Coutoure For A Cause

Everyone wants to look good, right? After all, that is why we spend so much time getting ready in the morning and shopping for that perfect little outfit for that company party. We want to find nice clothes and jewelry that is well-made and fits our style. But what if I told you that you could find these items for a decent price and help people at the same time? I ask because it's true-there are several retailers out there that sell beautiful items to benefit good causes. The products and supported charities vary widely, so there's something out there for everyone.

One retailer-turned-activist is TOMS shoes. You may have seen them for sale in high-end department stores and in 'whole-foods' markets, as well as on some of your friends and colleagues. TOMS sponsors a One-For-One model-for every pair of shoes that is sold, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Their main focus is to combat a disease called 'podoconiosis', an infection that is contracted through bare feet on the ground in Africa and other countries. Even if a child doesn't live in a place where this is common, they still need shoes; TOMS makes sure they get them. Visit to find a retailer near you.

On a similar tip, there is Common Threadz. They mostly sell T-shirts and other tops, but they have bracelets too. What's interesting about them is that some of the items they sell feature prints that were drawn by orphans in Africa! When you buy one of these shirts, you are effectively sponsoring that child by funding food, school uniforms and other things that can help a child get an education and make a better life for themselves and their families. There are also shirts by adult designers that help fund uniforms and food. They put your name on an 'honor wall' in Africa and send you a picture of it, but that's nothing compared to the comfort of knowing you've helped a child get a start in life. You can find them at

I've mentioned them before, but The Hunger Site and it's 'sister-sites' sell all kinds of items made in different parts of the world. The sale of these items goes to a number of causes from the rainforest, mammograms for underprivileged women, autism research and healthcare for children in need. For the animal lovers among us (like me!), The Animal Rescue Site provides food for animals in shelters. The charity being supported is indicated at the top of the page and on the item description itself. I especially like this floral top!  Everything sold from these sites is 'fair-trade', meaning that the workers who made them are being paid a fair wage and work in decent conditions. The whole purpose of the sites is to click a button that triggers various sponsors to donate in exchange for ad space, so you can also help out by visiting the sponsors' sites.

As you can see, it is possible to buy nice things while helping others. Aside from the fact that you'll be wearing something no one else has, you'll have made someone's life a little bit better for buying it. That, my friends, is better than any fashion magazine can offer!

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