Shop with conscious. Here are 10 inspiring clothing companies that give back — along with offering uber stylish fashions and accessories.
Tip: Responsible travelers can also give back with their tour bookings. Check out Visit.org’s unique nonprofit-led tours that benefit local communities and provide cultural immersion all over the world!
1. Pura Vida Bracelets. Pura Vida Bracelets began when two college graduates brought home a few bracelets from Costa Rica vacation. It’s now turned into one of the most popular accessory brands among college students. Pura Vida Bracelets embrace the Costa Rican “pura vida” (“pure life”) lifestyle by offering simple designs to represent the beauty of a life lived slowly. The company now employs over 80 Costa Ricans. Additionally, Pura Vida Bracelets offers a “charity” line of bracelets to raise money for causes ranging from cancer awareness to suicide prevention charities.
2. Sevenly. Each week, Sevenly releases new designs to support a new organization. $7 from each product purchased is donated to the organization of the week, ranging from international humanitarian organizations to those focused on hunger or sex-trafficking in the United States. The goal each week is to donate $7,000 to the organization. All of the designs have a positive, feel-good quality while still remaining stylish and fashionable.
3. Musana. Musana is a social enterprise brand based in Lugazi, Uganda. They work to break the poverty cycle by providing education and stable employment to the women of Lugazi. Musana offers a line of simple yet bold statement earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, along with a new collection of notebooks.
In addition, they also offer English and business classes to the women they employ.
4. Out Of Print. Out of Print makes cute literary-themed accessories that also give back. With the purchase of this $12 canvas travel pouch — which features banned books printed in typewriter font — the brand sends a book to a community in need.
5. Serengetee. Serengetee launched out of a college dorm room after two college friends returned home from Semester at Sea with fabrics collected from markets around the world. Today, the company supports 32 different causes. Each fabric pattern is designed by artisans across the world and is linked to a specific cause. The fabric is then designed onto a shirt, usually as a pocket, for a unique and stylish look that still gives back to international communities.
6. Visible Clothing. The slogan of Visible Clothing is “Quality clothes made by those who are treated fairly.” They are on a mission to connect consumers with those who are making their clothes and offer details on every stage of their business model, believing that everyone should know where and how their clothing is made. They are aiming to create better work standards for all of the women working abroad on clothing and partner with numerous organization to work towards that goal.
7. Article 22. Article 22 creates beauty from destruction. Their first collection, PEACEBOMB, is created using Vietnam War era bombs by Laotian designers. Each bracelets results in the demining of 3m2 of bomb littered land.
8. Lemlem. LemLem began after supermodel/actress Liya Kebede was inspired by the weaving traditions of the women in Ethiopia. She saw an opportunity to preserve the art of traditional weaving while also empowering local women and launched the company in 2007. Lemlem features products handmade in Ethiopia with all natural cotton that are both stylish but comfortable to wear.
9. Toms. Though many brands and companies operate on a one-for-one model, Toms is perhaps the most well-known. For every pair of Toms purchased, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child or teenager in need, worldwide. Purchases from their other product lines, ranging from eyewear to bags, also provide services like eye care, safe birthing education, and bully awareness in their partnerships with over 100 giving partners.
10. BeGood Clothes. BeGood is on a mission to become the first closed-loop retailer and currently produces only 10% of the chemical and water waster of a traditional manufacturer. They recognize the holes in the fashion industry and are making changes within their own company, offering only premium organic fabric and a line of basic but timely pieces. Additionally, they have partnered with Evidence Action to provide drinkable water to communities in Kenya and Uganda in an attempt to offset the negative impacts the fashion industry has had on water pollution in the past.
11. Guru Sandals. Gurus are a unique line of sandals inspired by the single-post design worn by Gandhi. Gurus are made with hand-harvested rubber from the company’s family farms and use natural rubber instead of the other synthetic materials found in most other shoes. For every purchase made, they also plant a tree.
By Sky Fisher
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