By: Katrina Gross ~Staff Writer~
America is known on a global scale for having a consumer economy, with many Americans living a lifestyle based on being in fashion and following the latest trends. Fashion is a huge part of many Americans’ lives. Owning articles of clothing and accessories that fit trends is considered important to a lot of people.
In recent years, various entrepreneurs have noticed this love for trends and saw an opportunity to do something more with the American consumer economy, resulting in the creation of companies that have very unique purchasing—for every product purchased from them, one is donated to a person in need who would not be able to afford that item.
These companies have redefined the term, ‘buy one get one’ (BOGO) as ‘buy one give one.’ These corporations include the shoe and accessory company TOMS, sunglass and eyeglass store Warby Parker, the Company Store, which sells bed sheets, and even companies like SoapBox, which has the policy that for each purchase of soap from them, they will donate a bar of soap or a month of clean water to those in need.
All of the companies sell durable and long-lasting products at affordable prices, and upon your purchase of one of their products, an item of the same value is donated to a person in need, generally located in a developing country.
In the specific case of the eyeglass company Warby Parker, this has resulted in donating more than 85,000 pairs of glasses to those in need.
The idea of BOGO companies has even begun to extend past U.S. borders and beyond fashion, inspiring the foundation of Canadian company, MealShare, which offers participants the option of donating a meal to a person in need with every meal they purchase when they dine out.
This has resulted in MealShare donating over 419,000 meals to those in need through partnerships with various Canadian restaurants.
All of these companies have policies that exemplify how consumerism is beginning to move forward from simply being concerned with style and doing what is trendy, to realizing the positive impact the first world could have by immensely helping those without immediate access to potentially life-changing items that they need.