It has become a common, and almost necessary, practice for popular companies to adopt social responsibility exercises. If a company does not give back to a certain area, they have the potential to lose business because of the current mindset that these huge corporations should be taking action.
I wasn’t even aware of the different initiatives that companies have created to give back. I was familiar with what Starbucks is doing to provide a better working environment for their employees as well as what TOMS has been doing for years to provide over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need. But I had no idea that the Walt Disney Company has been fighting for years to reduce their carbon footprint by committing to the long-term environmental goals of zero waste, conserving water resources, and zero greenhouse emissions. Another company that really surprised me was Lego and their commitment to pledging $150 million over the next 15 years to combating climate change.
A company that operates heavily online and through social media is Pura Vida bracelets. I have been familiar with this brand for a while and there are currently three of their bracelets tied around my ankle. Pura Vida began almost nine years ago when two friends went on a surfing trip in Costa Rica and met two local artisans.
And the rest is history.
Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman met Joaquin and Jorge and heard about their struggles with poverty, but were blown away by the artisans’ passion for creating these beautiful bracelets. They asked them to make 400 bracelets that they could take with them back to California and the partnership took off from there. The company now supports over 650 artisans in countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, and India.
The company has been able to provide the artisans with a steady income and a good working environment which has helped build up the local economies. The company has a huge social media presence and actually got a huge jump start in their early years when celebrities were spotted wearing the bracelets and the images were posted online.
Pura Vida has also become very popular for its charity bracelet lines. They have currently donated $1.7 million dollars to over 175 charity partners. On their website right now, there are 28 different charity bracelets that can be purchased, including For The Oceans, LGBT Pride Awareness, Lung Cancer Awareness, and Down Syndrome Awareness. 10% of net profits are donated quarterly to these foundations, according to their website.
“Movement symbolizing the simple things in life.”Pura Vida Founder Paul Goodman
Pura Vida has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and honestly, it is so aesthetically pleasing to scroll through. Every few posts, they are promoting one of their charity bracelets, but they are still always working to maintain their formulaic Instagram presence. They are also well known for having brand representatives who promote new pieces on their own respective social media accounts. The company presents itself as a carefree, living-in-the-moment brand and don’t get me wrong, their social media accounts are stunning. But they graze right past the artisans creating the bracelets that keep the company running as well as the charities that they are doing so much for.
Their support is amazing and the money they have donated to these organizations is great. But I believe that Pura Vida should mainly be praised for their strong support of the artisans they are employing and not the charities they are working with. They have helped build up these communities by providing work and support to families. Every year they partner with more artisans who are looking to share their work and the company keeps growing. Pura Vida was created because two men wanted to support two local artisans and they have continued to stick true to this mindset. I just think they could use a reminder on all of their social media about remembering to thank and show their support for these artisans keeping the company moving forward.