Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fashionable Philanthropy


I am pleased to have Morgan Gray with us as a guest columnist this month and share what she is doing to tie fashion with philanthropy.  Let's do tie our consumerism with our philanthropy. 

Rescue the World One Purchase at a Time
It's not often fashion, retail and social action occur in the same sentence. For me, they have to. If I can snatch up a great pair of handcrafted, fair trade bracelets or baskets whose profits simultaneously support impoverished families in Colombia, I'm all for doing so.
These days, fashion and philanthropy are at the heart of my daily rituals. I shop consciously; hunting down companies whose beautiful goods they sell or pass on specifically to help those less fortunate. Here are three worthy companies who do this precisely.
I'm addicted to this organization. Their website brings together fair trade, handmade items produced by women from more than 30 countries. When you buy an item, the profits help women living in marginalized communities the world over. Their earnings allow them to care for their families, educate their children and introduce sustainable economic practices into their communities.
The products are artisan in nature, high quality and bear the unmistakable aesthetic of the women who make them. For the shopster who loves crafts, there is everything from jewelry and bags to stationery and housewares.
Looking for a new pair of sunglasses this summer season? Check out Warby Parker. On top of a chic purchase, Warby donates a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for every pair sold. Warby Parker's selection rivals any luxury brand though prices are reasonable. I have a pair of their new $95 vintage sunglasses, a conversation piece that inadvertently provides me numerous daily opportunities to talk about the great work Warby Parker does.
Warby Parker also partners with non-profits that train poor entrepreneurs to earn money for selling inexpensive glasses. Giving that gives and gives and gives!
One of my favorites, Fashion Delivers collects donations and passes them on to people in need.
Initially founded as a response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the organization has since distributed more than $100 million worth of clothing to the needy. Individuals can donate new clothing as well and potentially receive tax breaks for doing so.
Dare to be giving this summer season in a fashionable way.

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