Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gift of Giving- IN FASHION


As I survive this year's shopping experience, I have to wonder how I can make my "gifts" matter in this world of commerce and big business. This past semester, my students had to put together presentations on "ethical brands' and ethical retailers and their eyes were opened to so many amazing retailers and brands that inspire the ART of giving, the true realization of a GIFT!

A gift is not a package, a toy, a sweater, a piece of jewelry... it is something that someone would not have if it wasn't for the GIVER... so the giver of the gift matters, his.her motives and values are important in the impact of the gift. So, how does one make a GIFt matter... I beg consumers of this world to challenge themselves to seek out retailers and brands whose products and sales make a REAL difference in this world.... so I thought I share of few that I feel are truly important n making a difference.

Please check them out. I believe that giving matters. And, when American consumers spend over $200 billion each year on apparel goods, shouldn't those dollars matter to make this world a better place, a more compassionate and artistic place?

Please check these out: - where shopping gives back. This site is close to my heart. Started by Ramona Russel, who created this in memory of her sister, Liz, who lost her life to breast cancer at the young age of 29. Uptown Liz also supports causes other than cancer, including autism, domestic violence, the military and so many more! Please check out the amazing products, from men's ties to beautiful candles, apparel, books, dvds, accessories and so much more!

NAU- - started by former Nike folk, and 5% of all sales go back to any organization you designate.


There are also so many great brands that give back tp specific purposes. A few of my favorites are:

TOM'S SHOES: TOMS was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One.

BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads. Women in Northern Uganda gather shea nuts and press them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. And people who care open their hearts,homes and communities to buy and sell both products.

The 3/50 PROECT

Also think about how your dollars can affect your local economy.
Think about it this way:
If you buy a gift from a bog box chain retailer, only a small percentage of the profits of that gift go back into the local economy, because only the store workers rent apartments or homes in the area, shop grocery stores in the area and live locally. Those within the company who make the big bucks, who live near the corporate headquarters spend in their own cities or town. But, if you buy from a local retailer, a mom-an-pop so to speak, an independent retailer who loves in the same community in which he/she does business will spend their money in that same community. So, if you spend your money locally, shopping in an independent retailer (a non-chain retailer) your money spent will help to bolster your local economy!

The Big Box have a place, but the Mom and Pops are the ones that keep our LOCAL economies alive! Visit the 3/50 Project to learn more:

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