Retail Trends: Socially Conscious Online Malls


marketplace-header-logoFor the last 5 years we have blogged on sustainability, giving-back and corporate philanthropy. We have covered the One-For One by first Toms and then Warby Parker. We have covered Eco-Friendly, we have covered Green and LOHAS.. Why.. because it is a huge trend. People want to buy from people who give back. PERIOD.

That said, the latest news and soon to be hot trend is the Toms (Shoes and Eyewear) has created Toms Marketplace a place for Products that give back. The market place carries 200 different products from 30 different companies . You can shop by causes, you can shop by region.

This is what they say: We believe commerce can be about more than just profits. But it takes more than belief to make this a reality. So we’re giving other social entrepreneurs a platform right here on our site to help them succeed. Introducing The Marketplace, a new destination for making a difference.

In October Amazon unveiled the Amazon Smile Site, a site in which Amazon shoppers can direct 0.5% of their purchase totals at Amazon Smile toward a charitable organization of their choice. Amazon will then donate the money on behalf of its customers.

While there are many green and eco companies that give back, this type marketplace I see as a huge trend among retailers. Co-mingling of a shared vision (in this case sustainability, corporate good, social responsibility, in a united website with the power of a big brand behind them.

Can you do something like this? Of course, in fact if you have an online website, there is plenty of eyecare products that give back, eco friendly or are sustainable. For instance: MODO and Adlens both have a buy one give one program. MODO also has a Plant Trees program, Wiley X, ClearVision Optical,Vera Bradley Eyewear and Hilco have Breast Cancer products. Santinelli and Vision-Ease Lens both have been working with Habitat For Humanity, Augen Optics Vigeo Eyewear has been fundamental in affordable eyewear for kids in Mexico, Companies such as A&A who participate in World Sight Day. Even Frieze Frames and Victory Optical who are starting to make frames in the USA all fall into that category.

These are not the only companies, but what if you did something like this? I like it. If you just did it with eyewear and accessories,  I would almost guarantee, you would be the first online retailer thats focus would be sustainable shades.


Claire Goldsmith MidPage


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