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Product Red

Business model created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund that helps women and children suffering from AIDS.

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Buy (Red) and save lives.

  • Jun 18, 2009

The idea behind RED: Consumers can choose to help those afflicted with AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa buy purchasing (Red) products. Every time a consumer purchases a (RED) product, part of the profits will go straight to Africa and the purchase of antiretroviral medicine.

This is important because antiretroviral medication keeps those with AIDs (frequently mothers or the heads of the households) healthy, productive and able to work. Doing so allows families to raise their children, have their children to go to school and thus break the cycle of poverty, gender inequality, hunger and disease. It gives families and children options for the future. Antiretroviral medication and AIDS programs are also a major focus for the World Food Program. AIDS patients must take their medication with food or risk side effects that make them even more ill. RED has a great informative section with FAQs and stats on the current crisis that I recommend checking out:

It is important to recognize that Project Red is not a charity. It is a business model that allows sustainable funds to flow from the private sector to The Global Fund.  There are many high profile brands such as American Express, Apple, Converse, Armani, Gap, Hallmark, Microsoft, and Starbucks that have specified RED products in their portfolio and contribute to this goal. Interestingly, this is at no additional cost to the consumer (which was one of my first questions when I heard of this concept). The partner company commits to sharing a portion of its profit, and thus takes the cuts. Though some of the partnering company profits are going out the window, they are also receiving great PR and brand marketing by associating themselves with this cause.  

Any time I contemplate giving money, time or energy to an organization that is "helping" a cause, I always want to know where my money is going and how I know that those in need are actually receiving help. In this case, The Global Fund has a small staff with low admin costs (less than 3 %) that ensures the majority of support goes to the intended recipients. More info on the Global Fund:

With many companies willing to partner with RED and consumers in turn choosing to purchase RED products, 2.5 Million Africans have received aid in 2 years. And 80,000 people in Rwanda, Swaziland, and Ghana have received antiretroviral medicine.

I admire the marketing and business execution of RED. The color red signifies emergency and with 4,100 dying every day, Product Red reminds of us of this emergency.

As far as I know, I haven't purchased a Red product previously. However, not all (Red)products are actually colored red. It is very likely I have purchased a (Red) product in the past and didn't realize it. From now on I am much more likely to look for the Red logo when I make a purchase from one of these partnering companies.

I think the use of private sector funds for global humanity causes is smart, necessary and a concept that should continue to grow and improve.  Here is the link if you would like to join in or take action:

Product Red

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June 18, 2009
Project (RED) is such a great way to bring medicine and food to those in need. My fiance and I both own a couple of the shirts. In turn, we get something that is comfortable and good looking to wear, while doing some good in the world, very nice review!
June 18, 2009
Nice informative review, Bethany. It's good to see some folks doing some good in the world. If everybody would just get along, then the world would be a very nice place.
June 19, 2009
So true! Thanks, woopak.
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
Ranked #3
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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About this organization


(RED) is a business model created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT) RED branded products. A portion of profits from each (PRODUCT) RED product sold goes directly to the Global Fund to invest in African AIDS programs, with a focus on women and children.

Bono and Bobby Shriver created (RED) to engage the private sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Our partners include: American Express (UK only), Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, Dell, Windows, Apple, Hallmark and Starbucks. Discussions are ongoing with other potential partners.
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