A few mornings ago, one of my (exceptionally style-savvy) colleagues sent me a link to SAME SKY. A few hours later, so did another. Clearly this cause was striking a chord, and I had to learn more.

SAME SKY’s mission is to lift HIV+ women in developing African countries up and out of poverty by training them to crochet boutique-beautiful glass bead jewelry (and for about 15 to 20 times the average Sub Saharan wage). One-hundred percent of these pieces’ proceeds goes back into the organization, with the purpose of hiring and training even more women. As SAME SKY puts it, “Instead of a handout, we give these women a hand-up and the tools to lift themselves out of poverty.”

Even the most thorough round of name-dropping wouldn’t do these bracelets’ fan base justice, though I’ll try. (Deep breath.) Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, Jessica Alba, Liza Minnelli, Alicia Keys, Chelsea Clinton, Katie Couric… to name a few. (You can check out the full lineup here.)

So attend a SAME SKY event, host your own trunk show, or simply buy a bauble online – and women in need can rebuild the lives they deserve.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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February 7, 2013

The life of a designer as established as Michael Kors has to be, at the very least, so, SO exciting – not only the rubbing-elbows-with-every-celebrity-on-the-planet part, but the endless globetrotting, of course.

As Kors notes in a recent press release, though, his travels brought to light the struggles faced around the globe: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that millions of people all over the world are struggling to feed themselves, and their families, every day.” Recognizing this opportunity in the fight against hunger, Kors has joined forces with the World Food Programme (WFP). Over the next few years – and by way of campaigns, events, and products – the designer plans on raising millions of dollars for the WFP.

Check out (and share!) this star-studded PSA, citing staggering statistics regarding world hunger – and, if you’re so moved, text a $5 donation to the WFP. (Instructions can be found below the video.) Then, come this March, be sure to keep an eye out for two limited-edition Michael Kors watch styles, proceeds from which will also go straight to the WFP.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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January 31, 2013

In Good Fashion: The Giving Closet

My inner do-gooder and working girl – they’re both obsessed.

Launched in 2011 by celebrity and TV wardrobe stylist Sam Russell (he’s one of the reasons stars like Jon Hamm and Stevie Wonder are known for looking so good), The Giving Closet is a charity devoted to empowering “women in need that have the full intent to enter the workforce and must evolve their work wardrobe.” To this end, Russell travels from city to city, surprising a chosen woman in need with $10,000 worth of work and casual clothes. Not only will she look the part in job interviews, but the confidence boost is invaluable.

Want to learn more? Check out Sam’s work online or on the organization’s Facebook page.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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January 24, 2013

In Good Fashion: The Honest Company

I’ve been her Facebook friend (fine – “fan“) for more than a year now, and I’ve got to say, Jessica Alba‘s posts are some of my favorites. She’s adorable, her family’s adorable, her friends are hot, and she eats cake. As my favorite gossip mag would put it, this A-list actress is “Just like us!”

Which is why, like any new mom, Alba wanted only the purest products for her first-born, Honor – yet at the same time, was frustrated by how difficult it was to find them. Which products were eco-friendly? Which weren’t just big, toxic blobs of lab-engineered chemicals? So she joined forces with Christopher Gavigan, former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, to create, as they put it, their ultimate brand – “savvy style, sustainability, and extraordinary service and convenience all wrapped in a passion for social goodness, tied with a bow of integrity and sprinkled with a little cheeky fun.” (Count me in.)

The brand’s focus is three-fold: baby, bath and body, and cleaning. All products are nontoxic, eco-friendly, and downright cute. (Their whimsically packaged laundry pods? Obsessed.) In order to provide users with the utmost level of convenience, The Honest Company offers a monthly subscription service, delivering customized “bundles” to members’ doorsteps. And, in keeping with their commitment to social goodness, a percentage of all the company’s sales goes to Baby2Baby.org.

As it just so happens, today is the The Honest Company’s first birthday! So here’s to many more years of delivering nonstop goodness (and continued action on my Facebook newsfeed).

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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January 17, 2013

In Good Fashion: Vans Custom Culture

Know a high schooler who loves themselves some Vans? And who also just so happens to be super passionate about art? Then send this one along, because it’ll be right up their alley.

The maker of everyone’s favorite canvas sneaker (and checkered slip-on, too) is back with its national art competition, Vans Custom Culture, which gives high school students the chance to harness their creative sides – while having some fun with it.

The competition works like this: Registered high schools are sent four different styles of Vans – or, palettes, if you will – for its students to customize in line with one of four themes. Students then submit photos of their designs (Instagrams welcome) to the competition website for all the world to see and for Vans staffers to review. The top five schools’ teams are flown out to New York for the final judging, and the winner receives $50,000 toward their school’s art program.

Naturally, this four-years-strong competition stretches far past the glory of having the coolest shoes in the nation. Vans’ aim is to bring the spotlight back onto high school art programs – an academic focus that, as we all know too well, sees less and less budget love as the years go on.

We’ll leave you with this FYI – the competition’s registration deadline is February 11. Meaning? There’s still more than enough time for your favorite high school to get involved.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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January 10, 2013

 

 

In Good Fashion: Fashion Delivers

Proof that, sometimes, tough times can give way to good things? Fashion Delivers.

Having started in 2005 as a relief effort to the devastation wreaked by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Fashion Delivers is a nonprofit organization that partners with manufacturers and retailers to provide apparel and home goods to situations of poverty and disaster relief. The donations from these partners are channeled to local social services agencies, who distribute the products within their region.

Want to get your apparel or home company involved with Fashion Delivers? Click here to learn more about donating. (Financial contributions are accepted, too.)

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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January 3, 2013

 

Whether you need to make space for all that new loot or you’re just not loving the sweater from Great-Aunt Mary, this is the time of the year when we find ourselves with tons of stuff in need of relocating. Enter: the art of the donation. While the holidays may be over, the need for charity is not – and all those items you less-than-love can be put to good use in a number of (feel-good) ways.

Food
Of course, “cooking for an army” is the kitchen aficionado’s holiday M.O. All those resulting leftovers? Donate them to a food bank.

Coats
You scored that much-wanted puffer for Hannukah – now give your old one a whole new lease on life.

Sports Equipment
The garage can only hold so many soccer balls, after all.

Toys
Hands down the surest way to make any deserving kid happy.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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December 27, 2012

 

Here at Rue, there’s no shortage of really, REALLY great staff traditions. Freshly popped popcorn every day at 3PM, the hallowed Bagel Fridays, Craft Beer Thursdays in IT… the list goes on. One that stands apart from all the rest, though? Our annual Toy Drive (or, as we affectionately call it, “Mitten Gifts”).

Partnering with the Boston Department of Child Services, we’re able to provide over 200 underprivileged kids with gifts they may not have received otherwise. It works like this: Rue employees pick a mitten (well, a piece of construction paper cut into the shape of a mitten) which lists the gift wishes of a specific child. The gifts are then purchased, wrapped, and placed in our café to be delivered accordingly. And while participation is totally optional, let’s just say – the pile of presents this year, as a whole, weighed in at 400 pounds.

While, for me, it’s so easy to obsess over what I think I absolutely need (my many Pinboards can attest to that), it’s times like these – when people come together to make Christmas just a bit brighter for others – that truly puts the meaning of the holidays into much-needed perspective.

Would you like to make a donation of your own? Click here to learn more.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

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December 20, 2012

Images via GIVEGIVE

(We. Are. Obsessed.)

Meet GIVEGIVE, a company dedicated to bettering the lives of women in need by way of spot-on design. Their signature line, MULXIPLY, is comprised of (exceptionally giftable) iPad® sleeves, clutches, zipper pouches, and more, made with felt, and by Nepalese women. GIVEGIVE makes the conscious choice to enlist the work of women in co-ops as opposed to factory workers to produce these products, so as to ensure fair-trade partnerships (meaning employees are receiving the wages they desevrve, along with postiive working conditions and benefits surrounding education and healthcare). In short, these pieces are the way by which women are realizing opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise received.

Continue reading “In Good Fashion: GIVEGIVE” »

December 13, 2012

 

Models coming together in the name of charitable art? Talk about more than a pretty face.

Having noted that models absorb massive amounts of creativity day in and day out (by way of photographers, stylists, and otherwise), model Edythe Hughes decided that not only was a creative outlet in order – but that it could be used to benefit the greater good. (And she was right.)

Enter: Project Model Tee (PMT), a line of T-shirts boasting models’ original art. The nonprofit organization actively recruits models to lend their designs, with an end-goal of raising money for various causes. As an additional fundraising initiative, PMT hosts events around New York City to bring more awareness to a spotlighted charity. Currently, PMT’s efforts are dedicated to raising funds for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

Expect the one-of-a-kind tees to be made available to the public at the organization’s official launch party, scheduled for February 2013, and from there, online and in stores.

For more information on PMT’s events, initiatives, and more, be sure to check out both their website  and their Facebook page.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

For more on stylish acts of charity, check our In Good Fashion column every Thursday.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now. 

 

December 6, 2012