Today, I close my Favorite Things series with TOMS’ Winter Collection, because, honestly, this company is the epitome of a brand that gives back, with its groundbreaking one-for-one business model wherein each pair of shoes purchased means a pair of shoes for a person in need.
“I couldn’t believe that kids needed shoes to go to school and didn’t have them, because that seemed like such an easy thing to provide,” TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie told The Business of Fashion about the genesis of the company. “So I went with these women to this village and saw kids and families who were so excited to get these shoes — and they weren’t even new shoes! They were used shoes. And it just hit me right in the heart. This was what I wanted to be doing. I mean business is great. Making money’s fun, but making people have tears of joy? That’s what life’s about.”
Since its inception in 2006, TOMS has given more than 35 million pairs of new shoes to children in need, and helped restore sight to more than 250,000 people since the 2011 launch of TOMS Eyewear. And this year, the company established TOMS Roasting Co., providing a week of clean water to a person in need with every bag of coffee purchased.
Though it may be an acquired taste for some, TOMS has the reputation of being among the most fashionable charities with its array of stylish footwear, from its classic slip-ons to its platform wedges.
However, these Wine Crackled Leather Women’s Jutti Flats have quickly made it to the top of my wish list. These Indian-inspired gems blend suede and crackled leather for a tantalizing piece of foot candy.
See what else made the cut after the jump!
Talk about generous! Philanthropy Fashion gives 100% of all online sales to charity, donating to organizations in Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Haiti. Established in 2007, the locally owned Christian boutique has pledged $500,000 to designated causes, such as Hands and Feet in Haiti, which provides support for orphans and abandoned children. However, the causes Philanthropy endorses range from building quality affordable housing in Franklin, Tennessee, to bridging friendships and building community between homeless and non-homeless in Athens, Georgia.
“Philanthropy opened … with the belief that a business built around charitable works and grounded in Christ could make a difference in the world,” its website reads. “We opened as a platform for our customers to make a difference. By carrying a variety of fashion forward clothes and accessories that are perfect for the modern woman, we strive to keep our customers consciously and compassionately stylish.”
Now that we’ve covered the philanthropy component, let’s get into the fashion! Philanthropy has ample casual dresses, skirts and scarfs, and as such, it was hard choosing which pair of items to feature.
This Carnival Flare Dress already has me dreaming of springtime. I’m digging the pattern made with the coral accent stitch work and neutral base.
See more after the jump!
From its inception, Light Gives Heat has offered incomes for widows affected by the war in the northern part of Uganda, for the goods and wares that they handcraft. In turn, Light Gives Heat curates and produces media, products and, ultimately, movements that create a sense of hope for the future and builds an understanding that people all around the planet are using their creativity to make the world a better place.
“So for the past eight years we’ve offered incomes to over 120 families, week in and week out in Uganda. But … my real passion is to tell those stories through the relationships we build and see how they inspire people to live differently in America,” Dave Hansow, Light Gives Heat founder, told blogger Nathan Salley.
From repurposed bags made from saris in India to hand-painted, beaded headbands from Thailand, Light Gives Heat sells an array of wearables made by artisans in the third world.
These Rosettes are handcrafted in Haiti by braiding recycled cotton and coiling into delightfully colorful disks. Each Rosette comes with an alligator clip, allowing you to spice up your life by adding it to shoes, hats, belts, bags, headbands and baskets.
Read more after the jump!
From a fashion standpoint, men’s watches have long been on my radar, but there’s something unique about WeWOOD’s Timepieces. What makes WeWOOD watches so special is that they’re made from premium wood, and for every watch sold, a tree is planted. That’s pretty awesome and quite commendable, given the state of our planet. WeWOOD works domestically with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization that protects America’s forests, and collaborates internationally with Trees for the Future, which has planted more than 65 million trees in 30 countries.
“We want to plant 1 million trees by 2020 and another million in the 20 years after that,” WeWOOD’s Ryan Alexander told Forbes. “It’s so exciting to do business and also make a difference. We’ve planted 50,000 trees in Ghana, 7,500 in Texas, 5,000 in the Bitterroot National Forest of Montana and Idaho, and more. There’s a lot of deforestation and devastation out there so every bit of relief helps.”
This two-toned Jupiter Beige-Brown Watch is twice as nice with its dual Miyota movements. Plus, you can’t argue with a timepiece that’s made of 100 percent natural wood, and free from artificial and toxic materials.
See more after the jump!
Generosity meets style and nerdom with Out of Print‘s sweaters, T-shirts and other literary accessories. Following a one-for-one donation model, for each product sold, the online retailer donates a book to Books For Africa, an organization that collects and distributes books to children in Africa.
“From day one we wanted to use our business as a vehicle to help do good,” said Todd Lawton, who created Out of Print Clothing with his business partner and childhood friend, Jeffrey LeBlanc, in an interview with the Freelancers Union. “We found Books For Africa and really liked how they operate. They have a simple mission — to distribute books to students of all ages in Africa — and are very efficient. We also were excited about our ability to help promote their organization.”
The company says it has sent more than 1 million books to communities in need in 22 countries through its partnership with Books For Africa. Although some of my favorite books (The Bluest Eye, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) have yet to be immortalized in wearable form from Out of Print, the online shop has some pretty cool literary gems.
This Library Stamp Long Sleeve is a throwback to the days when the library was life for young bookworms like myself. It gets extra points for having dates from my birth year of 1984, which, incidentally, is saluted in an awesome red long sleeve for the dystopian novel written by George Orwell.
See which vibrant, book-inspired garment took the crown after the jump!
Nonprofit and online store Krochet Kids intl., established in January 2008, works with highly vulnerable women who live in poverty-stricken regions of the world, namely Peru and Uganda. The organization provides the women with careers that allow them to provide for their families by selling the crocheted and knit items that they create.
“Today, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in creating gifts that give back,” said Kohl Crecelius, CEO and co-founder. “The products created abroad have been well received here at home and the collaboration of our staff and beneficiaries around the globe has created a sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment.”
When a person purchases a garment hand-crafted by Krochet Kids’ artisans, they’re not just buying a fashion statement — they’re wearing a statement of hope.
I found myself in search of something cozy and mustard yellow (it’s my favorite color of the moment), and out came the Julianne scarf, which is the quintessential cold weather accessory. It’s Goldenrod, but it works! This item is also available in Black and Plum.
I mean, what’s not to love about the pockets? It’s like a two-in-one scarf-mitten combo. Thank you, ladies of Uganda!
See which other knitted creation captured my heart after the jump!
Sevenly was founded on the simple but impactful notion that “People Matter,” and since 2011 has endeavored to do its part in helping make the world a better, friendlier place.
CEO Dale Partridge explained to Forbes, “The name Sevenly was chosen as a distinct play off the word ‘heavenly,’ which we interpret as ‘a world without need.’ This concept combined with the numeral 7, which Biblically has always represented the number of completion, defines not only our name but upholds our mission as well.”
With each purchase of Sevenly merchandise — which includes exclusive, limited-edition products; campaign-specific shirts and “cause art” prints; and curated items — $7 is donated to a featured charity. To date, Sevenly has raised $4 million and helped 1.3 million people and counting. Literally. You can see a real-time total of how much the organization has raised, as well as a countdown for when a particular campaign ends. Causes the Southern California-company has championed include eradication of world hunger, access to medical care in developing nations, sex trafficking survivors, anti-bullying and more.
While perusing Sevenly’s site, I was immediately drawn to this Be Brave With Giving Flowy Raglan.
See what else caught my eye after the jump!