The London, Ontario based company Cole and Parker makes business with high-quality socks. First, they create bold and creative socks. Then, they sell the products (a pairs is $24). The most wonderful part comes when 20% of proceeds from each pair sold are donated to Kiva, a non profit organization that facilitates micro loans to entrepreneurs with small incomes all around the world.
Photo source: designoftheworld
Jeff House and Diana Charabin are Cole and Parker founders. The two self-described serial entrepreneurs are looking to work only with genuine, energetic and optimistic people. Is not hard to understand the company’s culture if only looking at the socks they produce. The flashy socks aspect is the result of Juan Mendez work, a Columbian born designer, while the design concept belongs to Joe Patterson, founder of Toesox.com. Cole and Parker socks are made of cotton mixed with elastane, which offer a snug and tight fit.
Jeff House became interested in micro-loans after he traveled to Columbia in 2010 with a micro-financing organization. There he realized that the concept is a good way to help people to have access to small loans that nobody else were given them.
The micro finance part of the business is done in collaboration with Kiva, the world’s largest micro-loan distributor. Through Kiva, the money from Cole and Parker can fund multiple start-ups over the course of a loan. After the entrepreneur pays back the micro loan, the money is recycled into others micro loans and the procedure is repeated over and over creating a sustainable cycle.
Cole and Parker “One for Many” business model was inspired from the “One for One” model made famous by Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS shoes).
Cole and Parker is a fun, but responsible enterprise, as its founders claim. Cole and Parker aims to get bigger to help more. Would you buy Cole and Parker socks knowing that part of the profit can help many entrepreneurs in low-income communities?
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