Ethical Business at 30,000 Feet

Something about impending air travel puts me into survival mode. And something about an impending 27+ hours of trans-oceanic air travel puts me into packing-for-a-month-in-the-wild mode - at least, when it comes to snacks. One of my projects lately, as I prepared to travel to Vietnam with Noonday, was to pare down my snack situation...because the list of snacks I feel like I *need* to bring really is a thing to behold. 

But as I did this, I started to notice a theme running through my snacks. And my clothes and more. A theme of brands with purpose. It's a theme I've been intentional about, but you know what? It never has really been that difficult to introduce into my life.

When it comes to buying more ethically, it doesn't have to be difficult. I'm a huge believer in taking small steps, as they come up in your life. Because if you do, you'll look around some day and realize that tweaking a brand here and a decision there adds up, and you'll be inspired to find more ways to infuse kindness into your everyday through more little changes.

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And here's a great way to explore brands you can trust: B Corps. The B Corp, or Benefit Corporation, certification probably isn't as familiar to you as Fair Trade, but I hope it will become widely known in the coming years. You see, B Corp is all about the power of business. We all have seen when businesses amass power in ways that are driven by greed, but I truly believe that when business is done right, it has immense power to change the world. And to quote the shoebox my new Dansko sandals came in, B Corps is "an organization that unites businesses who set high standards for social and environmental performance. It's good B'ing aligned with fellow leaders who have created profitable, competitive companies that also take good care of employees, the community and the environment." Business as it should be.

Gaining certification as a B Corp is a rigorous process, and those who can cut it have opened themselves up to transparency and proven themselves to be operating with social good at their heart. And this is good news for us consumers, because B Corp encompasses numerous industries - meaning the next time you need new glasses or office supplies or a travel agency, perhaps there's a B Corp for you.

I want to share with you some of my favorite B Corps that will be joining me on my journey - not to toot my own horn about all the brands I support, but to show you that a change here and a tweak there can add up over time to a big impact.

So, I now present to you: the B Corps companies that will be making my month-long safari - er, my 21 hours of air travel - and my stay in Vietnam a bit more comfortable, tasty, and stylish.

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Dansko - I had a pair of Dansko clogs over a decade ago that I just about lived in. I loved the arch support and they lasted for years. So when looking for some great, wear-all-day sandals for Vietnam, I fell in love with these red beauties, and the fact that Dansko is a B Corp. They have a foundation and support volunteer work for their employees, creating a beautiful picture of an ethical, for-profit company linking arms with the non-profit world to create change.

Warby Parker - I wear contacts most days, but absolutely not when flying - especially this time, when I might have a weird sleep schedule on the plane. Glasses are key and I was due for new ones last month. I was thrilled to learn I could buy my new glasses from a B Corp! Warby Parker has super stylish frames, a simple try-at-home program (with a quiz to help you decide which frames to try), and a commitment to provide glasses to people in need, thereby increasing their productivity and income.

Noonday Collection - Obviously, this is far and away my favorite B Corp, which is why I joined! While our Fair Trade certification speaks to how our products are produced and our relationship with our artisan partners, our B Corp certification speaks to other aspects of operations: how Noonday's own employees are treated, how we make decisions, and more. In addition to awesome jewelry, I'll be bringing along my favorite work-horse bag, the Rustic Leather Tote, and the Songbird Scarf, which I can compactly fit in the bag and then throw over my bare shoulders when entering a temple or feeling a bit chilly.

Beautycounter - My Beautycounter pouch will be filled with some favorites from this company, like their cheek color, hand cream, and charcoal cleansing bar, which will be so refreshing for a quick clean-up during my layover in Seoul. Beautycounter's message is all about transparency, and I love their emphasis on education, so everyone can learn to care for themselves with clean and safe ingredients. Plus, they're a fellow direct sales company, which means they provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to run their own flexible businesses and earn an income as part of a well-established brand, which I think is pretty great. Shop with your consultant, and if you don't have one, click below - my friend and fellow Noonday Ambassador Hannah will take great care of you.

Dang Foods - Dang makes incredible coconut chips. I may bring these as-is, or turn them into a little snack mix with some chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

Numi Tea - Numi empowers their farming communities and helps bring clean drinking water to them. Their Honeybush tea is one of my favorites of all time, and they also have a great Jasmine Pu-Erh. Being on a plane makes me crave my creature comforts, so I always pack a tea bag or two to steep in some hot water. (Edit: Did I say one or two? That's cute. I just counted and I have set aside no fewer than 13 tea bags, in several flavors, for a 10-day trip. Get a grip, Julie. I'm pretty sure they will have tea in Vietnam.)

Patagonia - although many of my clothes for the trip are from a great consignment store, I'm bringing along an athletic top from Patagonia, in case a group of us ends up taking a hike. Patagonia emphasizes buying quality pieces (this top has lasted a couple of years already) and taking care of them. Many of their product lines are Fair Trade, and they're heavily involved in environmental activism.

Want to learn more? Grab your copy of my Ethical Shopping Guide below, which covers lots of brands I love and includes some referral codes for you!

Want to follow along on my journey to Vietnam? Be sure to join my Insiders group on Facebook and follow me on Instagram!

What are your favorite ways to bring some joy into a long day of air travel?