In these tumultuous economic times, we’re all tightening our oh-so fabulous belts. One of the unfortunate side effects of such belt-tightening is that we are making fewer and smaller charitable donations. Of course, another unfortunate side effect is that we feel guilty spending on ourselves. Well, it’s possible to indulge your style needs and do your part to contribute to those in need at the same time. We call it style activism!
Read Related: The Eco-Friendly Fashionista
These companies promote social causes and make a difference in people’s lives all over the world through creativity, hard work, and fantastic products. Before you replenish your fall wardrobe, find out if there’s a socially conscious option for anything on your list. Nothing nourishes your inner glow like luxurious selflessness.
Navy Suede Women’s Desert Botas ($68)
A trip to Argentina inspired TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie to develop his One for One movement. For each pair of shoes purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. How can you resist?
Mata Traders High Waisted Trouser ($56)
These jaunty Mata Traders sailor pants are handmade by artisans in India and Nepal. Pair them with a striped tee and fitted jacket for the perfect transitional fall ensemble. Mata means ‘mother’ in Hindi—mami power is a global phenomenon!
Handmade Cotton Batik Dress by Global Mamas ($49.95)
Global Mamas is the name brand for goods produced by Women in Progress, which enables African women to support themselves and their communities. When you purchase this dress you are providing 3% of a microgrant to help an African woman attain financial independence.
Ponte la Camiseta or Wear the T-shirt by Latin-US donates 100% of their profits to the health, feeding, education of needy Latino children in the US and Latin America. These cool tees are only available through December 31, 2011 so get a head start on your holiday shopping!
The Andean Collection is a gorgeous fusion of traditional craft and urban design. Owner Amanda Judge is striving to improve the lives of women in rural Ecuador by promoting their financial independence. She brings her designs to artisans in Ecuador who use local materials to handcraft each item.
Philosopher’s Stone Ring ($58)
Yes, she was the designer we loved to hate on last season’s Project Runway, but Gretchen Jones is doing her part to make the world a better place, and you’ve got to love that. Her line of gorgeous, architectural jewelry for Piperlime is handmade by artisans in Bogota, Colombia, and 100% of their net profits are donated to Aid to Artisans.
MAC Cosmetics donates every penny from sales of their iconic Viva Glam lip colors to the MAC AIDS Fund. Hurry up and get these Lady Gaga inspired shades now. And look out for what are sure to be delectable new colors when Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin take over as Viva Glam spokespeople in 2012.
Trash Bags are a line of clutches and bags handmade in Comayagua, Honduras, from recycled post-consumer waste (specifically chips bags). Each purchase supports their community, women’s independence and entrepreneurship, and the environment. And they’re adorable!