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Instead Of Running Discounts, This Company Gives Away Its Sales on Black Friday


Drinkware company MiiR started a new tradition in 2019 during the chaos of Black Friday. They decided to give 100 percent of their sales to a nonprofit. Three years later, it’s become a tradition.

And this year, they’re aiming for a higher goal: $100,000 for three organizations — National Young Farmers Coalition, Bean Voyage and Conservation Lands Foundation.

For three days over the Black Friday weekend (November 25th through 27th), MiiR will be donating 100 percent of sales to these three non-profit partners. This means that every dollar spent over that typically busy gift-buying weekend will go directly to one of the three groups, directed at the purchaser’s choice.

“We’d rather that a customer learned about a cool nonprofit than saved 70 percent on a flat screen TV, during Black Friday,” says Bryan Papé, CEO and founder of the Seattle-based brand.

In 2019, the company raised approximately $25,000 for Kula Project, followed by $50,000 for Black Girl Ventures in 2020, and $75,000 in 2021 for charity:water. While last year’s recipient is well-known in the philanthropic world, the first two organizations had had less publicity, Papé notes. “With Kula Project, for example, which does incredible work with coffee farmers in Rwanda it wasn’t just about the money, but also the awareness they got out of it. And people went and supported by buying coffee from them.”

MiiR was started over a decade ago and now has 100 employees across the world. The first five years were devoted to growing the business, which Papé notes were not profitable. “Because we were growing, we’re not necessarily making profit. And that’s why we’ve committed to always donating based on our sales than on profits because that would be deceitful if we said we were giving X percentage of profits, when we weren’t making any.”

As of 2022, MiiR has given over $3 million to 200 organizations working across 20 countries towards social and environmental change. Beyond Black Friday, they give away about 3 percent of their sales to a variety of organizations.

“We usually like to work at the intersection of people and environment. So we select organizations that fit that criteria. It’s not entirely social or entirely environmental, but how one affects the other,” he explains.

This year’s recipients illustrate that clearly — two of them are centered around farming, and the final one, looks at conservation of public lands used by citizens here in the States.

As a company MiiR doesn’t run too many sales or promotions. Papé argues that their pricing which is more mid-tier in the drinkware space allows them to be more affordable than competitive brands without even having to run numerous discounts.

“We don’t believe in overcharging and then discounting throughout the year. We look at the long-term viability of our business. We don’t believe in discounting our way to success. We’d rather just donate to a nonprofit than give 60 percent off for no reason,” he says.

This year, MiiR also a few new items that speak to their search for more eco-friendly manufacturing. Their Climate+ collection of tumblers and bottles contains 25 percent less stainless steel, no virgin plastic and 110 percent of its carbon footprint offset.

And the TruEnamel Collection, Papé says is first of its kind: reminiscent of the old enamel camp mug and similar to what enamel cookware brands like LeCreuset offer, MiiR has developed a patent-pending process of fusing real fired-glass enamel over vacuum-insulated stainless steel, offering an eye-catching, high-gloss glass finish to the vessel. It’s been years in the making, he explains, because it required getting manufacturers on board, and working through multiple iterations till the design could be perfected.

When asked if the influx of reusable cup companies has affected their business, Papé is not worried: “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of generosity and design in the coming years. We’re not just copy and pasting.”

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