good companies do good

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what else I can do to give back. When you look at our big wide world as a whole and hear about all the awfulness that goes on out there, it can seem really daunting (if not impossible) to feel like you can make a difference, but here’s the thing: you CAN! All the little things that people do to help make the world a brighter, happier place to be add up to a whole lot of good.

It got me thinking: when it comes to doing good and my favorite hobby (fashion and style, natch), how do these two intersect? Who are the people out there making a real difference in the world? And which companies put their money where their mouths are and really DO things that help more than just their own bottom line?

patavestimage via patagonia.com

Patagonia is a well-known, eco-conscious outerwear company that has always focused on corporate responsibility, so I’m happy to support them and I own a few of their pieces (shout-out to the best waterproof parka Ive ever owned!) They recently made big-time news by donating all of their Black Friday sales to protecting vital natural resources. The company had forecasted around $2 million in sales that day, but pulled in a whopping $10 million– and donated ALL of it. Now that’s a company I feel good supporting!

As for other larger national retailers that do good, Forbes recently ran a list of 20 places to shop that are great for holiday gift-giving. For a more comprehensive list, here’s a rundown of over 50 companies that donate to non-profits and/or who match employee donations as well.

Locally, Austin is bursting with small business that do a whole lot of good with their commitment to ethical, fair-trade practices. Here are just a few of my favorites!

  • Purse and Clutch focuses on handmade, fair-trade handbags and accessories, and their goods are always beautiful and thoughtfully chosen. Follow them on Instagram for some serious purse inspo: my current favorite of theirs is this amazing cowhide cross-body bag— Santa, are you listening?
  • Raven + Lily is a perennial Austin favorite for ethically-sourced clothing, jewelry and home goods, and they now have two brick-and-mortar locations in the city (East Austin and the Domain). I heard their founder Kirsten Dickerson speak at a blogger event at their Domain store back in July, and she is an absolute gem. Great story and amazing selection of beautiful things at this one!
  • Seek Wander Share is a small-but-mighty team that ethically sources the cutest accessories you’ve ever seen– and their Instagram is another must-follow to bring some loveliness (that does good!) into your feed.
  • ravenlilyimage via ravenandlily.com

I know of other local favorites like Olive and Byron & Blue that periodically donate profits to very worthy causes: Austin has such a fantastic group of local small business owners who lift up other small businesses and support local (and beyond) causes that do good and give back to the community. It makes me so proud as an Austinite to say that I personally know so many small business owners and other creatives who are damn good at what they do AND absolute gems of human beings to boot.

As for me, I’m making “do good” a priority in my life. I donated to Standing Rock, the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights and am pleased as punch to send my money to causes I strongly believe in. I’ve volunteered at the Austin Animal Center since earlier this year and will continue to do so and sing their praises: did you know they have an Amazon Wish List that you can shop and send them supplies they need at any time? Genius!

What are you doing this holiday season (and beyond!) to do good?

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