Shop With a Purpose: How to Buy Things and Help Others

With the tragedy of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami still fresh in our minds, people are jumping for the opportunity to lend a helping hand. Some are leaving to volunteer on-site or are participating in charitable events and activities.

However, for those who would prefer to provide some low-key yet still important support, many designers and brands are doing different types of benefits and releasing special products that directly benefit Japan.

Here’s a list of designers and brands you can support that Annie Vazquez of AOL’s StyleList came up with:
  • Zero designer Maria Cornejo and her husband, photographer Mark Borthwick, will donate proceeds from sales of a limited-edition photo print tee to Doctors Without Borders.
  • Lady Gaga created a $5 "We Pray For Japan" wristband which is available on her website. 100% goes directly to the Japan relief effort.
  • Gilt City will match the profits from each donation made to the non-profit Global Giving.
  • Coach is donating 400 million yen (approximately $5 million) to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
  • Uniqlo will send 700 million yen worth of clothing to disaster victims, including 300,000 pieces of HEATTECH items. Plus, Fast Retailing President, Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai will make a personal donation of 1 billion yen and an additional 4 million will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • H&M has closed down all stores in Tokyo and is donating 100,000 garments to the Japanese Red Cross.
  • Karmaloop is taking pre orders for the site's $20 Rising Sun Tee, which is available for both men and women. 100 percent of the proceeds from the tee will go to The American Red Cross' disaster relief fund.
  • Rebecca Minkoff is donating is $100 for every red handbag purchased on her site to the Red Cross.
  • Steven Alan is donating 15% of all sales made March 14-17 to the International Medical Corps in Japan.
  • Made With Japan is selling a series of tees for $35 each and 100 percent of the proceeds are being donated.
  • Afterzine is donating $5 from each sale to the Red Cross. The $10 bi-annual 112- page zine has contributors like fashion bloggers Alexa Chung and Tavi.
  • Jewelry for a Cause is giving $6.50 from the sale of its $30 Blue Wave Talisman necklace to the Red Cross.
No matter what your style is, there is a way for you to get your shopping fix along with some good karma.

Danielle Ciappara
BARE Reporter

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