When You Feel Good, You Look Good

When the sleeve is this beautiful, why shouldn’t you wear your heart on it?

Buying fashion for a good cause seems like a lovely idea, doesn’t it? You could say it’s like lifting two spirits with one swipe of your credit card. You buy an item and the designer donates some money to a good cause. That is until, like me, you’ve got enough charity printed tees to hold a small rally in your closet benefiting workouttopsforever.com. Or your new, not so environmentally-friendly storage unit…And don’t get me started on those tacky plastic wristbands. (Surely there are enough of those by now to fill a dedicated “What were they thinking?” landfill.)

As the industry witnesses a profound shift in the way we consume and use products, the world of fashion for charity is also experiencing a timely rethinking and redesign. More and more, environmentally friendly companies are creating some truly beautiful things that stylish people will use beyond the latest environmental disaster’s news cycle.

Check out Mat and Nat’s limited edition Ikat collection in honor of Earth Day. The bags are made from an average of 21 recycled water bottles and will be available in the U.S. exclusively on www.mattandnat.com until April 25th. The perfect accessory for your spring Boho-inspired looks, each bag purchased will generate a $21 donation to a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Jennifer Bennett, the San Francisco-based designer of the brilliant Jendarling garment bags recently created a dry-cleaning bag benefiting clean and safer beaches. The Bondi bag, named in honor of the pristine Bondi Beach in Sydney, was created in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics campaign after Jen became dismayed at the amount of litter she found on the early morning beach walks she enjoys with her dog. Like all the pieces in the Jendarling line, this bag is beautifully crafted and has to be the chicest way to drop off your dry cleaning.

For those who desire a more enduring commitment to a good cause, take a look at Berlin designer Christine Mayer’s extraordinary Peace Collection that benefits a series of children’s charity projects in Nepal and India. Consisting of carefully constructed and imaginatively fitted separates and tailored jackets, the evocative line is made from recycled materials such as flour sacks from the 1850’s, antique table linens and aprons. It reminds us of the long-lasting service made possible from a hand-crafted treasure.

As those plastic wristbands unfortunately prove, doing good doesn’t always mean you’re looking good. However, when charity looks this stylish you’ll get a generous dose of both.


Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.