Being a socially responsible company is a powerful way to change the world. It's also a great way to advertise yourself to clients and create a loyal customer base.

To maintain a business that has a social ethic, hire employees who share in company values (ahead of their resume qualifications) and offer customers a connection to the product that goes beyond the purchase.

These are the lessons of Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver at Toms. When Mycoskie began his famous one-for-one company, giving a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair purchased, he sold in local shops and to family and friends. As soon as the LA Times got wind of his company, publishing an article about its innovative approach, the business exploded.

The day the article came out, Toms received orders for 2,200 pairs of shoes by 2 o’clock that afternoon. "But I only had 140 pairs in my apartment. This was the first of my many supply chain problems to come," says Mycoskie.

Today, business continues apace and Toms has expanded to sell coffee and eye glasses, continuing its commitment to share profit with those less well off. 

As English businessman Martin Sorrell explains, social responsibility is not just about doing good, though it's a great "side effect." Creating a sustainable business is just good for business:

When it comes to maintaining his business, Mycoskie says it's essential to give people more of what they want: a connection to an organization doing good for the world. That means allowing customers to be connected to the product through the life cycle of the purchase. 

"That puts pressure on us to create other activities that they can do, events, activism. They are really looking at us more as a movement than as a company."

And in order to maintain that culture of activism, hiring employees based on their values is more important than hiring for resume qualifications alone. 

Read more at the Guardian

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