What if we all used our purchasing power to support companies that reduce inequality, alleviate poverty, fight climate change, and help build a more just economy?
Americans spend $130 trillion a year on everyday items, meaning there's great potential to put that money to good use. Where you invest your dollars matters, possibly more so now than ever. In fact, 81% of millennials, the largest living generation, actually expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship.
Firmly believing the notion that the "dollars we spend are the world's most powerful force for change," Cullen Schwarz decided to start a company that tapped into this country's purchasing power, creating a platform to put that $130 trillion to work.
"In 2015, while working in Washington, D.C. with the Obama administration, I became painfully aware that all of the hours, votes, donations, petitions, and marches did not stand up to the thousands of dollars I was handing over to massive, profit-hungry corporations every year. So where can I go to discover companies that I can feel good about supporting?" Schwarz said.
Enter DoneGood, a digital marketplace showcasing 200-plus brands who are doing good for people and the planet. "To us, 'good for people' means empowering workers, paying fair wages free of trafficking or child labor and unsafe working conditions. 'Good for the planet' means using eco-friendly production processes, using non-toxic, organic, and/or recycled or upcycled materials, and taking other significant steps to keep our land, air, and water clean," Schwarz told GOOD.
The company, which has been called the "Amazon of social good" by Forbes, also has a Chrome browser extension that will help you find ethical, sustainable alternatives to the products you search for online.
Upworthy spoke with Schwarz about what made him decide to switch careers, how his company is making a difference, and what you can do in your daily life to have an impact on the greater good. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity.