The Uncommon Life

UncommonGoods for the Common Good

May 13, 2016

While our business has grown a lot since our founding in 1999, UncommonGoods’ commitment to positively impacting the communities we touch has not wavered. If you’ve shopped with UncommonGoods before, you know that being socially conscious is a concept baked right into our company DNA. From founder and CEO Dave Bolotsky meeting with President Obama, to advocating for small businesses, to paying our lowest-paid seasonal workers more than 50% above the federal minimum wage, to advocating for mandated paid family leave in the State of New York, UncommonGoods has been able to successfully champion progressive business practices since from day one. Below are a few choice highlights from our mission in promoting social good.

American Forests

Photo courtesy of our Better to Give partner American Forests

Minimum Wage

Dave has been a long-time supporter of a higher minimum wage where everyone can achieve a decent quality of life. His philosophy has always been that if “wages are too low for even full-time workers to buy basic necessities, workers turn to taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps and Medicaid,” meaning taxpayers would need to foot the bill to fill up the gap. Fortunately, this year Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a $15 minimum wage plan in an effort to pursue a better economic future for the State of New York.

Dave Bolotsky and US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez | UncommonGoods

Our Founder and CEO Dave Bolotsky (right) giving U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez a tour of UncommonGoods

Paid Family Leave

With the United States being the only industrialized country in the world that does not mandate some form of paid family leave, Dave decided to go to Albany to advocate for mandated paid family leave in the State of New York. UncommonGoods has always provided paid family leave for its employees, as we see the business benefits crystal clear: investing in balancing job and family obligations lead to happier, more productive employees. In April, the state of New York passed a budget that includes the most comprehensive paid family leave program in the country, becoming the fourth state to support working families in never having to choose between caring for their family and their jobs.

UncommonGoods' Better to Give Partner Reach Out and Read

Photo courtesy of our Better to Give partner Reach Out and Read


Better to Give

Another great way we’ve been able to help communities in need is through our Better to Give donation program. We partner with several different non-profit organizations that we believe improve the planet and support the people who live on it. With every purchase a customer makes, UncommonGoods donates $1 to the non-profit of that customer’s choice.
This year, we opened our Better to Give program to two deserving non-profits in response to national and international crises our team members vocally cared about. The first was The Flint Child Health & Development Fund, which was established in response to the Flint water crisis in Michigan. The second, the International Rescue Committee, is a non-profit organization responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Customers will be able to selected IRC to receive Better to Give donations beginning this June.

Best for NYC Award | UncommonGoods

Best for NYC 2015 Honoree Award

We’re also excited to share that UncommonGoods was recently recognized by the City of New York as an Honoree in the 2015 Best for NYC campaign, specifically in the categories of Best for Workers, Best for Environment, and Best for NYC Overall. As a company that strives to do well by doing good, we’re proud to be recognized for our values with the Best for NYC seal of approval, in addition to the B Corp seal of approval.

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