Beauty brands may exist to make money, but they’re run by creative, empathic, and compassionate people. These individuals care about far more than profit or surface aesthetics, so they’re always looking for ways to support causes that matter. When brands strike that balance, they don’t just make a positive difference to the world; they inspire customers to do the same.
Industry • Inspiration
Make a Difference and a Profit — Get Inspired by These Brands That Give Back
Some beauty brands go beyond self-care and surface aesthetics to make the world a better place.
Here are six beauty brands that put money where their mouths and hearts are.
Rare Beauty & philosophy
Beauty brands have a close connection to self-care and wellness, so it’s no surprise that many brands opt to address mental health issues. Selena Gomez’s makeup line, Rare Beauty, is an excellent example. For a start, the company maintains a Rare Impact page that collects mental health resources, articles, statistics, and support links. Next, Rare Beauty redirects 1% of all product sales to the Rare Impact fund, an initiative that contributes to mental health foundations. The fund places a strong emphasis on supporting teens and young adults through partner organizations like the Jed Foundation, the Peer Health Exchange, and The Trevor Project.
Rare Beauty isn’t alone when it comes to tackling mental health awareness. The skincare brand philosophy also donates a percentage of every sale to a women’s mental health fund, the hope & grace initiative. Since 2014, this fund has provided $5.4 million in grants to 71 different mental health organizations, improving the well-being of an estimated 1.8 million women. While there’s still work to do, it’s encouraging to see these brands take a strong position on mental health advocacy.
Rihanna is best known as a singer and actress, but her business acumen is completely on point. She is the founder and co-founder of multiple Fenty product lines, including a cosmetics brand, fashion house, and lingerie company. Before creating any of these operations, Rihanna focused on charitable works with the Clara Lionel Foundation, named in honor of her grandparents. So naturally, her Fenty brands create new opportunities to contribute to good causes in their names.
The Clara Lionel Foundation is a nonprofit charity that prioritizes education, advocacy, and emergency preparedness. Its programs focus on uplifting communities with educational investments, such as creating primary and secondary schools. In recent years, CLF has directed its attention to climate emergencies, donating millions of dollars toward short-term disaster relief and long-term infrastructure projects. And that’s before we get into the $47 million CLF contributed to global COVID relief and racial justice initiatives.
So how does Fenty help? Outside of Rihanna’s direct contributions, the cosmetic line supports a Clara Lionel Foundation collection where 100% of proceeds support the fund. If you’re not interested in a makeup purchase, there’s a direct CLF “product listing” that lets you donate directly. It’s not like we needed another reason to love Rihanna, but we’ll gladly take this one.
Water is the inspiration for La Mer’s various products, so it’s only natural to learn the brand is dedicated to ocean conservation. In 2017, La Mer created the Blue Heart Oceans Fund, a project dedicated to habitat protection and awareness. Since then, Blue Heart has planted mangroves in the Caribbean, boosted conservation efforts in the East China Sea, donated to the OceanEcho 30x30 initiative, and more.
Over the past several years, the company has introduced new ways to celebrate World Oceans Day and promote Blue Heart. Initiatives include:
Making $25 donations for social media posts that feature a branded hashtag
La Mer team members donate their time to beach cleanups and artificial coral planting
Releasing a limited edition moisturizer jar with ocean-themed packaging
Jessica Alba’s health and wellness brand, Honest, offers a wide range of products to new parents and their families. When it comes to philanthropic giving, that’s also where Honest’s generosity begins. The company frequently donates products to families and individuals that need them most, whether in response to a disaster or to supply community partners. As just one example, Honest recently gave 3 million diapers to families who were isolated during COVID-19.
These donations only scratch the surface of Honest’s “Butterfly Effect.” The team also plays a direct role in disaster relief, volunteering over 18,000 hours to nonprofits by serving meals and managing beach cleanup projects. Then there’s Honest’s partnership with March of Dimes, which supports maternal health research and advocacy. Finally, Honest is quite vocal in its support for social justice, donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. If Honest tackles much more, it might be easier to list the projects they don’t support.
All charitable causes have one thing in common: the most critical work usually takes place at a local level. That’s why Lush dedicated its charitable goals not towards a specific need but to grassroots teams that are most likely to achieve them. Efforts include a broad range of human rights, animal protection, and environmental justice projects, including:
Montréal en Action, which combats systemic discrimination and inequality
PangeaSeed Foundation, a Hawaiian organization dedicated to ocean conservation
Movement Rights, an indigenous-led climate justice movement that operates within a tribal cultural framework
Lush supports these organizations with the Charity Pot, a self-preserving body lotion made from vegan, organic, and ethically sourced ingredients. The company donates the purchase price of every Charity Poto sold to grants for grassroots organizations. Since 2007, Charity Pot sales have provided $53 million to almost 3,000 projects in 80 countries worldwide.
Each of these brands is earning incredible profits while making the world a better place. Whether they inspire our own journeys or make us think about the products we stock, here’s hoping we can all learn positive lessons from their examples.
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