25 January 2013

Smile Squared

'Rethink what and why you buy.'

In summer 2010, Eric Cope and his wife went to Central America on humanitarian mission. There they discovered how the lack of sufficient dental hygiene impacts a child's life. From this experience, Smile Squared was born.

The mission of Smile Squared is to give every child the health and confidence that comes with clean teeth. For every toothbrush purchased, another toothbrush in donated to a child in need. They believe even small everyday products, like toothbrushes, can have a big impact on the world. The company's goal is to offer practical, sustainable solutions to help improve the overall health and educational needs of children around the world.

Smile Squared encourages everyone to "think about the products we buy: Where will this product end up when I'm done with it? Is it a fair trade product? BPA free? Can my purchase have a direct impact on someone else who needs it?"

The website and concept are pretty simple. You can buy an child or adult size toothbrush ($5.95 each), and for every toothbrush purchased, another is donated. The toothbrushes feature 100% biodegradable bamboo handles and come in a 100% recyclable box.

What I particularly like is their option to purchase toothbrushes and have your purchase(s) donated as well. May of the companies I've researched have some very compelling causes they are supporting, and I'm often disappointment that I can't just donate 100%. Smile Squared allows you to do just that. Imagine how great a change $5.95 can make.

Here's what Eric Cope had to say:

"I never set out to have a toothbrush business, but felt compelled to start Smile Squared after volunteering at a dental clinic in Guatemala in 2010. Needless to say, teaching children how to brush their teeth, seeing painful and preventable issues in their mouths, and realizing this lack of oral hygiene contributed to bigger issues (overall health and even self-esteem; kids were too ashamed to smile). Many of these kids didn't have access to a toothbrush, and there were some that shared theirs with family members.   It struck me that a basic necessity like a toothbrush, is truly a luxury item to many in this world.  I just wanted to do something about it, and thought that creating a sustainable for-profit business was more of a long term solution than simply donating toothbrushes.   We feel blessed to work with GREAT non-profits like International Justice Mission, Buckner International, Save Their Smiles, Give Kids A Smile, Feed The Children and Save The Children (Hurricane Sandy relief) to name a few.  Since 2010, our donated toothbrushes have been (or will soon be) distributed in the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, Cambodia, Philippines, Columbia, Peru, and Dominican Republic. This is certainly something to smile about."

For more information, please visit Smile Squared.

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