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Fashion for a Cause

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Making charitable donations feels awesome. Getting a fashionable little token of gratitude back makes it just a little bit sweeter (not that I condone doing nice things just to get credit for it, mind you). There are plenty of commendable, reputable organizations out there collecting money for good causes, and the recent catastrophic events in Japan  have been inspiration for several designers (and, even though I can’t change the radio station fast enough when her “music” comes on, total shout out to Lady Gaga for her (weird-looking – sorry, but it is) $5 Japan relief bracelet where all of the proceeds are donated). I can’t think of a better reason than helping others to spend money on clothing/accessories. So, these are my favorite Japanese relief aids (taking into account that I’m not a fan of the “Hey, buy our $250 item and we’ll donate 50 cents to a charitable organization” thing, if you notice an obvious gap, but I encourage everyone to take advantage of google and find a cause[s]/organization[s] that work for you):

1. Kate Spade Support Japan Totes – $18. Not only are these cute, they’re environmentally friendly and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Two thumbs up, although they didn’t make enough of them and they’re not available online any more… Maybe they’ll do another run. Check your local store, though.

2. Maria Cornejo & Mark Borthwick limited-edition tees featuring prints of Mark’s photos – $155. (Maria and Mark will be signing the tanks at the Zero + Maria Cornejo boutique at 33 Bleeker Street in NYC on March 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM). Proceeds from the shirts will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. (I love the tank tops they have).

3. Tory Burch T-Shirt – $29. Cute t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross’s Japanese Relief Efforts. Who couldn’t use another great t-shirt? Win, win.

4. Joan Hornig’s Wave of Help pendant – $60.80. Shop | Joan Hornig Jewelry | Philanthropy is Beautiful. The price refers to the tsunami, quake – 6 miles inland, 80 miles offshore. I love the pendant, but I would like to know the amount of the donation and exactly how that works… but it’s still a great piece and a good cause (and actually the whole site is dedicated to good causes, so take a look around).

Completely worth mentioning (and checking out):

Ralph Lauren’s Japan Hope Classic-fit Polo ($98 – 100% of proceeds donated to Central Community Chest of Japan, a part of United Way), and Anna Sui’s “Japan – We’re All in this Together” t-shirts ($20 – 100% of proceeds benefit Japan disaster relief, and, bonus, there are two versions – male and female).

Both Jewelry For a Cause’s necklace ($6.50 of the $30 purchase price is donated to relief efforts) and Rich Rock’s Bohemian-style Double-Disc White-Plated Earrings ($14.00 of the $70 purchase price is donated to the American Red Cross, Japan Relief Efforts) have 20% going to Japanese aid.

And don’t forget that Rebecca Minkoff is donating $100 from the sales of red handbags purchased on her site to the Red Cross, while Diane von Furstenberg is donating 10% of website sales through April 8 to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (hello, new spring wrap dress!!).

There are, of course, a multitude of donations flooding in from organizations out of their own bank accounts who aren’t asking for consumer donations, as well – so feel good about supporting these brands:

  • Coach is donating $5 million dollars to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • H&M is donating 100,000 garments to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • Uniqlo has donated $17 million to relief efforts, while the founder of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, Tadashi Yanai, even donated $12.2 million of his own money (pretty impressive in my point of view).

You can check out the New York Times piece “Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: How to Help” (here: and the comments following, for more great organizations accepting donations and providing aid.


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