Thursday, June 05, 2008

When the Shoe Fits...

Since starting GlobalGiving several years back, I have noticed a major sea change in the nature of so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). When we started, many companies felt that, to avoid criticism, they needed to make a show of doing something socially responsible. They often engaged PR firms to make them look good or created a small foundation to tout in their annual report.

This is changing quickly as many companies, large and small, are baking social impact into their company culture and products. The main reason for this, in my experience, is the rise of a younger generation of managers who really care about the future of the world and their neighbors in developing countries.

The good news is that many of these companies make stellar products as well, and I am going to start highlighting some products that I have used and like.

The blog posts below about the Girl Effect relate to a new program being launched by Nike. And my current favorite running shoe is the Nike Free (top photo). These things are so comfortable that I sometimes wear them around the house as slippers.

And I just returned from a trip to Tokyo, where I wore my new Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Dharmas, which were fabulously comfortable, functional, and stylish (very important in Tokyo!) They are now my new favorite casual shoes.

Terra Plana is a new company founded by Galahad Clark whose mission is to make sustainable shoes. Both the Nike Frees and the Vivo Barefoot shoes are based on a philosophy that having heels on shoes makes us walk wrong and wrecks our feet.

PS: If you have similar products to recommend, please send me your suggestions.