When it comes to the bottom line, mission-driven companies consider the 3 P’s: planet, people, and profit. While the first ‘p,’ planet, with a focus on producing more eco-friendly products has taken off, the second ‘p,’ people, can sometimes get lost.
That’s why Toad & Co CEO Gordon Seabury developed several programs to employ and support individuals with developmental or physical disabilities. “I thought we could lead in sustainable business practices but realized pretty quickly there were other larger outdoor brands already focused there. Our leadership role [would be] to introduce a social mission to the industry. No one was focused on the People part of Planet, People, Profit.”
The Santa Barbara-based outdoor brand uses a packing warehouse in Chicago where they employ 4 individuals with developmental disabilities. Twenty years ago, when Toad & Co started the program, Seabury was inspired by Ben & Jerry’s. At the time, the iconic ice cream company had a bakery in Brooklyn that made cookies and brownies for their ice cream. The employees were recently released inmates and the program was focused on providing meaningful work training to reduce recidivism. Ben & Jerry’s had partnered with Search, Inc. to identify the employees.
“As far as I know, we were one of the first for profit/ not-for-profit joint ventures of its kind in the developmentally disabled community,” Seabury says.
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