Why Impact Matters
by Ryan Roff on Jul 31, 2019
Why Impact Matters
On a cold November evening in 2013, the boldSOCKS founders and I walked into a room with 30-40 other volunteers not knowing how that evening would impact our lives and the lives of thousands of others. Lined up against the back wall of a dimly lit attic space were hundreds of jerry cans with the words “20 Liters” painted on the sides. That number represented the amount of clean water the average person walks for throughout the course of a day.
After a brief introduction, we got to work. During our few hours together, we collectively built hundreds of filters and heard stories about the lives of those receiving the filters. It was inspiring. We were helping, even if just in a small way, to solve one of the world’s greatest crises of our time: dirty water.
A few days later, while sitting at my desk at work, I received an email providing a recap of the evening. Instead of feeling hopeful, however, I learned that 20 Liters needed to raise about $100/filter to cover the costs of the filters and transport them to Rwanda. To imagine hundred of filters sitting in a warehouse collecting dust until year-end giving could generate enough donations to finally ship the filters shocked me.
We knew, at that moment, that this was the cause we would champion. Clean water, on average, provides a seven-fold return on investment. Instead of hindering economies through charity products, clean water filtration systems create jobs and help communities flourish.
We loved the idea of socks giving people a new, bold step forward in life. We developed a social enterprise model with our brand Statement Sockwear: every pair of Statement Sockwear sold would help provide 100 days of clean water for someone in Rwanda.
Now, five years later, we have over 350 sock styles and have helped reach 42,000 people with that number climbing by about 1,000 people each month. That is just short of 40 million days of clean water and an accomplishment, for all our customer and employees, that is worth celebrating.
We hope to continue to take bold steps forward to make a positive impact on the world both in the US and afar. Over the next year, we will be working with each of our brands to better understand their social and environmental impact and shine a light on their positive contributions in the world through partnerships with charities and environmental organizations.