In Good Fashion: Hurricane Sandy Relief

While Hurricane Sandy’s come and gone (for the most part, at least), the storm’s impact was – and continues to be – felt by millions. We’ve all see the flood footage in New York, New Jersey, and beyond – clearly, there’s a huge need for help.

Looking to do your part in providing relief? Check out these opportunities:

Tonight, at 8PM ET, NBC will be airing a telethon in the name of Hurricane victims. Slated to perform? Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, and Christina Aguilera, to name a few. Be sure to check it out – and donate. (All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.)

United Way has set up a donation fund to “address the near-term and long-term recovery needs of individuals, families and communities along the Eastern Seaboard that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy’s devastation”. Donations can be made here.

Feed The Children continues to dispatch truckloads of disaster-relief supplies, food, toiletries, clean water, and more to areas in need. Help get as many trucks on the road as possible by donating here.

Habitat for Humanity has taken action by assisting in home re-builds. To contribute to this initiative financially, call their Partner Service Center at 1-800-HABITAT (422-4828), then press “0″, to provide a representative with your information over the phone.

To aid in providing medical assistance and supplies, donate to Americares here.

Check out Hope for New York for a continually updated list of specific spots in need – all in the New York City area.

Eager to lend a hand? Volunteer organizations abound. Check out opportunities within the American Red Cross, Team RubiconNational Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster,  The Corporation for National and Community Service, and The Humane Society of the United States (to name a few). For a list of emergency shelters in the New York City area, click here.

And, of course, it’s critical to be sure that your contributed dollars are actually making it to the right place. The Huffington Post suggests keeping these tips in mind as you look to donate.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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

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November 2, 2012

In Good Fashion: SOLO Eyewear

Images via SOLO Eyewear

Since 2011, approximately 2,400 people in need across the globe have had their vision restored. Another feat by UNICEF, you ask? Nope – it was by way of SOLO Eyewear, and their utterly chic bamboo sunglasses.

While eye care is so easy to take for granted (I can’t imagine getting through the day-to-day without my own glasses), it turns out that nearly one billion people around the world are without access to it. An even more staggering statistic? About 80% of the world’s blindness is preventable.

The brainchild of San Diego State University classmates (and now alums) Jenny Amaraneni, Craig Stern, and Dana Holliday, SOLO Eyewear’s model is simple: With each purchase of a pair of SOLO sunglasses, eye care (be it surgery or prescription glasses) is provided for two people in need. Working in part with L V Prasad Eye Institute, Aravind Eye Care System, and Restoring Vision, SOLO was able to fund 150 cataract surgeries and 2,250 pairs of reading glasses in just a year and a half – all through the sale of their sunglasses.

The sunglasses are, hands down, so cool. I’m equal parts obsessed with the Bamblues and pretty much every style from their RAW Artists Competition (they’re available on pre-order now, for $150).

The long and short of it? Get out there and spread the word about SOLO Eyewear (after you snag your own pair of shades, that is).

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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

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October 25, 2012

In Good Fashion: Levi’s® Recycled Jeans

This just in – bottles can be made into jeans. (Yep. Keep reading.)

Always a trailblazer in the world of denim, Levi’s® has announced that it’ll be rolling out a new line of jean products  Waste<Less™  that will include at least 20% of recycled products, post-consumer use (translation: each item will contain approximately eight 12- to 20-ounce bottles in its material).

No Bill Nye myself, picturing this textile feat wasn’t easy. Turns out though, products made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) materials – like brown beer bottles, green soda bottles, clear water bottles and black food trays – can be crushed down into miniscule flakes and then made into polyester fiber. The polyester fiber is blended with cotton fiber, and the blend is then woven with traditional cotton to create the actual denim.

The first iteration of Waste<Less™ products is set to launch in Spring 2013, and – get this – it will be utilizing approximately 3.5 million recycled bottles.

Sounds like permission to go on a jean-shopping binge, if you ask me.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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

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October 18, 2012

In Good Fashion: Warby Parker & Pencils of Promise

 

Image via Warby Parker

Say hello to your new favorite pair of shades. Ever-cool eyewear purveyor Warby Parker (yep – the brand behind those ultra-hip specs that are priced amazingly low) has teamed up with non-profit Pencils for Promise to make a difference in the lives of kids in developing countries, by way of – you guessed it – super-chic sunnies.

Pencils of Promise (PoP) started with, literally, a pencil. After handing one to a small boy who was begging on the streets of India – and watching as “a wave of possibility washed over him” –  founder Adam Braun spent the next five years backpacking through more than 50 countries, giving kids pens and pencils along the way. Such a small thing, he realized, opened doors of opportunity and promise for little ones who may have never had such a thing. Recognizing a need for educational involvement by way of non-profits, PoP was founded in October 2008 with the aim of building just one school in a developing country. Since then? They’ve built 50.

Now, back to the sunglasses. They come in graphite and honey (inspired by a classic pencil, of course), and $30 of each purchase goes straight to PoP.

So many futures, looking so bright…(you know how the rest goes).

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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

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October 11, 2012

In Good Fashion: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s no secret that the fashion world has long played a prominent role in fighting this all-too-prevalent disease. Below is a round-up of trèfashionable accessories, apparel, and more, all opportunities in themselves to support breast cancer research by way of style.

1) Chan Luu – our wrist party go-to – has designed a special line of bracelets to support Breastcancer.org‘s Think Pink, Live Green initiative (it receives 50% of the bracelets’ proceeds).

2) Putting their unparalleled kitchen prowess to even greater use, KitchenAid’s Cook for the Cure® program hosts culinary-based fundraisers, auctions, and events (not to mention offers a line of pink kitchen products), all in the name of breast cancer research. In the past ten years, it has raised over $8 million for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

3) That coveted polo pony just so happens to be more than a status symbol. 10% of all purchases from Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony line go to the Pink Pony Fund of the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation (in the name of cancer care and prevention).

4) With its origins in the women’s soccer world, PUMA’s Project Pink fights breast cancer by way of a little friendly competition. Girls can nominate their favorite breast cancer charity online, and the winning charity receives 100% of proceeds from the Project Pink shop (packed with sporty pink tops, shorts, shoes, and more).

5) Back to the wrist party: Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™’s Entwined Glamour Bracelet is about as irresistible as is what it stands for (proceeds go to the American Breast Cancer Foundation).

6) Available in packs of six, these whimsical hair ties aren’t just a much-welcome change-up to those plain black rubber bands; 20% of each pack purchased goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (PS – we’ve been known to wear these as bracelets, 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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October 4, 2012

In Good Fashion: Oxfam’s Online Shops

We’ve long been convinced that some of the greatest vintage finds are hiding out in England – which would be great, if a giant ocean didn’t lie between us and said nation. But, the Atlantic is a thing, which means that finding a way to procure those coveted Anglo gems demands a little digging – and also, as it turns out, an Internet connection (and not a plane ticket). We’re in.

What we’re talking about is this: the jackpot of vintage scores to be had within Oxfam’s Online Shops. It’s no secret that this internationally revered relief organization has made unprecedented strides in the global fight against poverty (last year, for example, Oxfam’s emergency and developmental work reached 15 million people in 55 countries worldwide), and these strides are made possible largely in part to charitable donations. Key vehicles for donation – and fixtures in English shopping, at that – are Oxfam’s brick-and-mortar charity shops, packed with second hand finds in clothing and beyond.

Well, guess what. In addition to Oxfam Unwrapped and the Ethical Collection, those dreamy charity shops can be scoured online. And the best part? They ship overseas. (Yep, we’re serious.) So get your bank card and strongest mouse-clicking finger ready: it’s time to vintage shop ’til you drop, and for an incredible cause.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Want to learn more about stylish acts of charity? Check our In Good Fashion column, every Thursday.

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September 27, 2012

In Good Fashion: KAYU

Images via KAYU

From entirely one-of-a-kind sunnies to clutches favored by royals and starlets alike, KAYU‘s made it clear they’re power players in the world of style. At the forefront of their agenda though isn’t the glory that comes with being a coveted brand – it’s providing relief to those in developing nations.

Background 
Launched by Jamie Lim in 2009, California-based KAYU is all about the preservation of craftsmanship, ecology, and ethics. Calling upon artisans who’ve dedicated their work to keeping age-old techniques alive, not a detail is spared in creating quality pieces (a clutch, for example, can take more than three weeks to hand-produce). And by using all natural materials like shells, bamboo, and straw, each piece is a celebration of the environment in which they’re made.

How it works
KAYU’s charity model is straight-to-the-point, and utterly effective. For every pair of glasses the company sells, 2% of proceeds go to Unite for Sight, a non-profit organization that makes vision-restoring surgery accessible for people in developing nations. And for every clutch or handbag purchased, 2% of proceeds go toward the purchase of backpacks and school supplies for children in rural Cambodia (through Awareness Cambodia).

Preserving artistic tradition, the environment, and a sense of comfort for those in need? Talk about a feel-good purchase.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Want to learn more about stylish acts of charity? Check our blog’s In Good Fashion column, every Thursday.

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September 20, 2012

In Good Fashion: EDUN

Images courtesy of EDUN 

If Alicia Keys chooses to sit in a runway’s front row (during New York Fashion Week, nonetheless), the styles coming down it are sure to be show stopping.

Launched in 2005 by Bono (yes, that Bono) and his wife, Ali Hewson, EDUN exists to promote change in Africa through a positive trading relationship, as well as through promoting the continent’s role as a cutting-edge player in the world of contemporary fashion.

By manufacturing a portion of its (much-obsessed-over) pieces in Africa using an ethically solid business model, an example is set – for-profit businesses do have the ability to bring about positive change in developing nations.

The company achieves this in a variety of ways. EDUN requires that all of its operating factories in Africa be reviewed by a third party, twice a year, to ensure that all standards for conduct are being upheld as requested. And, in collaboration with Invisible Children, EDUN established the Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda (CCIU) to train and support Ugandan cotton farmers in building sustainable businesses in the country’s war-ravaged northern region.

At the helm of EDUN’s razor-sharp men’s and women’s looks (all New York Fashion Week veterans in their own right) is Irish-born, Paris-based designer Sharon Wauchob, the brand’s creative director. As Wauchob recently explained to the Daily Herald, EDUN’s female look is tough but soft, incorporating delicate materials into classically rough-around-the-edges, utilitarian styles.

A runway representing humanitarian goodwill? Here’s to, someday, Fashion Week being full of them.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Want to learn more about stylish acts of charity? Check our blog’s In Good Fashion column, every Thursday.

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September 13, 2012

In Good Fashion: PUNJAMMIES™

The healing power of pajamas? It certainly isn’t limited to sick days and lazy Sundays. Case in point: PUNJAMMIES™, providing victims of forced prostitution the chance to rebuild their lives.

Background
Shannon Keith founded International Princess™ Project in 2005 after a life-changing trip to India. Seeing the country’s red light districts first hand, she was compelled to restore these women – orphans, young mothers, and others – from the modern-day slavery by which millions of Indian women and children are imprisoned. Providing these victims with a holistic aftercare center where medical care, emotional restoration, education, and community support would all be available, they’d finally have a refuge for starting over.

The PUNJAMMIES™
PUNJAMMIES™ was launched by International Princess™ Project as a vehicle to bring about this change. These pajama tops and bottoms are hand made by women in the aftercare center using Indian fabrics and dyes (and we’re pretty much obsessed with the end products). Each PUNJAMMIES™ purchase provides fair trade wages for the women, financial support for holistic aftercare (including healthcare and schooling for the women and their children), and the ability to take more women into the aftercare facility. In earning an income, these once-despairing women receive the invaluable sense of self-reliance and worth that comes from being a part of a well-intentioned business – not to mention a community that truly cares for them. This is rehabilitation in its truest form.

Our PJ picks?
Rajeswari Racerback Tank (Hello, perfect gym/errands/lounging top.)
KUMARI Capri (Love this rich pattern.)
WEAR HOPE Hoodie (Art makes this hoodie totally unique.)

For more on International Princess™ Project’s background and mission, check out this video. Want to get involved? Visit its website for details on donation and volunteer opportunities.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Want to learn more about stylish acts of charity? Check our blog’s In Good Fashion column, every Thursday.

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September 6, 2012

In Good Fashion: Krochet Kids international

Image via Krochet Kids

Think that changing a life requires more than a crochet hook and yarn? Think again.

Three friends from Spokane – Kohl, Travis, and Stewart – got into crocheting in high school as a quirky hobby of sorts – a hobby that just happened to produce hats so fantastic, they sparked a local following (the area newspaper dubbed them “Krochet Kids”). Once college came around, though, the three friends parted ways, and their crafty venture was put on hold.

With college came volunteer trips to developing nations, where the guys experienced poverty first hand. They knew they wanted to help in some way, but weren’t sure how – until Stewart took a life-changing trip to Uganda.

With rebel armies having wreaked havoc in the north, people in northern Uganda had been living in government-run camps for 20 years, meaning 20 years spent relying solely on outside help for, simply put, everything.

Enter: the hook and yarn. Employing these people to crochet hats, the guys realized, would not only give them their own income, but an empowering sense of self-reliance. And they were right.

Krochet Kids international earned its non-profit status in 2008 and has been thriving ever since, with more than 150 people in Uganda and Peru working on its behalf (not to mention receiving mentorship and education). Those crocheted hats from the guys’ high school days? They’re still a pivotal part of the brand – which has since expanded to include tees, the perfect work-out tank, crocheted bow ties, a partnership with Vans, and more. Proof that passion can make anything possible? You’re looking at it.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Want to learn more about stylish acts of charity? Check our blog’s In Good Fashion column, every Thursday.

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August 30, 2012