Picture this, a young woman walking the streets of Boston wearing a fashionable Patagonia vest, designer jeans, Bean boots, all while holding the notorious red Starbucks cup.
Hook, line, and sinker, I know what you’re thinking, we’ve got ourselves a real live BASIC BITCH. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen my fair share of basic bitches, and I’ll be the first to call someone on their bullshit, but let’s talk this one out.
This young woman happens to be a millennial; someone who accounts for 1/3 of all retail sales annually. That’s no small chunk of change; so let me explain further, she is part of the overwhelming 86% of the millennial population that expects companies to do more in terms of being socially responsible. According to Cone Communications 2015 Millennial CSR report, she’s willing to pay more for products produced by socially responsible companies and is even willing to take a pay cut if it means working for a company committed to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. So do you still think she’s basic? Let’s dive a bit deeper.
First up is Patagonia, who by the way was a green company before being green was “cool.”
Here are just a few of their contributions to bettering our basic world.
- Patagonia is well known for their Worn Wear program. Patagonia has a repair facility responsible for over 400,000 repairs a year while their retail staff is trained to handle simple repairs.
- They have also published over 40 tutorials on how to repair Patagonia clothing to help their customers keep their clothing in use longer.
- They have a transparent Supply Chain to help reduce social and environmental impacts of their products.
- Patagonia is committed to the Corporate Responsibility initiatives, which ensures products are produced in fair, legal, safe and humane working conditions.
- Patagonia gives 1% of their sales to support environmental organizations around the world. Which totals over 100 million in cash, to date.
- Patagonia employees live and breathe their companies mission and values on a daily basis and are integral in creating positive change.
- Collectively, this year, they have completed over 10,424 hours of volunteering, might I add they were still paid for a full days work while doing so. Patagonia is BASICally amazing, just saying.
- All of L.L. Bean’s buildings are structured in accordance with LEED (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, but I’m sure all of you non-basics out there already knew that…)
- L.L. Bean stresses that their employees adopt environmentally friendly commuting be it public transportation or car-pooling.
- They recycle more than 83% of their waste and donate extra office supplies and equipment to local schools.
- L.L. Bean is committed to sustainable forestry initiatives, recycling, energy conservation, greenhouse gas measurement and reduction, alternative fuel use, green building practices, sustainable products and packaging reduction.
- They even offer a lifetime guarantee on their products.
- That’s worth the additional cost in itself, but if you’re still not convinced think of all the non-profits, environmental groups, and initiatives you are helping fund & support with your purchases.
- Starbucks has surpassed their goal of 500 LEED Certified Stores.
- Starbucks is committed to Ethical Sourcing.
“We’re committed to responsibility in our merchandise, furniture, and the other items found in our stores. We work with suppliers who share our commitment and adhere to the strong standards we’ve set.”
- They are committed to helping the community and create opportunities for the youth, partner with non-profits, and Starbucks foundations support programs that help youth and origin communities.
- They committed to hiring 10,000 veterans by 2018.
- Starbucks has one of the most talked about perks their College Achievement Plan.
- This program which gives eligible part and full-time employees to finish a bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement.
- Starbucks also heavily promotes reusable cups, purchases energy credits, uses recyclable packaging, conserve water, & the list goes on and on, but I think you’re starting to get the idea.
Now don’t get me wrong, we still have a few BASIC girls out there that do it for the “insta”, or the image or whatever you want to call it. But there are a lot of people, especially Millennials, who are actually very intentional and conscientious with their purchases.
These are people who know they can make a difference, however large or small. They’re committed to creating a positive impact. So let’s stop pigeon holing this demographic and start recognizing and applauding their efforts for being part of the solution instead of the problem.
So to all my fellow basic bitches out there, we’re actually not so “basic” after all.