Matt Richardson, cofounder of socially conscious company CAUSEBOX, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Attending college, he realized he could use that impulse for good and it has since strived to give consumers options that are better for the people who create products and also the planet we all share.

We swept up with him recently to speak about his company and the need for socially conscious consumers. Here’s what he'd to say.

Experience Life| What is CAUSEBOX?

Matt Richardson | CAUSEBOX is the best way to discover brands that are giving back and making the planet better. Each season we curate between 6 to 8 socially conscious products for ladies — in categories such as apparel and jewellery, homewares, skincare, and beauty products. Each company gives in its own way, ranging from artisan impact and empowerment programs to radically sustainable skincare formulations.

EL| How long has CAUSEBOX existed?

MR | The Fall 2021 Box will be our 16th box — and can mark the completion of our fourth year! We started the organization in Winter 2021.

EL| What inspired you to start CAUSEBOX?

MR | We believe that if consumers know that they have better options, plus they know the stories behind these options, they’ll make smarter and more sustainable choices. The choice to support companies that care about people and our world are some of the most important choices we make as humans. Ultimately, all of us get to vote with our dollars and that we need to realize the importance of our vote. If enough people still support social enterprises, there will be more social enterprises to aid, and this has an enormous effect on the health and well-being of people, and also the health of our planet.

EL| How's CAUSEBOX different than other online product-subscription companies? 

MR | Our concentrate on brand stories sets us apart. We don’t just send our members a box filled with products and expect them to try and figure out why we chose these products and who made them — we incorporate a beautiful print magazine with long-form content filled with rich storytelling, and beautifully styled product. We would like people to not only know who made their product, why that person made their product, what inspired these to start their company and employ their company as a vehicle permanently.

We’re able to be different than other product-subscription companies because we actually work with brands that have stories worth telling. Most conventional brands create products to make money alone, to fill some market void, or strictly aesthetic reasons. We work with brands that create products to help people, educate people, and provide aesthetic alternatives to everyday products.

EL| What is the process both you and your team go through to choose products for each CAUSEBOX?

MR | We receive dozens of partnership requests every week from brands wanting to be part of CAUSEBOX. A big portion of our job is curating those, and then reaching out to brands whose work and products we admire, and who we want to work with. We have a Merchandising Team who spends incredible intervals composing a seasonally appropriate, beautiful, and meaningfully curated experience for the members each season.

EL| How have you become interested in socially conscious products?

MR | That’s a tough one to pinpoint. I think that on some level, like numerous others in the world of social enterprise, an easy switch for me went off when I first discovered TOMS Shoes. Their pursuit to give one pair of shoes away for every pair they sold was so incredibly clear that it made it easy to digest the possibility of consumer impact — and it enabled a kind of giving that fell outside of the boundaries of traditional charity.

Prior to starting CAUSEBOX, I cofounded a stationery company with my same CAUSEBOX cofounder, and that we donated a book to children without use of literature for every set of cards we sold. That eventually become CAUSEBOX, because we recognized that companies like ours needed help getting discovered.

EL| How would be the values of these companies influencing your personal life choices?

MR | Apart from supporting the companies that we learn about and partner with via CAUSEBOX in my everyday life — and making a reason for choosing sustainable, ethical products and clothing — I've got a deep passion for the outdoors, along with a belief in the connectedness of all people. It has caused me to educate myself about the environmental impact of so many of the decisions we make every day.

One of the first and most obvious shifts that I made in response to what I’ve discovered the environmental crisis was the shift to a vegetarian diet. It felt like an obvious and important expression of values which are built into our business.

EL| How many charities have you helped since you’ve started CAUSEBOX together with your proceeds?

MR | It’s hard to say. So many of the companies we support also support charities themselves — and contribute arises from our partnerships to those charities. We’ve caused more than 100 social enterprises and set thousands and thousands of artisans to work over the past few years.

EL| What are three small things that someone can do to become a more socially conscious consumer?

MR | Join CAUSEBOX, watch documentaries, and consume less food meat.