It’s no secret we love Tory Burch’s refined yet relaxed looks (just ask our closet). But what we love even more? Her commitment to empowering women. You see, when this New York–based designer began her label, she had more than just fashion on the mind. She wanted to create something to benefit women and children. And so, the Tory Burch Foundation was born. Here’s how it all came to life.

2004
Tory Burch begins her label (right at her very own kitchen table).

2009
Hoping to help other young entrepreneurs, she creates the Tory Burch Foundation. Partnering with microfinance organization Accion USA to offer loans and mentoring, the Tory Burch Foundation provides American women with the financial tools to improve their lives.

“It’s about investing in people who might otherwise not have the chance to pursue their goals and helping families lift themselves out of poverty…. It’s also incredibly important to the economic recovery of our country,” said Burch in 2009.

2012
The Tory Burch Foundation launches its entrepreneurial education program in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, LaGuardia Community College, and Babson College. Classes are customized specifically for early-stage, women-owned businesses with the passion and potential for growth.

2013
The Tory Burch Foundation reaches a serious milestone: providing over 100 loans to female entrepreneurs since its launch.

For more information on the Tory Burch Foundation, visit toryburchfoundation.org.

Our Tory Burch Boutique opens Thursday, July 18, at 11AM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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July 18, 2013

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

 

 

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

 

 

The Do-Gooder: Bobbi Brown
The Cause: Dress for Success (DFS)
The Mission: To promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Lauren: How did you originally get involved with Dress for Success?
Bobbi: I first got involved in 2001 and joined the board in 2005. During my first introductory meeting with Dress for Success, I was so moved by the cause I remember that I took off the scarf I was wearing to donate it. My goal from the beginning of my career has been to empower women, so this cause aligns perfectly with that.

Lauren: What is it about Dress for Success that speaks to you, personally?
Bobbi: Dress for Success is an amazing organization because it gives women the tools and knowledge they need to look like, and eventually become, the person they hope to be. It empowers women to be self-sustaining and take care of themselves and their families, ultimately building their confidence and repairing their self-esteem.

Lauren: Can you describe the work that you do with them?
Bobbi: At the beginning, we were involved through in-kind donations and monetary support. Over the years, we’ve donated time and support in a variety of ways, including makeup lessons to teach women how to create work-appropriate makeup looks. The brand also donates $25,000 to DFS every time I appear on QVC. [Bobbi also cochaired the 2011 Something to Share gala, which raised a record-breaking $1.75 million.]

Lauren: What’s been your most memorable experience with Dress for Success?
Bobbi: It’s hard to choose just one. I look forward to chairing the annual galas and volunteering at the DFS Walk Fundraisers. Another great moment was when I actually hired a DFS client on the spot when I met her in 2010. She currently works in our NYC office with our Artistry team.

Lauren: How has your involvement inspired you, personally or professionally?
Bobbi: I firmly believe that the more you give in life, the more you get back. DFS is just one of the organizations I’ve been involved with over the years that I’ve gotten so much out of through my involvement. The reason that I started my brand was to empower women to be their best selves, so to be aligned with an organization that does this in another way is even more fulfilling.

Lauren: How can others get involved?
Bobbi: By volunteering your time, donating clothing, or even pledging money (think of it as a “gift that gives back” with the holidays coming up). The Dress for Success website is a great resource for all these things.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

November 29, 2012

As the cold kicks in, the right skin products – ahem, lip moisturizer – are as crucial as ever. Enter One Love Organics. Using all-natural ingredients – not to mention ethically- and environmentally-focused techniques – this company’s approach to cosmetics is simple: “If you wouldn’t put it in your body, why put it on your face?”

Rather than piling on the chemicals, preservatives, and everything else found in most makeup and skin products, One Love Organics’s cosmetic creations ensure healthy skin by way of the purest ingredients. Their “Easy Does It” foaming cleanser, for example? Its ingredients include organic Chilean soap bark, cold-pressed apple oil, and vegetable glycerin.

As if it could get any better than glowing, healthy skin, it does: 1% of One Love Organics’s net annual proceeds go to two organizations, both of which support families in need. The first is CARE, a leading international organization dedicated to fighting the underlying causes of global poverty. And the second, The Children’s Scholarship Fund, assists low-income families in sending their children to the private schools of their choice.

All that to say, it’s going to be a long winter – we suggest loading up.

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 15, 2012

There’s no denying we have one of the greatest Member bases a company could ever ask for. So when trying to figure out the best way that Rue could contribute to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, calling upon our amazing Members – you – was a no-brainer.

As our CEO, Ben Fischman, explained in an email that went out this past Monday, help is just a click away.

“We want to invite you, and all of our Members, to join this effort. It is our hope that many of you will donate $10 (or more if you like) to the American Red Cross 2012 Hurricane Fund. And just as we’re doing for our own Rue team, donate here, and we will match your donation.*”

*Rue La La’s total donation capped at $75,000 now through November 12, 2012.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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November 8, 2012
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