter sports companies. In fact, Patagonia is a prominent financial supporter of POW.


Amount Donated

$1 million

Causes

Environmentalism, climate change advocacy, youth education

Years of Impact

12


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