COMMON Inquiries with Lauren Walters of 2 Degrees

1. Why did you start 2 Degrees?
We started 2 Degrees to help people use their purchases of our products to donate meals to undernourished kids in the US and overseas. The overriding reason for 2 Degrees is to donate tens of millions of meals to kids.

2. What does a COMMON day look like for you?
I spend a big part of my days thinking of ways to let as many people as possible know about 2 Degrees, our mission and our product.  And, I focus on being as aspirational as possible. We’re really excited that 2 Degrees bars are now available on United Airlines and JetBlue.  Now I’m thinking of a 2 Degrees concert series that will raise money to donate meals as well as ways to establish partnerships with other food companies.

3. What drives you everyday?
Knowing that our team gets healthy meals to people who otherwise would not be receiving them.

4. What can’t you live without?
My family - my wife Karen and my sons, Ed and Peter, and long walks along water.

5. If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
I’d hang out with friends or play tennis –– maybe both.

Your purchase of any 2 Degrees bars helps towards donating meals to undernourishes kids in the US and overseas. Check out all 4 flavours on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

COMMON Inquiries with Leslie Beasley of Open Arms

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1. Why did you start Open Arms?
We started Open Arms to take a stand beside refugee women who have been marginalized and have had their voice taken awayWe wanted to empower these amazing women through living wage employment. We set out to do business differently and create awareness that our choices make a difference and can change the world.

2. What does a COMMON day look like for you?
A common day always includes a chance to be inspired by the refugee team members at Open Arms who have overcome such amazing obstacles. I am reminded every day of the strength of the human spirit and it is a very cool part of my day.

3. What drives you everyday?
I aspire to have love drive me everyday.

4. What can’t you live without?
Ice cream and chili con queso. 

5. If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
Sitting still and listening. 

Here is a video about the great work that Open Arms does in Austin, TX: http://bit.ly/1s5YnBs

BlueAvocado in partnership with Open Arms and BuildASign.com created “Banner Bags”. The purchase of each unique and handmade bag supports both trash reduction and much-needed job creation, get yours today on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

COMMON Inquiries with Karri Jinkins of Yogamat

1. Why did you start Yogamat?
We started the company in 2008 because we were all either yoga teachers, practitioners or exercise enthusiast and we felt there was nothing in the active-wear market that was Eco and that one could wear and sweat in and then stay in for hours if need be and still look acceptable. We wanted clothing that wasn’t so harsh on the environment and something that didn’t scream, “I’m having lunch in my exercise clothing.” We all talked about if a lot and then we decided to make our own after researching fabric for 2 years.  

2. What does a COMMON day look like for you?
I wake up about 5:30 and immediately have a glass of lemon water followed by a cup of tea. By 6 a.m. I make my son his breakfast and lunch give him and my husband a snuggle and kiss goodbye and head out to teach a yoga class or do yoga/meditation myself. I talk to my partners around 9 a.m. each day and then I begin some work which involves anything from designing the new collection to meeting with our fabric manufacturer or production facility, working on our website, photo shoots for the new collection and talking to vendors, press and customers about Yogamat Clothing. I eat lunch while I’m working, always. I take a break about 4:30 and hop on my bicycle to pick my son up from school. We play and eat dinner about 6:30. After I get my son to sleep, it’s back to work and then maybe a movie or book until I go to bed about 11:00 p.m., when I fall asleep within seconds, from exhaustion.  

3. What drives you everyday?
Knowing that my time here is short and I want to accomplish as much as I can in this brief life.  

4. What can’t you live without?
My morning snuggles with my son, Khash and my daily yoga/meditation practice.  

5. If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
Working and having good times with my family.  

Yogamat is one smart company offering environmentally conscious clothing for real-world women who need clothes for real-world lives. Shop the Pune Jacket and the Isfahan Crop Pant on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

COMMON Inquiries with Andrew Kresge of Sir Richards

1. Why did you start Sir Richards?
Have you been in your local condom section lately? No? Don’t worry much hasn’t changed. Durex, Lifestyles, and Trojan still exist and are still selling Intensity, Pleasure, and Ecstasy. With natural products gaining traction in many commercial categories,the founders of Sir Richard’s wondered why not condoms. We didn’t waste much time wondering. Instead we decided there was an opportunity, and we wanted to be first to market. We knew we could create a better, “cleaner” condom, and we developed one that was free of parabens, spermicides, and glycerin. We also knew there were needs for condoms in communities in the US and abroad, and the Sir Richard’s Buy one, Give one program was born. 

2. What’s your COMMON day like?
Work hard, play hard. Right? Depending on whether the night before I went to bed before midnight, I am typically at the office around 8. Settle in. Warm up some dinner leftovers. Open the Mac and jump into Gmail. There is always a project or two to move forward so that takes me to lunch. Since we are in the Lucky’s Plaza, I will usually grab some Lucky’s Cafe, China Gourmet, or Julia’s Kitchen. Around 2pm, I take a walk around the plaza to recharge. On most days this also includes grabbing a juice, coffee, or Good Belly from Lucky’s. Towards the end of the work day, it is all organization of Gmail, Asana, and my backpack. Depending on post-work happenings, my work day will end anywhere between 5 and 7. Hop on the Skip to the Hill, meet-up with my lady, grab some dinner, then relax with some Modern Family and/or Silicon Valley. 

3. What drives you every day?
That is somewhat difficult to answer. It changes. On average it is getting things done and moving the company forward. Creating momentum. Closing the loop. Planning for what’s next. This question brings me back to one of the foundational principles of being an Eagle Scout and I think it holds true everyday. “Leave the campsite better than you found it”.

4. What can’t you live without?
Friends. Headphones. Pandora. Cloudy days. Sunny days. Compassion. Strategic thinking. 

5. If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
Catching up with family and old friends. 

Sir Richard’s has always topped our list of those with social impact baked right into the core of the business. You too can help change the conversation around sex by purchasing their condoms on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

Limited-Edition BlueAvocado Banner Bags on the Marketplace

We’re really excited to carry the handmade BlueAvocado Banner Bags on the Marketplace! These limited-edition Messenger and Tote Bags are made from reclaimed vinyl outdoor signage and each bag has its own unique use of bright banner graphics. BlueAvocado partnered up with Open Arms to manufacture these, and so your purchase not only supports trash reduction but also much-needed job creation! 

Buy the Handmade Banner Messenger Bag here

Buy the Limited-Edition Banner Tote Bag here.  

Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

COMMON Inquiries with Scot Tatelman of STATE Bags

Why did you start STATE Bags? 
Five years ago, my wife Jacqueline and I created a nonprofit summer camp for hundreds of kids growing up in some of the most violent, underfunded neighbourhoods in the country. After spending time in the community and watching countless kids arrive at camp carrying all of their belongings in trash bags, we wanted to do more. We established STATE with a mission to serve American kids in need through our innovative GiveBackPack Program, which builds on the buy one, give one model with a more local, long-form approach. For each bag sold, STATE hand-delivers one to an American child in need - whether growing up in an at-risk neighbourhood, homeless, undergoing cancer treatment or living with special needs. Going beyond simply a material donation, our bags are delivered through motivational rallies, led by role-model figures in the STATE PackMen/Women. We leave kids with a bag to carry their “stuff” in, but also a powerful message about giving back, and doing great things for themselves and the community around them. To see how we go beyond the bag, check out our videos: http://www.statebags.com/pages/videos

What does a COMMON day look like for you?
Funny you ask because 1/4 of my day was recently documented by HARRY’S on their “Five O’ Clock Magazine”  http://fiveoclock.harrys.com/post/56/scot-tatelman. But, the rest of my day is more typical - meetings, emails, phone calls, all ending with a somewhat chaotic dinner with my wife, daughter and dog, bath time (for my daughter), and then Jacq and I try and sneak in an hour of adult/non STATE related time…most recently it’s been with either the cast of House of Cards or Scandal. We can’t get enough…

What drives you everyday?
A lot because I feel I was put on Earth to run a business like STATE, but more specifically what drives me is the notion that if we continue to build our brand, we’ll sell a lot of bags, which means we can give a lot of bags. The mission side of the business is my true passion, so if I can help build the additional layers of our business so that it fuels the give-back side, nothing makes me happier.

What can’t you live without?
My phone - not just because we’re on the go so much and I rely on it to continually stay connected with what’s going on, but because it also serves as a constant reminder of why we do what we do. I find myself on the subway all the time looking at pictures and videos of my wife, daughter, dog and kids we’ve served through our summer camp and bag drop events. I want to make them all proud of what we’re doing and to never forget why we started this business in the first place.

If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
Off my phone (that I’ve already admitted I can’t live without) and with my family - wherever and doing whatever.

Help STATE make a difference in local kids’ lives by buying the versatile ASHTON bag today on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were COMMON: Celebrating Mother’s Day with Great Eco-Friendly Gifts

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  1. Treat your mom to a beautiful and luxurious wrap for #MothersDay. Buy it here
  2. The environmentally conscious gift for the active mom: the ultimate yoga pant. #MothersDay
  3. Start her day right with the perfect cup of coffee. #Mothersday
  4. Beautifully designed home products for #MothersDay, for as low as $8.00
  5. We have new moms covered with the completely safe and convenient bottle-feeding starter set for your baby, a wise investment at only $20.00.

(photo courtesy of Boulder Granola)

Shop these green ideas and more today on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were COMMON: Caring About Education and the Environment

1. Teach your kids at an early age about the importance of recycling with this little charmer, perfect for boys and girls! The Recycling Truck is made completely from recycled milk jugs collected locally, and is BPA-free. Buy it for your little ones today.

2. Plastic microbeads used in facial scrubs have been found to be damaging to the environment. Do your part and use swbasics 100% truly all-natural line of products. Using their products helps small family farms and small American manufacturers, but best of all - your skin will love you for using amazing products. Why not start with this perfect travel companion

3. Your yoga practice is a place where you feed the wellness of your body, mind and soul. Shouldn’t what you wear to your practice serve an equally good purpose? Yogamat is a yoga clothing company focused on a minimal carbon footprint while keeping you comfortable and stylish. Try the Isfahan Crop Pant that’s made sweatshop-free in the USA. 

4. Usful Glassworks fulfill a social, environmental and economic need in their community. They also offer vocational and life-skills classes to jobless men and women. Their beautifully repurposed products help fund invaluable, life-changing programs! Shop the collection today. 

5. With your purchase of the Ashton Bag, STATE Bags sends PACKMEN and PACKWOMEN to hand deliver a bag to a child in need. They’re amazing role models that set kids up for success as the best way to shape our future. Buy yours here

Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 

COMMON Inquiries with Bridget Hilton of LSTN Headphones

1. Why did you start LSTN Headphones?
I’m a huge music fan and my life has always revolved around the love of it. I saw a video on YouTube of a woman my age hearing for the first time, I wanted to find a way to repeat the emotion of what I saw in the video on a mass scale, because I couldn’t imagine my own life without sound. So, we started a social enterprise to connect people through music and sound. Our headphones were created to fund programs that give the gift of hearing.

2. What does a COMMON day look like for you?
It really depends. When I’m home in LA, it’s mostly spent at the office with our team and communicating with our charity partner, sales accounts, potential marketing partners and customers. After work, I love cooking, good wine, the outdoors and hanging out with friends. If we’re on the road, the days are spent giving hearing, traveling to meet with potential accounts and doing trade shows.

3. What drives you everyday?
I look up to and am inspired by successful entrepreneurs. As an obsessive reader, I am driven to succeed by reading stories about the companies, artists, designers and philanthropists that have changed the world for the better.

4. What can’t you live without?
On the road, I can’t live without my travel staples - my iPad with Spotify/books loaded and my headphones of course!

5. If you had an extra hour per day, how would you spend it?
I have to be honest and say right now I’d probably choose sleep! Ha!

These seriously cool LSTN headphones give back and help restore hearing to people in need, buy yours today on the COMMON Marketplace, where goods for good are bought and sold. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing. 


(photo credit LSTN Headphones & Starkey Hearing Foundation)

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were COMMON: All About The Kids

  1. The Thinkbaby Starter Set is a wise investment for new parents, you get safe feeding and reduced plastic trash for the planet for only $20.00.
  2. Something as simple as a bar of soap and clean water can save up to 3000 children’s lives every day. Buy a Soap Box Soap for only $5.00 and help a child in need.
  3. Help the good people at State Bags deliver a backpack to an American child in need by buying a cool Ashton Bag today.  
  4. By partnering up with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, LSTN help restore hearing for kids all over the world. Buy your own seriously cool headphones here.  
  5. Skip the toxic ingredients in cleaning products, Branch Basics has created cleaning products safe enough to use in your kids bath! Buy here

The COMMON Marketplace sells goods for good, good for your kids, good for you - good for the planet. Keep up to date with new products and stories from our great partners by following us on TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr and never miss another good thing.