When traveling to Costa Rica a few months ago, I became smitten with hammocks. They’re comfortable, relaxing, simple and affordable. They also lend a big dose of charm to any outdoor space. Upon returning home, I started researching and came across SoCo Hammocks, a company that makes hammocks that are not only comfortable, but also highly portable and durable, thus perfect for camping. I was sold, and even more so when I learned that SoCo (short for Socially Conscious) gives 20% of their profits to organizations that help alleviate poverty around the world.
Similar to my own experience, founder Chris Buster developed a fondness for hammocks and their ability to provide instant relaxation while living in the Dominican Republic. He also saw a lot of poverty and hopelessness and wanted to find a way to help. “I asked myself,” says Buster, “why can’t more companies make great products and also seek to change lives?” This question became the guiding principle for SoCo Hammocks and still informs every decision the company makes. You can literally relax in a SoCo Hammock, knowing that you are helping make a difference.
The hammocks come in six classic colorways, and each holds up to 450 pounds (something I put to the test by having two very tall adults and a small child in it at the same time) and packs down to the size of a softball. Don’t let the size fool you, though, as the high strength, triple stitched, breathable, mildew resistant parachute nylon makes it very durable. The generous width means that you can share it with a friend (always more fun) or use it as a hammock chair if you desire. Because they are so portable and versatile, SoCo Hammocks are ideal for camping or bringing with you for a day at the beach. Each comes with basic six foot straps, but you’ll really want to upgrade to the bomber suspension, which allows you to easily hook around any anchor, up to 32 feet apart, vastly broadening your hammocking possibilities. Without it, I couldn’t have hung one in my garden since the trees are quite far apart.
SoCo’s motto is “kick back and give back.” By donating 20% of profits, their “Giving 20″ business model supports organizations like endPoverty.org, which helps enable the very poor of the world to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty. SoCo has not marked up their prices in order to do this—the very reasonable $69.95 you pay for your quality handcrafted hammock also ensures that workers are paid a fair wage.
What we like about this story is that is shows that it doesn’t matter what you do or what your company sells, there is always a way to give back. Doing it while kicking back just makes it all the better. I will definitely feel good about taking a SoCo Hammock along on my camping trips this summer.