The 2015 holiday season is in the books and, as usual, it was one of contradictions. On the one hand, there were stories like this, about a selfless Dad helping others despite his own poverty. On the other hand, there were stories like this, which highlight abominable behavior by holiday shoppers in the pursuit of a bargain.

For better or worse, it’s the season of spending and consumerism. But it is also a reminder of some retailers’ truly valiant efforts to balance consumption with conscience.

For these retailers, benevolence is not a one-off act of corporate do-gooderism. It’s ingrained in their ethos. They understand that business can affect change, and that profits and philanthropy are not mutually exclusive.

Encouraged by the growing cohort of socially-conscious consumers, particularly millennials who tend to be passionate about social impact, some brands are searching for new ways to leverage their power to help address serious social challenges. At the same time, idealistic employees searching for value-based work only drive this trend further.

Many retail organizations are making genuine efforts to change the world for the better. We want to highlight their efforts and share their stories with you.

Brands like Lush Cosmetics, Dogeared, Marks & Spencer and Gardener’s Supply are making a positive impact on communities (sometimes local, sometimes global, often both) by pursuing a triple-bottom line approach to running their business.

In this blog series titled Conscious Commerce, we will explore these stories to learn and inspire others to replicate their successes, and will describe how some retailers pursue these initiatives to build brand awareness and increase sales. We hope you will enjoy reading and learning from this series as much as we did in creating it. We will tell our first story, on Lush Cosmetics, in the coming days, so stay tuned. And, if you’re a Demandware retailer going above and beyond with your philanthropic endeavors, we want to hear from you.