Ten Fabulous and Fashionable Ways to Give Back

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
— Mr. Rogers

The past few months have been so difficult for so many people. It's just so sad and terrible to watch people's lives change in an instant. You feel powerless standing by and watching everything unfold. 

I have never been much of a bystander. I like solving problems and seeking solutions. When I feel something is wrong, I look for ways to fix it. Being a helper is part of who I am. But with all that's going on in the world, where do you even start?

charitable-clothing-purchase.jpg
texas-forever-shirt.jpg
hurricane-harvey-relief-shirt.jpg

shirt: magnolia market, jeans: nordstrom, shoes: similar, sunglasses: warby parker

Instead of being frustrated, it was time to take action. Besides beginning by donating money and supplies to different organizations, I stumbled into the world of purchasing for a cause. Magnolia Market, yes, of Fixer Upper fame, was selling a t-shirt to support rebuilding efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. For the month of September, all proceeds from the shirt were split between the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Magnolia announced that they were able to raise $2.5 million. 

That got me thinking: what are other fashionable ways to give back? Because sometimes making one purchase is the best way to start doing good. 

charitable-fashion-items.png

1. The Giving Keys Classic Key necklace. The Giving Keys is a fairly recognizable brand (I've seen them available for purchase at my local Starbucks) with a great mission: help people transition out of homelessness through employment. The keys themselves are the perfect statement with empowering words stamped on them. 

2. Far and Wide Collective Cobalt Lion Otombi Pillow. Far and Wide Collective has many different products for your home and your closet from different communities around the world. Your purchase helps to support artisans through sustainable income-generation and build infrastructure. There are so many beautiful things but I love the bold color of this pillow. 

3. Charity Pot moisturizer from Lush. Lush is best known for their colorful bath bombs but one of their best products is the lush and creamy Charity Pot moisturizer. Of course, it's super high quality and ethically sourced but the best part is that they give 100% of the price (minus taxes) to grassroots organizations. They change all the time and there are plenty of worthy causes!

4. United by Blue Women's Adventure Terry Pullover. Local Philadelphia brand United by Blue creates amazing clothes and accessories, all with a focus on the outdoors. But they don't just create great products for getting outdoors and talk about how wonderful wildlife is. They host regular meet-ups to clean up waterways in the area and they pledge that, with every purchase, they remove one pound of trash from waterways and oceans. 

5. 31 Bits necklaces. Remember that woven drum bag that everyone went mad for on Instagram? It's just one beautiful product offered by 31 Bits, an accessories company with products handmade in Uganda and other developing nations. They are always conscious of how their products can be paid for fairly and share how your purchase supports local artisans. 

6. Made with Love Recycled Rubber Bracelets. I stumbled across these fun and colorful bracelets in a local shop and then fell in love with their work. They are made from recycled rubber flip flops by a women's collective in Mali. The bracelets help the women support themselves and raise funds for L'Empire des Enfants, a center for homeless youth in Senegal. 

7. Dogeared Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Bracelet. Since October is breast cancer awareness month, there are plenty of products out there right now. This simple pink nylon bracelet from Dogeared caught my eye and they are giving 40% of the sales to support breast cancer research and education.

8. Sassy Lips lipsticks. These unique lipsticks weren't on my radar until I found out they are donating 30% of their proceeds, now until October 20th, to helping Puerto Rico get back on its feet. Sign me up!

9. FEED Simone saddle bag. FEED has been doing the whole charitable fashion thing for a few years now but let's recap: each purchase goes towards providing meals for children. While it used to be mostly canvas totes, they now have a whole range of affordable classic handbags. My pick is the Simone saddle bag which provides meals for 75 school children. Looking for something else to support kids through meals? They have t-shirts and accessories, too.

10. Out of Print Library Card mug. Anybody else out there love books? Out of Print Clothing sells clothing, mugs, and office supplies to support literacy initiatives in underserved communities. This library card mug is just the thing fill with coffee when you cuddle up with your favorite book.

No matter what's going on in the world, it will always need helpers. The most important thing to remember is that whether it's a little purchase or big donation, whatever you do counts.