When Paul Newman started Newman’s Own in 1982, he intended the company to do more than make tasty foods. All after-tax profits are donated to charity. Its coffee is Fair Trade. It has moved into the organic market, and the company has a policy against using slave labor in chocolate production in West Africa—something Nestle and Hershey’s have claimed they cannot guarantee.
The toy recall scandals of 2007 brought three major problems concerning cheap Chinese-made toys to light: a near total lack of safety, labor or environmental standards. For the ethical shopper, child safety comes first, but isn't the only reason to avoid Chinese toys. NMC Toys is an internet business started by two parents last year that aims to provide parents with alternatives to the dangerous, sweatshop produced name brand choices you'd find in Toys R' Us or Wal-Mart. The purpose of the business isn't to promote fairtrade products, but in limiting their catalogue to only European or American manufactured toys, NMC is able to ensure that nothing it sells came from a sweatshop spewing dangerous levels of toxins into the environment.
Started in 2000, No Sweat Apparel is dedicated to union-made clothing. Founder Adam Neiman started the company in opposition to the activities of Nike and other major clothing manufacturers. No Sweat Apparel is the first open source manufacturer—open source means openly providing information on the source of its clothes. Most clothing companies refuse to provide information regarding their use of cheap labor.
Founded in 2001, Organic Bouquet offers sustainable floral arrangements at prices comparable to the big names in the industry. All of the flowers sold on OrganicBouquet.com are certified organic, but there are also a variety of other certifications that some of the flowers carry like fair trade, biodynamic, or Veriflora, a certification system created especially for the floral and potted plant industries.
Since 2003, Reusablebags.com has offered consumers a wide range of not only reusable shopping bags, but also other products that encourages less consumption and the preservation of natural resources. The web site provides consumers with information on how they can participate in the effort to reduce the world's consumption of plastic and paper bags.
Based in Vermont, Seventh Generation makes a wide variety of cleaning and paper products using the most innovative sustainable manufacturing techniques in the industry. Employees of Seventh Generation recieve an hourly living wage and a wide range of benefits like comprehensive health insurance — including coverage for unmarried and same sex partners, flex-time, and health club memberships. Aside from making ethical products, Seventh Generation spends an enormous amount of money and resources fostering environmental activism and awareness.
Since the mid-1980s, the Working Assets credit card has raised approximately $50 million dollars for a variety of charitable causes—$4 million in 2005 alone. Unlike some other charitable cards, Working Assets donates 10 cents for every consumer purchase at no extra cost to the credit card holder.