Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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Meria Ivy

Meria Ivy is a junior at the University of Iowa, studying journalism and art. Currently, she is an editor and writer for VERVE Magazine. She is also a photographer for Fools Magazine. Talk to her about ice cream, music and art.

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The season of giving has passed and we’re well into the new year. While some of us are holding steadfast to our resolutions, others have already dropped their “new year, new me” aspirations.

However, one thing we should all resolve to do is find small ways to make a large impact throughout the year. When you decide to treat yourself, consider shopping with these brands that allow you to look great and feel good by giving back. Brand awareness is important, and by giving your money to brands that care about more than just their bottom line, you can create better lives for people, improve the environment, or help animals.

1. Ivory Ella

“Good Clothes For A Good Cause”

Ivory Ella is a high-quality brand with an array of clothing inspired by elephants. Each year they donate 10% of their profits to elephant conservation programs in an effort to counteract the damage done by the ivory trade. They’ve also stationed rangers in Kenya to monitor poachers.

Ivory Ella reports that since 2015, they’ve donated $1.3 million to various causes, but mostly to programs committed to the protection of elephants. They’ve donated over 30k items of clothing to schools, families, kids, and displaced people. They built a fence in Samburu Lorubae to protect young girls and as they pursue their education. In addition, 500 backpacks have been delivered to students in need, 200 meals have been served to people who don’t have access to consistent meals, and more than 300 elephants have been monitored and protected in Africa—all thanks to Ivory Ella.

2. TOMS

“One for One”

Toms has a one-for-one initiative. They pioneered this concept: to give one pair of shoes to a person in need every time one pair of their shoes sold. According to the TOMS’ website, they have also provided eyesight treatment to over 500,000 people, helped secure safe birth services for over 175,000 mothers and created bullying prevention programs. Over 2 million children have been protected from hookworm with medication and TOMS shoes.

3. Krochet Kids

“Buy a Hat, Change a Life”

According to Krochet Kids, their brand employs over 150 women in Peru and Uganda to create hand-crafted goods. Each item is signed by the woman who created it. This ensures you know who the artisan is, and you can reach out to them via the website and thank them. Krochet Kids employs, educates, mentors, and creates jobs for women in third world countries, offering them opportunities for advancement and a way to comfortably support their families.

4. Out of Print

“Books, worn well”

Out of Print reported on their website that their sales fund and promote literacy programs, as well as donate books to underserved communities. They also support the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives. They donate one book to Books for Africa every time a product is purchased. Not to mention, you can stan your favorite novel with a cute printed tee.

5. Sevenly

“People Matter”

Sevenly reported that they have donated $4,879,612, thousands of products and volunteer hours to various causes- like ending human trafficking and creating opportunities for advancement for people diagnosed with autism, in an effort to create a better tomorrow. Sevenly makes a pledge of $7 per purchase in its 7-day Campaigns and a percentage for its cause-themed Collections to selected non-profits. On their website, you learn about and support any cause that interests you, and help start a conversation about a cause that you care about. Their trademark is advocacy art and apparel to raise awareness, funds, and followers for non-profit organizations.

6. Makai Clothing Company

“Together, we can help save the turtles”

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Every year, thousands of baby turtles emerge from their nests. However, according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy and SEE Turtles, only one in 1,000 survive to adulthood. Makai is trying to change that statistic. Makai’s mission is to protect turtles from natural and human-caused threats by donating 10% of all net profits directly to sea turtle conservation. That includes cleaning up beaches, raising awareness, setting up sea turtle hospitals, and implementing sea turtle nesting beach conservation projects around the world.

7. Serengetee

“Wear the World”

According to Serengetee, they purchase fabric from over 25 countries, in order to support artisans in developing countries, their families, and to continue ancient fabric-making traditions. In addition, 10% of their profits are given to a diverse range of grassroots causes, to improve the lives of people within their communities. However, all products are handcrafted in Los Angeles. This is a great brand because it supports artists locally and abroad. They have 36 Cause Partners and send aid to Africa, Asia, Central & South America, North America, and the South Pacific.

8. Everlane

“Radical Transparency”

Everlane’s mission is to provide exceptional quality, find ethical factories, and be radically transparent with customers. On their website, they state that they have committed to only working with factories that pay their employees’ fair wages, schedule reasonable hours, and provide a safe working environment. They also reveal all of their costs—like the cost of labor, transportation, hardware, and materials. This ensures you know the people making the clothing are getting the wages and workspace they deserve, and you aren’t being duped into buying overpriced merchandise.

9. Warby Parker

“Buy a pair, give a pair”

On Warby Parker’s Website, they state some staggering statistics-2.5 billion people around the world need glasses but don’t have access to them; 624 million of those people can’t learn or work effectively because of the severity of their visual impairment. In an effort to alleviate this problem, Warby Parker has distributed over 3 million pairs of glasses to those in need. While they do supply adults with glasses, a major way they find out who is in need of assistance is by working with teachers because they are often some of the first people to notice vision problems among children. In the developing world, just one pair of glasses increases productivity by 35% and increases income by 20%. They created the Pupils Project, a program that partners with local organizations to provide free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to schoolchildren, who up until that point may have never seen clearly. They have supplied glasses to people in over 50 countries, creating more opportunities for those people.

10. Twice As Warm

“Spread Warmth”

Twice as Warm reports that since their advent, they have donated a winter clothing item, for each one purchased, as part of their “Wear One, Give One” initiative. The clothing is made in the USA and then distributed to local emergency and homeless shelters and organizations. They also touch base with school administrators to find out which kids don’t have the winter apparel they need, and they are given items free of charge.

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Next time you want to treat yourself, consider shopping with one of these amazing brands where the gift you give yourself, gives back twice. Plus, you don’t have to feel as guilty about all of the online shopping you’ve been doing.

Meria Ivy

Meria Ivy is a junior at the University of Iowa, studying journalism and art. Currently, she is an editor and writer for VERVE Magazine. She is also a photographer for Fools Magazine. Talk to her about ice cream, music and art.

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