At Shopify, over a million independent businesses, from a variety of industries and walks of life, create their own version of change through commerce.
Here’s a list of Shopify stores that supply a jolt of inspiration for those who are on the journey of building their own business. These businesses are creating change by turning trash into fabrics, preserving heritage variety of crops, developing cult-favorite beauty products, eliminating single-use items, and so much more. Check out these stores and see how businesses are using their products and services to express who they are and what they believe in, while building for the future.
When Denise Woodard couldn’t find healthy snacks for her daughter, Vivane, that were also allergy friendly, she founded Partake Foods. Partake offers cookies in flavors like chocolate chip, birthday cake, and ginger snaps that are school safe and free of the top 8 allergens as well as artificial colors, preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients.
For over a decade, Uppercase magazine has offered interesting articles and photos focused on craft, fashion, illustration, and design, all wrapped up in a beautifully printed package. Creator and editor Janine Vangool uses her platform to feature fellow creators and, since launching in 2009, has expanded the publication to include Little U, a tiny magazine for the young and young at heart, and Encyclopedia, a series of books that deep dive on topics like ceramics, quilting, and printmaking.
Hiut Denim is based in Cardigan, Wales, a town that, until 2002, was home to the biggest jeans factory in the United Kingdom Hiut Denim was founded in 2011 to take advantage of the jean-making skills and knowhow that remained with many locals, showcase their dedication to craft and bring manufacturing back to Cardigan. Dedicated to making the best jeans, not the most jeans, Hiut Denim focuses on details, satisfaction, and quality.
Founded by Métis entrepreneur Sean McCormick in 1997 and based in Manitoba, Canada, Manitobah Mukluks keeps and celebrates Indigenous traditions through footwear. Its Storyboot Project collection is made in partnership with Indigenous elders and artisans. On the flip side, to make its footwear accessible to more people, there are also lines made internationally.
Package Free founder and CEO Lauren Singer is on a mission to make the world less trashy by selling beauty and household items that come package free. Lauren lives a zero waste lifestyle and has dedicated her life and business to creating less wasteful consumer behaviors. Her 2015 Tedx Talk generated millions of views discussed how to have a zero-waste lifestyle and showcased her 16-oc. Mason jar containing three years’ worth of trash.
Much like a charming flower shop, Flourist showcases each of its grains, beans, and freshly milled flours like a fresh blooming bouquet. Flourist sells 100% traceable and freshly stone-milled flours and dried goods, and offers pages on its website dedicated to telling more about the farmers it works with. The store is a haven for baking enthusiasts—sourcing ingredients from Flourist is an exploration in the difference of freshly milled flours and heritage grains.
Footballer Tim Brown and engineer Zoey Zwillinger are the cofounders behind Allbirds, a footwear company that puts natural materials and sustainability first. Allbirds is a merge of comfort and consciousness, with threads made from wool and eucalyptus, simple designs, and packaging made from 90% post-consumer recycled cardboard.
Founded by designer Catalina Girald and Golden Globe-winning actress Gina Rodriguez, Naja makes inclusive undergarments in multiple nude colors to match every shade of skin tone. The company employs single mothers and female heads of households to empower women through employment. Naja also gives 2% of its sales to support sewing programs at local foundations.
United By Blue removes a pound of trash from the ocean and waterways for each product sold. The apparel and home goods company founded by Brian Linton incorporates sustainability through all areas of its operation. United By Blue is committed to ending the use of single-use plastics like poly bags, bubble wrap sleeves, and plastic tape. It also hosts organized cleanups, allowing customers to get involved with the company’s mission without even making a purchase.
Co-founded by Ariel Gough and Edwina Govindsamy, Bailly is a vegan all-natural fragrance company that gives away 15% of every sale from our Girl Power collection benefits the Just Like My Child Foundation’s Girl Power Project. As coconut oil-based scents, Bailly products will not irritate or overpower while providing a soft scent that’s also moisturizing to the skin.
Pernell Cezar Jr. and Rod Johnson founded BLK & Bold with the purpose of helping local communities through the sale of caffeinated beverages. BLK & Bold leverages wholesale and direct-to-consumer as a force to equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome unfortunate circumstances. The company pledges 5% of profits to initiatives that sustain youth programs, enhance workforce development, and eradicate youth homelessness.
Browsing Adored Vintage’s website of vintage clothing and vintage-inspired modern pieces is like a virtual escape to a romantic French countryside. Owner Rodellee Bas curates and creates pieces out of her affinity for silhouettes of times past. Adored Vintage donates a portion of its revenue to local classrooms, and Rodellee is a regular mentor to other women in business.
Founded by Indigenous owner Jennifer Harper, Cheekbone Beauty creates beauty products that are vegan and cruelty free. As part of the brand’s commitment to becoming waste free by 2023, its lipsticks are packaged in biodegradable paper and use 85% less plastic than traditional lipstick tubes. Cheekbone Beauty’s team founded First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and continues to support its initiatives by donating 10% of the profits to Shannen’s Dream.
Life and business partners Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki are the visual artists and founders behind Meow Meow Tweet. This organic vegan skincare company is known for its products made from natural ingredients and its sustainable packaging featuring whimsical illustrations drawn by Jeff. In addition to donating to and supporting organizations that align with its values, Meow Meow Tweet offers a bulk refill program to reduce packaging and waste and a system for customers who would like to return their empty containers for the team to reuse.
Mom of three Izabela Erşahin is the founder and designer of Bebemoss, a Turkey-based sustainable children’s toy company. Beemoss proudly employs stay-at-home mothers and offers fair pay. Most of the mothers it hires are refugees from Syria, working to rebuild their lives in Turkey. From adorable lions to unicorns to rabbits, each toy is made by moms who are making a living to support their families.
Kirrin Finch is an apparel company offering gender-defying clothes inspired by menswear but designed to fit a range of female and non-binary bodies. Co-founders Kelly and Laura Moffat source eco-friendly fabrics and implement practices that reduce pollution while partnering with fair labor and ethical manufacturers to produce each garment.
Rothy’s transforms eco-friendly materials into stylish footwear and accessories through 3D knitting technology. It also strives for zero waste. Over 60 million plastic water bottles and counting have been turned into bags or shoes by Rothy’s, and its shoeboxes are strong enough to ship without additional packaging. They’re also biodegradable, made with 85% post-consumer recycled materials.
Tomi Gbeleyi used social media to create a community that showcased and celebrated diversity within the beauty industry. By highlighting talent within the community, Tomi created a line of products specifically designed for deeper skin tones. Building MFMG is a way for Tomi to shift the narrative within the beauty industry, push for inclusivity, and get the community as a whole to expand beyond its existing range of shades and tones and create with diversity in mind.
Founded by sisters Sujata and Taniya Biswas, Suta is a fashion house based in Mumbai, India dedicated to employing weavers and artisans in disempowered communities and using sustainable fabrics. Mixing unique handmade fabrics with classic saree silhouettes, dresses, and blouses, Suta’s pieces represent a meeting of tradition, creativity, and design.
Dana Jackson was diagnosed with a severe form of Lupus. The disease impacted her hair and skin, and Dana began searching for pure, all-natural products to rejuvenate her. Dana’s beauty line, Beneath Your Mask, is dedicated to using non-toxic, pure, all-natural ingredients to bring nourishing and healing to beauty routines.
Inspired by time spent immersed in Hawaii, Dave Luba and Kalen Emsley founded Tentree as a way to positively impact the environment through commerce. For every item sold, Tentree plants 10 trees, with a goal of planting over a billion trees by 2030.
Beauty products packaged and named after baked goods is just one of the sweet things about Beauty Bakerie. Founder Cashmere Nicole went through her share of ups and downs on her journey of entrepreneurship, from being a single mom to battling breast cancer. But her beauty routine has always brought moments of sweetness. Now the maker of cult-favorite items and a coveted beauty brand, Beauty Bakerie started Sugar Homes in 2016 to support and sponsor orphanages by providing funding and supplies.
Artisaire is the epitome of a business honing in and dedicating itself to a craft, in this case, the art of wax sealing. From customized wax stamps to premade wax seals, Artisaire has made an old tradition new again. Owning each step of the production process, Artisaire makes all of its items in its Canadian factory. The Thomsen family who run Artisaire still find joy in handwriting their own thank you notes and sealing each one by hand.
Designer and cosmetics historian Gabriela Hernandez channels the glamor of her grandmother’s beauty routine into great vintage-inspired beauty products. From 1920s-inspired cake mascara to long-wearing classic color lipsticks, all of Bésame Cosmetics’ line is 100% cruelty-free, formulated for sensitive skin, and produced in California.
Located in Milton, Ontario, Terre Bleu’s owners, Ian and Isabelle Baird, left behind the busy city life for the country—and to start a lavender farm. Terre Bleu has attracted many visitors looking to soak in its atmosphere, which brings a piece of Provence to Canada. The Bairds also have expanded their business to include a line of lavender-infused beauty, food, and household products.
Roz Campbell founded Tsuno to create period products made from eco-responsible materials. Tsuno’s sustainable bamboo fiber sanitary pads and organic cotton tampons also provide support for disempowered women. Half of the products Tsuno makes are donated to charities that focus on education and menstruation support.
Cartoonist Harry Hambley was a teenager when he started sharing his character Bean on Instagram, under the handle @Ketnipz. Ketnipz’s positivity, puns, and humor caught the attention of millions and allowed Harry to work with art festivals and Instagram, and to create his own merchandise. Bean’s positivity and cuteness can be found on sweaters, t-shirts, and accessories.
Founder and CEO Vineeta Singh wanted to create cosmetics for fellow Indian beauty enthusiasts designed with their skin tone and weather conditions in mind, such as humidity-proof foundations and vibrant lipsticks. This Mumbai-based beauty company grew from an idea into an Indian direct-to-consumer and retail giant.
Inspired by Tofino’s moss-draped trees, lush greenery, and ocean waves, Angela L’Heureux modernized her family recipes to create candles, soaps, and body care products under the name Tofino Soap Company. Tofino is committed to using 100% natural ingredients, some from Angela’s garden, others forged in the wild or, whenever possible, bought from fair trade suppliers. Each item is produced in small batches and packed with sustainability in mind—80% of Tofino’s packaging is made from glass and biodegradable paper stock.
Founded by Enrico Casati and Jacopo Sebastio, Velasca was born as a direct-to-consumer solution to reduce the distribution layers of handcrafted leather shoes in order to provide them at more affordable prices. Its products are a showcase for Italian shoemaking and the brand is dedicated to bringing employment to the heart of the Marche region. Velasca has grown to employ over 10 families of shoemakers while running more than a dozen retail stores throughout Europe.
Motivated by her daughter’s skin conditions and eczema diagnosis with, Satya founder Patrice Mousseau began researching and testing the creation of effective, nontoxic, and fragrance-free skin products. Made with just five certified organic ingredients, Satya’s line provides a simple alternative to traditional skincare. Proudly Indigenous- and female-owned, Satya is also committed to being carbon neutral, not testing on animals, and using sustainable materials in its packaging.
Isabel Aagaard, Kare Frandsen, and Nicolas Aagaard founded LastObject with a mission to design replacements for single-use items. Through successful crowdfunding campaigns, the LastObject team created reusable swabs and tissues that have at least 10 times real environmental impact than their traditional single-use counterparts.
Starting with a single neighborhood café in Santa Cruz in 2007, Mike Eyre, Ryan O’Donovan, and Colby Barrbuilt Verve Coffee into a multifaceted business that includes over a dozen retail locations in the United States and Japan, a wholesale distribution arm, and an online shop. Through it all, Verve has placed its commitment to sustainable growing practices and supporting farmers above everything else, through its Farmlevel initiative, which preserves heirloom coffee varieties, manages nurseries, and pays fair prices.
Wanting to create a beauty company with future generations in mind, Arden Teasdale and Hayley McKenzie started Unwrapped Life to provide products that eliminate the juxtaposition between sustainability and effectiveness. With shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars wrapped in compostable paper, their items are virtually wasteless. Applying this waste reduction philosophy to all areas of business, Unwrapped Life set up an extensive network of wholesalers to help reduce shipping while reaching more users and starting a refill program for liquid products with a retail partner in Calgary, Alberta.
John Nanci founded Chocolate Alchemy to not only provide cacao beans but also his wealth of knowledge to those wanting to enter the world of bean-to-bar chocolate making. The art and science of making chocolate is daunting, to say the least, but John and his team remove some of the mystery. With lessons on beans, nibs, and molds, Chocolate Alchemy is a school for those enchanted by the magic of chocolate.
Benjamin Sehl, Rami Helali, and Mackenzie Yeates launched KOTN with a desire to create simple closet essentials that were both affordable and good quality. Sourcing directly from the Nile Delta, KOTN’s pieces are made with Egyptian cotton that’s finer, softer, and more breathable than other types of cotton. Supporting the local economy and farming families that have seen a massive decline in business since larger corporations moved away, KOTN buys directly from farmers at guaranteed prices while funding the construction of schools in the region to raise literacy rates.
TPMOCS was founded by Maria Running Fisher Jones with a mission to continue the emphasis her mother placed on recognizing and giving back to her own Indigenous roots. TPMOCS’s baby footwear is a meaningful way to address poverty by providing employment and resources for Indigenous communities in need. With teams located in California, Washington, and Montana, TPMOCS currently works with The Blackfeet tribe.
Chip Malt’s extensive ecommerce background complemented Jake Kalick’s third-generation expertise in cookware manufacturing when the two launched Made In Cookware to disrupt the kitchenware industry. Working with multi-generational makers and renowned chefs, Made In Cookware delivers quality pots, pans, and knives directly to cooking enthusiasts at affordable prices, without the layers of traditional distribution models.
Brothers Jamil and Gamal Codner were inspired during a trip to Africa to bring back traditional grooming habits and oils to the US. Fresh Heritage’s products are designed to nourish and strengthen hair specifically for men of color. With grooming kits, beard oils, and combs, Fresh Heritage is servicing a market that’s been underrepresented.
Charlotte Cho, the skincare and beauty curator and founder behind Soko Glam, decided it was time to create a line of skincare products of her own. Then I Met You celebrates the idea of “jeong”—the feeling of empathy and affection for people, places, and things. After a decade-long testing, the line of cruelty-free skincare products was created, bringing to market transformative experiences for users, made by leading chemists and manufacturers in Korea.
Each water bottle sold by GiveMeTap provides a person in Ghana with clean drinking water for five years. Edwin Broni-Mensah founded GiveMeTap after having difficulty finding a water refill station in his homebase of London. Edwin built an app to showcase the eateries and establishments that offered free water refills to reduce the use of disposable bottled waters. With the dual commitment of reducing single-use plastic bottles and providing water to those in need, Give Me Tap has provided over 50,000 individuals with clean water for life and reduced about 45 million plastic bottles as of late 2019.
Mel Wells took more than two years to craft and launch Beefcake Swimwear, a line of sustainable and ethically made suits inspired by 1920s fashion. These thoughtfully produced, androgynous pieces are manufactured by people making a living wage in Portland, Oregon. Staying as transparent as possible, Mel has openly shared how the cost of making a piece for Beefcake Swimwear breaks down.
Silk and Willow is a sustainable wedding decor boutique designed for the environmentally conscious. Founder Shellie Pomery began her career as a graphic designer before finding her calling creating fabrics with natural dyes. Silk and Willow carries plant-dyed silk ribbons, table linens, and handmade stationery and is a place to get lost within each beautiful detail associated with planning a wedding.
Life and business partners Alex Whitmore and Kathleen Fulton are the founders behind Taza Chocolate. Inspired by the rustic taste and texture of Mexican chocolate, Taza stone grinds its ingredients for a gritty and intense flavor. Taza Chocolate works directly with farmers to ensure fairness and ethical treatment and has set up a third-party direct-trade certification. The company’s payments, farming partners, and impacts can all be found in its annual transparency reports.
When founder Stacia Guzzo’s mother discovered she had breast cancer after noticing a lump in her armpit, Stacia began deeply researching cancer risk factors. After learning about the link between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer, Stacia set out to create deodorants of her own. SmartyPits was born to create a safer alternative to traditional deodorants and antiperspirants by eliminating paraben, phthalate, talc, and aluminum, while also being cruelty free and packed in 100% recyclable materials.
When Rick Pollack began experimenting with 3D printing in the early 2000s, he was working full time while making parts and fixing homemade printers in his spare time. Finally, in 2009, Rick started MakerGear to provide parts and eventually create his own line of 3D printers. Since then, MarkerGear has received many accolades, provided a source of local employment in Ohio, and, above all, helped creators make products of their own.
Founded in 2015, Parkland turns plastic into backpacks and accessories. All of its exterior fabrics are made from 100% recycled water bottles, while its “leather” accents are made from apples. Merging functional design with purpose, each item is a way to buy better and waste less.
The Honey Pot is an all-natural feminine care company powered by herbs, made by women, and backed by science. Founder Bea Dixon wanted to help other women find relief when she experienced discomfort from bacterial vaginosis for months. With products designed for specific use cases like expecting or current moms, or those on the go, or looking to sooth, heal, or rejuvenate, The Honey Pot provides natural ways to calm itch and irritation and handle menstruation.
Topper Luciani founded Goodfair to give clothing headed to landfills a second chance. Unlike most vintage or secondhand clothing retailers, Goodfair doesn’t list each item individually. Instead, customers buy mystery bundles. This process saves time and money for the company and the savings are passed on to the customers. Combating the culture of fast fashion, this low-carbon initiative is changing the way people are buying preloved fashion pieces.
Kristen Quigley founded Lunchskins as a way to eliminate the use of plastic wrappers, bags, and containers when packing lunches and snacks for her kids. The reusable bags are dishwasher safe and grease and moisture proof, while the line of paper bags are unbleached and compostable. Every online order raises funds for the Oceanic Preservation Society, and since 2015, Lunchskins has also designed a cause bag, where 10% of its proceeds are donated to various conservation organizations, such as the Sea Turtle Conservancy and 5Gyres.