Tuesday, August 26, 2008

fashion that makes a difference

My life is full of paradoxes. I like barely cooked steak, and I love burnt toast. I live in a warm climate, and I love winter clothes. I like conserving energy, and I love big SUVs. I like saving money and investing, and I love shopping. And I like making a difference.

Fashion forward campaigns and companies are what I love right now. Product Red (RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to ultimately combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. Companies like The Gap, Motorola, American Express, Apple, Dell, Converse, and Giorgio Armani design specific products in their ranges that promote awareness. A percentage of the profits are given to The Global Fund. The fund helps women and children affected by the deadly virus.

Branch Home is a wonderful store that stocks eco-friendly, very fashion forward accessories and products. My favorite item is a tote bag made from recycled sailboat sails. You know I love bags - tote bags, messenger bags, attache cases, luggage - you name it. I love bags. And Arbor Sports makes some of the most fun, original belts and tshirts from environmentally friendly and organic materials.

I love that Ikea encourages customers to bring their own reusable bags, even charging customers who don't bring their own. Many grocery stores throughout Europe follow the same procedure. Save the environment (and money too!) by bringing your own bags to reuse.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good fur coat and leather shoes, but organic bamboo, recycled sails, and biodegradable bowls, cups, and plates definitely make me happy. You don't have to go crazy when it comes to fashion. I'm not asking you to hug trees, stop wearing deodorant, or fashion your wardrobe from cardboard boxes and duct tape. But I am asking you to be responsible. If you can buy something that makes a difference, be the change. It'll bring a whole new meaning the next time you "go change your clothes".

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