Shop with a Purpose
You know me. I like to shop. And I know you do too. But I tell you what, sometimes I feel guilty and greedy – that the act of shopping is unnecessary and selfish, and it’s only to transiently squelch my urge to buy something pretty so I can somehow feel better about myself. Yeah, I’ve got issues. However, lucky for us (me), I’ve uncovered ways to give shopping a more purposeful consequence.
Here’s a little guide to where you can shop with a purpose (and this is just the short list, my dears):
First things first, bookmark The Good Trade. This is the ultimate online destination and guide to mindful shopping. It highlights brands with a goal to directly impact to drive environmental and social change with every purchase. But it’s even more than that. The site features style tips and trends, beauty how-tos, travel itineraries, and a whole host of other outstanding lifestyle content, along with lovely photography.
If you are looking for luxury, it’s all right here, my friends. Our friend, founder Diana Verde Nieto, started Positive Luxury to “inspire people to buy better and influence brands to do better.” Based on specific criteria based on sustainability and quality, the company provides a Butterfly Mark to luxury brands, which offers consumers to shop with confidence. These include well-known brands, such as Dior and Kenzo, as well as lesser-known brands that are fully committed to “making a positive impact on people and the planet.”
Parker Clay makes some of the most beautiful bags. But there’s much more to the bag than meets the eye. The company’s production facility is set up in Ethiopia and provides jobs to skilled artisans, helping to put a dent in the unemployment rate and providing individuals with a means to create a better life. In addition, Parker Clay partners with Ellita – Women at Risk. In Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and an estimated 150,000 women work in the commercial sex industry. They turn to this life because of the lack of opportunities and need a way to support themselves and their families. Parker Clay donates to Ellita and also provides pro-bono consulting.
My fave: Hands down, the Merkato Signature Tote.
I fell in love with Alternative Apparel when my daughter and I were visiting Venice Beach a few years ago. I swear, these are softest tees and sweatshirts ever. All their fabrics are eco-friendly and are created with responsible, sustainable processes. Their production facilities, located around the world, are in accordance with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Workplace Code of Conduct.
My fave: The organic cutaway tank.
Oh, my. How much do I love these fun, statement sweaters? We’ve been seeing them everywhere, but did you know that they are sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched by women in NYC? Plus, they have partnerships with Of a Kind and Feed, where proceeds from purchase go to NYC women living in poverty and school meals for children, respectively. How much more can I love this brand?!
My fave: “can’t fake the funk” travel set.
When supermodel Liya Kebede made a trip to her native Ethiopia, she discovered beautiful, traditionally woven fabrics no longer had a market, meaning the weavers no longer had employment opportunities. This sparked the inspiration for lemlem, is committed to elevating artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa.
My fave: the Kal Open Back Caftan.
Need new sunglasses? You can have them and help save the ocean too. Norton Point glasses are made from plastic trash recovered from the ocean. For every pair of glasses sold, Norton Point will clean up one pound of plastics from the ocean and 5% of the proceeds will go to ocean cleanup practices.
Guru sandals have a fantastic backstory. The two founders met in New York and came to find out that their families had rubber tree farms within walking distance from each other back in India. They source a portion of the rubber in the sandals from their farms. For each pair of sandals sold, they plant a tree in rural communities in the developing world, enabling them to restore their environment, grow more food, and build a sustainable future.
My faves: Mango sandals.
I love their graphics and beautiful scarves. And if I buy one, I’m helping to support the human rights of women and girls throughout the world. Round + Square was born out of an afternoon dog walk with a neighbor. During the walk, founder Henriette Ernst was discussing the plight of women’s rights with Yasmeen Hassan, executive director of Equality Now, and was outraged by what is happening around the world. Henriette, who had a career in fashion, felt the call to do something. The result: Round + Square.
My fave: The Aquarelle Paisley Luxe Shawl.
Such a great story that inspired the launch of GAIA, a clothing company that employs refugee women artisans to create each piece. GAIA’s goal is to lead the women refugees to financial independence and self-sufficiency.
My fave: The Mila Cha Cha bag
Whoa. Stopped in my tracks when I discovered this site. The clothes are so very stylish and the price points are phenomenal. The fabrics are 100% organic, natural and sustainably grown, plus the manufacturing process is set up to reduce carbon footprint and even their packaging is all recyclable. In addition, SiiZU donates generously to help American Forest reach its goal of planting 2.7 million trees across 44 projects nationally this year to restore and protect critical wildlife habitat. Enough said. I’m buying.
My fave: The Nanna top. (And I bought it).
Society B is a marketplace for good and only offers products that give back. And….they donate 10% of all purchases (not just profits) to the charity you select at checkout. For example, if you purchase a bag for $100, we’ll send $10 to the selected charity. Wow.
My fave: The Smith Bag (I love, and use, backpacks all the time)
This is such an awesome concept: aromatherapy scarves and jewelry with the intention of providing self-care and alternative therapies for mental illness, which has become an epidemic. As a person who has suffered from depression in certain times of my life, this is close to my heart.
My fave: The Mala Necklace.
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