It’s important to be observant and critical of capitalism. I hope we can all agree on that, especially now. That’s because we, as consumers, should be aware of which companies do and don’t align with our moral values. After all, money is a form of protest, voting, and political action.
A month ago, one brand was all over my Twitter feed because their moral values stood out above the rest. Yes, Ben & Jerry’s don’t just have one of the best non-dairy ice creams in the game. They’re also doing right by their employees, customers, and society at large.
Owners Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have been longtime social justice powerhouses, and, in turn, their brand has positively impacted many oppressed groups of people.
In 1980, Ben & Jerry’s partnered with Greyston Bakery in New York, which provides training and jobs to low-income residents in the area. The Bakery runs on an open door policy, which means anybody and everybody has the chance to work there. The starting pay for employees is $15 an hour, which is a step-up from many retail and food industry jobs. This is an incredible program that allows a fresh start for those who have struggled with homelessness, incarceration, drug abuse, and other barriers. Many refugees are also hired through this alternative hiring approach, which is essential.
The ice cream heroes also use their large social media platforms to speak up against white supremacy and stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. And they weren’t just doing it after the most recent Black Lives Matter protests. For years, Ben & Jerry’s has spoken out against everything from Trump’s presidency to police brutality.
Similarly, their website features a “Values” section, which provides incredible information on a variety of social justice issues like climate justice and LGBTQ+ equality. They’ve also released flavors, such as Justice ReMix’d and Pecan Resist to raise money for causes they believe in. For the release of Justice ReMix’d, Ben & Jerry’s partnered with the Advancement Project’s national office and started a campaign for prison reform.
I won’t be buying ice cream from anyone else for a longggg time. Yes, their products are on the pricier side, but if you can afford it, know that it’s going to a fantastic cause. It’s hard to shop consciously in our capitalist society, but each pint of ice cream matters. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it tastes damn good.