I love getting swag at conferences, but there is a certain amount of guilt that comes along with it. Do I need another coffee mug? (No.) Could the money that went into making this coffee mug have been put to better use in the world? (Yes.)
Seattle-based company Miir can help takeaway take away that guilt. They connect their products (which include water bottles, coffee mugs, and messenger bags) with a variety of charitable projects — and connect consumers with the impact of their purchases.
Every quarter, the company picks a new charitable project. During that time, three percent of all of Miir’s sales goes towards that project. For example, Miir recently worked with the non-profit Splash to create safe drinking water facilities in two schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
What makes Miir different from other companies that donate a portion of their proceeds is the code put on all their items. Once they purchase a water bottle or bicycle bag, consumers can register that code online and track what their money is going towards. (The project still gets the money even if the code is not registered.)
“We are bridging the gap between the things we sell and the things they [customers] support,” said Eric Akines, Miir CMO.
In addition to clean water projects around the world, Akines said Miir is bringing their charitable acts closer to home. This summer it will be partnering with Viva Farms in the Skagit Valley of Washington to irrigate a huge plot of land, so it can become a working farm that teaches people about agriculture.
Consumers can purchase Miir products directly through its site, or in its real world flagship store in Seattle. Miir also partners with national companies such as Starbucks, Patagonia and Blue Bottle to sell branded Miir product directly through those stores. For example, a recent project Miir did with Starbucks helped fund a clean water project in a coffee growing community in Honduras.
Additionally, companies looking to create some conscientious corporate swag can commission their own branded Miir gear as giveaways for employees or conferences.
Founded in 2010, Miir since has donated more than $650,000 to various charitable projects. The company has grown to 50 people and has been friends and family funded to this point, though it is now going through the process of raising a Series A round.
And while your cupboard may not need another water bottle, buying one from Miir at least lets you help make a positive impact in the world (yes!).