SEI Newsletter: BOGO Edition

In this Issue of SEI

In this edition, students cover social enterprises that follow a "Buy One Give One" Model, essentially creating a consumer's guide to practice socially conscious shopping. With each purchase of a regularly priced product from one of these BOGO business models, a similar product or service will be given to a member of a disadvantaged population from around the globe. Ethical shopping can be incredibly difficult in today's society, where mass production and demands for low costs dominate consumer markets. This ethical consumer's guide will help you spend your money in the right places, avoiding corporations that are exacerbating issues such as pollution or unfair labor conditions, and instead creating positive social change.

It's not too late to take advantage of SEI meetings and opportunities this semester. We hope to see you at our upcoming events to learn more about what's in store!

From the Founder & Executive Director

Ethiopia’s Oliberte Offers
Alternative to TOMS

By Professor Dennis R. Shaughnessy
As my former students know all too well, I’ve long been a critic of the TOMS version of “buy one give one”. My issues and concerns are many, from a lack of transparency to broad unintended consequences; from the lack of local partnerships to a failure to measure impact. I suggest that if you’re in the market for shoes and want to have a positive social impact with your purchase that you consider buying from Oliberte in Ethiopia. Read more here



How One Sock Company is Inspiring Us to Bee Better
by Natascha Elbech
When David Heath and Randy Goldberg learned that socks were the number one requested item in homeless shelters, they became inspired to create impact in a community in need. Inspired by the buy-one-give-one model of TOMS Shoes, Bombas Socks was launched in 2013 with the idea to donate one pair of socks for each pair purchased. Read more here.

Love Your Melon's Battle
Against Pediatric Cancer

By Kelly Szaniawski
The “buy one give one” business model has garnered appeal for its seemingly impactful trade off. It implies that by buying a product, you are helping to fund the efforts of giving a product to someone in need or providing a needed service. Such an ideology was adopted and implemented by the two founders of Love Your Melon, Zachary and Brian, in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in 2012 with a socially-minded goal of “putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America”. Read more here.

FIGS: Making Scrubs Fashionable
By Luisa Polita & Vy Le
In many places, healthcare professionals do not have access to clean, comfortable medical apparel necessary to perform at the best of their ability. FIGS is a B corporation that focuses on changing the healthcare experience of medical professionals by refashioning the medical apparel industry. Read more here.

Hygiene Products

How Feminine Hygiene Company Cora is Fighting for Gender Equality
By Gabriella Scarpa
Cora is a company that makes menstrual cycle products, with the mission of addressing the stigmas surrounding periods, the negative environmental impacts that these products have, and the inequality and lack of access to these necessities. Founders Molly and Morgen started the company after being exposed to the harsh reality of how women experience menstruation in other regions: girls and women in developing countries were resorting to using rags, plastics, sand, and ash to manage their periods. Read more here.

Soapbox's Model for Providing Accessible Hygiene Products
By Shivank Taksali
Soapbox, a social enterprise founded in 2010, is on a mission to make quality hygiene accessible to everyone through smart everyday purchases. David Simnick, the founder of SoapBox, created his first batch of soap from the kitchen of his university dorm. Less than a decade later, his company has made close to three million donations through their buy-one-give-one model and have partnered with retailers across the United States. Read more here.

Health Products

Warby Parker's Buy a Pair,
Give a Pair Model

By Tess Alonge
Warby Parker has revolutionized the eyeglasses market since it was founded in 2010. Prior to the company’s inception, quality glasses would cost consumers hundreds of dollars. Founders Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa were dissatisfied with this norm and set out to create a business that offered high-quality glasses at an affordable price. In addition to offering fair prices to consumers, this organization focuses on a “buy a pair, give a pair” mission, classifying it as a BOGO social enterprise. Read more here.

Mealshare: Combatting Food Insecurity
By Kenny Mei
Mealshare is an organization with a mission to end youth hunger. Although it is a relatively new company – launched in the spring of 2013 and currently consisting of 17 team members – the founders, Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall were inspired by the Western world’s tendency to eat out all the time. In Canada, they report that 9 million citizens eat out while there is 1 million youth still struggling from food insecurity (Proof). 15 years ago, 1 out of 3 kids was malnourished, but Mealshare is moving in the right direction because it is now 1 in 4 kids. So far, they have served 2,353,907 meals to date. Read more here.

How Plum Organics Provides Free Nutritious Meals to Children
By Alexandra Dittrich
Plum Organics is a certified B Corporation that sells organic, non-GMO baby food. The company was founded “by parents, for parents” in 2007 to appeal to the growing demand for more natural and nutritional baby food products. Like many socially conscious businesses today, Plum Organics has adopted a “buy one give one” business model. Read more here.

Comfort Products

The Company Store's Method to Reducing Homelessness
By Danielle Thompson
There are more than 1.3 million children who will experience homelessness in their life. More specifically, one out of every 50 children will experience homelessness before the age of 18. The Company Store is a social enterprise that strives to end this epidemic by providing comforters to homeless children through a BOGO model, the buy one get one model. Read more here.

Better World Books: An Online Bookseller with a Triple Bottom Line
By Kayla Vestergaard
You may have bought a used book on Amazon without realizing you’re buying it from a company that has found an eco-friendly way to donate tens of millions of books and dollars to literacy programs worldwide. Like most customers, you probably added the book to your cart based on its low price and the seller’s high Amazon approval rating, which sits at nearly 100%. With nearly unbeatable social impact and prices, Better World Books is one of the world’s most successful social enterprises. You can find them on Amazon, of course, or go straight to their website here for free worldwide shipping. Read more here.

Bixbee: Spreading Education & Resources to Children Around the World
By Nikolay Asinimov
Bixbee is a certified B Corp that's determined to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. They follow a "One Here. One There." model, equivalent to a BOGO model, that lets them collaborate with non-profits that provide disadvantaged children with access to education. Bixbee, founded by Luis Garcia in 2011, is based in California. Read more here.

One World Play Project: Transforming Youth with the Power of Play
By Charlotte Fall
In 2010, One World Play Project was founded by Tim Jahnigen to empower youth from disadvantaged communities around the globe through the power of play. The organization sells durable, unpoppable soccer balls that that can be used on any terrain. Tim was inspired after hearing news reports of children in refugee camps creating their own soccer ball by tying up trash with twine to play with. One World Play Project created a solution, implementing the belief that play is an essential part of children's development. As a dedicated B Corporation, when an individual purchases a One World Ball, 5% of the sale will be donated to their partner organizations that bring soccer balls to kids around the world. Read more here.

Socially Conscious Outlets

DoneGood's Browser Extension Lets You Shop Your Values
By Bekah Davis
Boston-based company DoneGood recently released a marketplace to compliment their Google Chrome extension. Forbes recently bestowed the title of “the Amazon for social good” upon them. CEO and founder Cullen Schwarz asked himself, “But where can I go to discover companies that I can feel good about supporting?” Read more here.



▪ SEI Speaker Series: Adriana Augerrebere from Impacto - Wednesday, November 14th, 6:00-7:30PM, 440 Egan Center
▪ SEISA Speaker: Catherine Gill - Wednesday, November 28th, 6:00-7:30PM, 121 Snell
SEI Speaker Series: Adriana Augerrebere from Impacto - Wednesday, November 14th, 6:00-7:30PM, 440 Egan Center
SEISA Speaker: Catherine Gill - Wednesday, November 28th, 6:00-7:30PM, 121 Snell


Venture Cafe's Social + Impact Connect!
Venture Cafe will hold a mini-conference on November 29th from 3-8PM to recognize and celbrate entrepreneurs fighting our biggest social issues in the Greater Boston area. The event is held at Venture Cafe Kendall (1 Broadway
5th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142) and you can register for the event here!

Jobs & Internships

▪ Global Development Incubator, AgEnterprise Communications Associate (San Francisco, CA) Contact:
▪ Essilor Base of the Pyramid Fellowship, Fellow (Asia) Deadline: Nov 18th
▪ Green City Force, People Operations and Human Resources Manager (Brooklyn, NY)
▪ Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, Development and Communications Associate (NY, NY)
▪ Generation Citizen, Talent Manager (Boston, MA)
▪ City Year, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director (Boston, MA)
Global Development Incubator, AgEnterprise Communications Associate (San Francisco, CA) Contact:
Essilor Base of the Pyramid Fellowship, Fellow (Asia) Deadline: Nov 18th
Green City Force, People Operations and Human Resources Manager (Brooklyn, NY)
Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, Development and Communications Associate (NY, NY)
Generation Citizen, Talent Manager (Boston, MA)
City Year, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director (Boston, MA)

Do you want to write for SEI? Do you have news to share?

We are always looking for newsletter contributors! Contact Charlotte at for more information.

Contact Us

For all inquires, please con­tact the Social Enter­prise Insti­tute Student Association at For more information, check out the SEI Website.

360 Huntington Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Disclaimer: The content of this newsletter is developed by undergraduate students. Submissions are solicited and in some cases edited by students, with the guidance of SEI staff. Nothing herein has been specifically endorsed by the DMSB.

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