When you’re spreading holiday cheer and giving gifts this year, remember that domestic animals and rescued wildlife could use a little help, too! Believe it or not, your clothes can help animals in need, and not just due to avoiding common retail items with materials made from byproducts.
Whether you’re donating the old or buying new, it’s important to keep our furry friends in mind. So even if you’re not sure exactly where to start, we’re here to help! Plus, it’s easier than you might think to incorporate the act of giving and receiving with the right retailers and charities, and here are a few reasons why you should.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.” And sadly, of those 7.6 million, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. There are thousands of no-kill animal shelters and even wildlife rescues that operate solely on donations. As a result, many of the founders sacrifice their own needs in order to provide for the animals in their care.
So let’s make the lives of animals in need a little brighter this year by checking out these great retailers and charities where your clothes can help make a difference.
Where to Buy
Arm the Animals (ATM) is all about “making activism fashionable.” ATM is a t-shirt and apparel company intent on helping small independent shelters. Established in 2010 after the founder’s sister’s untimely passing, ATM has been donating to animal rescues because of her dedication to animal advocacy. ATM claims that it is not a non-profit organization, but a regular apparel business with the core goal of giving back. And although it doesn’t say exactly how much is given, the business does profess that it provides these shelters with a steady stream of donations.
Hendrick & Co. is an apparel company that was established in 2011 by William David Hendrickson in Anaheim, California. The company views itself as a “vehicle that connects local animal nonprofits with people, from all walks of life.” And through the purchase of apparel and accessories, it has given nearly $500,000 to save animals. Every product purchase from the site triggers a $10 donation to support local animal rescues and shelters.
Vaute Couture is an apparel company that was launched in 2009 and specializes in vegan outerwear, but also happens to have a great selection of tanks, tees, and sweatshirts that benefit various animal rescues. When a portion of the sale is donated, the item will be clearly marked in the description, that way you’ll know exactly where your money is going. The clothes on here are so cute, don’t be surprised if some styles are sold out, so be sure to do your holiday shopping from Vaute Couture early.
Where to Donate
Born Free U.S.A. is a national animal advocacy nonprofit organization with the mission to “end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife – including highly endangered species – in their natural habitats, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.”
The organization’s “Fur for the Animals” campaign is a donation drive to collect coats, hats, and other accessories made from animal fur, where they are then distributed to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country, which are listed on the website. Not only will these donations assist animals, but they will also help the organization’s goal of reducing the supply, demand, and social acceptance of fur in fashion. The coats are used to comfort rescued animals, mimicking the warmth and feel of mom.
Thrift stores established to benefit nonprofit animal rescues are great places to donate used clothing and other acceptable goods. These rescues often rely on donations and from the sale of those items, which is why every little bit helps. Most major cities have thrift stores like these, so be sure to check them out next time you need to get rid of some gently used clothing or when you’re on the hunt for a cool vintage piece of furniture.
When you’re making your list and checking it twice this holiday season, remember that your clothes can help animals in need. Consider giving a rescue-benefitting sweater or donating some old clothes to make room for new gifts – it may make more of an impact than you realize.
How did you like our ideas on giving back this season? Do you plan to give any of these a try? Let us know what you liked best on the EcoSalon Facebook page!
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