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Social Entrepreneurship

Shout Out: Yeoman Organics - Sustainable, Organic T-Shirts

When thinking about how to minimize my negative effects on the environment, the first things that come to mind are reducing the amount of electricity I consume, eating local, organic foods, trying not to use plastic as much, etc. Buying organic t-shirts was not an immediate thought. I never really thought about it until I started looking for a company to produce custom t-shirts for a project I was working on. I didn’t know where to start, but I knew I wanted to order shirts from a company that paid decent wages and maintained a high quality working environment for their employees. Then I began thinking about what goes into a shirt besides labor, and such as the source of the cotton, the dyes used in shirts, transportation, etc. Thus began my search for a sustainable t-shirt company.

Rather than turn to Google, I decided to consult my new favorite search tool, Twitter. I sent a tweet asking for a sustainable, custom t-shirt company. Within minutes I received a response from Yeoman Organics. As a marketer, I was impressed with their engagement within the social media space. As a consumer, I was impressed with their quick responses, pricing, and quality of their product. After we exchanged a few direct messages and emails, I had a deeper understanding of the industry and how they address some of the most serious issues created by the industry. A few things I learned are just how large the cotton industry is, that many pesticides used in cotton manufacture contain known carcinogens, and commonly used nitrogen-based fertilizers release massive amounts of nitrous oxide (a major greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere.

Yeoman was created as a response to a sibling challenge: Phil told his brother Joe he couldn’t start a green t-shirt company. What started out as a small operation, selling only a handful of shirts locally, turned into a small company that ships nationally and works with non-profits such as The Breast Cancer Fund, and popular events like the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. When I asked what their mission was, the response was, “Our mission is simple: we want to make clothes that we’re proud to wear. We use organic cotton because in America we should be able to choose if we want clothes from pesticided cotton or organic cotton. We make the clothes in San Francisco because we want to bring green manufacturing to America.”

I know where I’ll be shopping for custom shirts for now on. For more information or to obtain a quote, check out Yeoman Organics here.

List of Resources for Social Entrepreneurs


The following is a list I pulled straight from the appendix of Global Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs To Know, by David Bornstein and Susan Davis. The list is a great starting point for anybody who wants to be involved in social entrepreneurship or social causes. Please feel free to review, share, and become involved. If there are any broken links, let me know and I’ll update the URL. Also, as always, feel free to add any sources you may be aware of that aren’t here.

  1. Alltop’s Social Entrepreneurship coverage
  2. Catalyst Fund’s Social Business Blog
  3.’s Social Entrepreneurship Blog
  4. CSR Wire
  5. Dowser
  6. E-180
  7. Echoing Green
  8. Evan Carmichael
  9. Fast Company’s “Ethonomics”
  10. Global Voices Online
  11. Good Magazine
  12. Greenbiz
  13. Grist
  14. MIT Innovations
  15. Net Impact
  17. Ode Magazine
  18. Social Edge
  19. Social Enterprise Alliance
  20. Stanford Social Innovation Review
  21. Starting Bloc
  22. Treehugger green news
  23. University Network of Social Entrepreneurship
  24. World Changing
  25. Youth Social Entrepreneurs of Canada


What Is Social Entrepreneurship Anyway?

Social entrepreneurship is free enterprise’s answer to social issues and injustices, which, ironically, are largely a result of the failures of that very system. According to economists, a true free enterprise system is the efficient allocation of goods and services from producers to consumers. The problem is that many of these goods and services are allocated very efficiently to only a privileged few, rather than the masses. I’m not pushing a socialist agenda. I’m all for capitalism and free enterprise.  I don’t have a problem with one person owning three homes while another owns one. But why should a child have to starve while I’m enjoying steak and shrimp on an expense account 800 miles from home?

Just yesterday a teacher friend of mine told me she saw a young couple across the street pushing two cats in a specially designed cat stroller. What does it mean when our educators are struggling to eat while others can cart around their feline friends in a stroller? Now, I have no problem with how you choose to spend your money, but what does it say about our value system when it’s okay, even expected, to put in sixty hours a week to make enough money only to make it back to work?

Social entrepreneurship brings business intelligence and socially conscious ingenuity together to effectively bring solutions to human and environmental issues that have thus far been largely ignored or have been ineffectively addressed, such as education gaps, health care, poverty, economic disparity, prejudice, and access to clean water and safety.

Is Taxing Soda The Way To Fight Obesity?

It’s no secret that obesity is a major problem. Diabetes, heart disease, and other life-threatening ailments are occurring much more frequently as a result of of the increased prevalence of obesity. There are many root causes perpetuating the problem: lack of school funding leading school administrations to seek money from fast food restaurants and corporate sponsors, lack of physical activities, changes in tastes and preferences, the desire to eat more, lack of safe places to play, long workdays, etc.

To effectively fight obesity will take a combined effort among many disciplines as well as personal responsibility. Several states are trying to put in place a “soda tax” to thwart the consumption of beverages. I do feel that things need to be done to help educate the public about sodas and their place in an overall balanced diet, but I don’t think that taxing it is a way to solve the obesity problem. What do you think? Below are two articles about taxing sodas. One is for. One is against.