#LoveLocal: How homegrown Filipino brands are practicing corporate social responsibility

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How can practicing corporate social responsibility help your company grow?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be defined as the ethical behavior of a company towards society. Companies must hold themselves accountable for the impact they have on the environment, their employees, and their consumers, showing that they are not only interested in earning a profit. Some of the most common examples of CSR include: donating to charities, reducing carbon footprints, volunteering in the community, improving labor policies, and creating new policies to benefit the environment. 

Social responsibility isn’t a fad. The need for a company to be socially responsible is increasing in importance for consumers. Research shows that 55% of surveyed members of Generation Z say that they are more inclined to buy from brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. In a 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report, it showed that 66% of respondents are willing to pay more for products from companies whose values align with their own. 

It goes without saying that all companies must practice CSR, but there are some companies who go above and beyond and turn their whole brand into one that promotes social responsibility. Their marketing strategy focuses on attracting customers whose values align with their own and who wish to be able to make a positive difference with their purchase.

Listed below are some homegrown Filipino brands that you should support because of their excellent initiatives and practices of corporate social responsibility.

ANTHILL Fabric Gallery

ANTHILL stands for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indegenous or Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers. They are a Cebu-based social and cultural enterprise dedicated to celebrating Filipino culture while also preserving the living tradition that is weaving. Their business model is human and community-centered which involves designers, weavers, and production partners who all create a sustainable and inclusive supply chain. ANTHILL sources and collects scrap fabric from their corporate partners, individuals, and other commercial sources that would have otherwise gone to a landfill, and upcycle them into fabric or other production materials. 

Not only do they practice environmental sustainability, but the company also hosts a Community Enterprise Development Program (CEDP) for their partners, workers, and stakeholders. This program is a culture based modular coursework composed of dialogue and workshops, which include the following courses: cultural appreciation, business skills transfer, financial literacy and savings program, and more. The CEDP is aimed to provide participants with the capacity to build more opportunities outside of their current job.

Sip PH

Sip is a Filipino enterprise that champions waste management solutions by encouraging individuals to become more responsible with the waste they produce. The products they have mainly consist of stainless steel straws, bamboo cutlery, tumblers, and eco-friendly containers. Sip, besides creating and curating eco-friendly products, conducts the initiative called ‘The Last Straw.’ It was created to make students, residents, and business owners more aware of the hazardous effects of plastic waste and encourage them to take concrete steps with Sip. 

One of the businesses they partnered with is Kandle Cafe in Quezon City, which is well-known for the practice of reducing single use plastic consumption. The Last Straw initiative provided Kandle Cafe with stainless steel straws as well as education collaterals which allowed them to communicate their environmental initiative better to the customers. 

As of 2019, The Last Straw has partnered with 31 establishments that either have no straws at all, reusable straws, or serve them only upon request.

Messy Bessy

Photo from Nolisoli.

Messy Bessy has become a household name thanks to their popular natural, chemical-free household and personal care cleaners. Some of the products they sell include an all-natural all-purpose scrub, dust mite spray, fabric freshener spray, and odor absorber bags, all of which are made from biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients. 

What some people may not know about Messy Bessy is that they are a social enterprise who employ at-risk young adults (i.e. trafficked, impoverished) and provide them with work training, value formation classes, and self-sustained education. This enterprise exists under Project H.O.U.S.E. (Helping Ourselves through Sustainable Enterprises) whose main goal is to educate, empower, and employ these young adults. By training and employing them at Messy Bessy, they will hopefully gain the skills and education they need to find a long-term job in the future. By purchasing a container of liquid laundry detergent for PHP275, you would be funding one hour of college classes for their student beneficiaires. 

As of 2019, Messy Bessy under Project HOUSE was able to produce 38 college graduates and 22 Alternative Learning System passers. Messy Bessy is a perfect example of a company who practices CSR through their initiatives targeting environmental sustainability, development, and education.If you’re a brand who practices CSR, it is more likely that you will earn the trust of your customers and earn more profit; at the same time, you will have raised awareness for social issues and contributed to enacting social change. It’s a win-win situation.

Visual by: J Daluz

Edited by: Mica Magsanoc

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