Category Archives: Bags

Feel Good Fashion: Three Clothing Brands That Give Back to Charities

During the stress of the holiday season, I rarely give back to others more than dropping the occasional pocket change into an iconic red Salvation Army tin. After New Years, a wave of guilt usually starts to creep in and I begin to wish I had been more giving during the time of giving.

Luckily, there are year-round options for combining my love of fashion with helping others. These three clothing and accessories brands make donations to charities with every purchase. Now I just have to decide what to buy. Shopping never felt so good.

TOMS

Perhaps one of the best-known companies for its “giving back” ideology, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need with every shoe purchase through its One for One campaign.

[These delicate silver and white shoes are vegan-friendly (made with no animal products.) Photo Courtesy TOMS.]

TOMS offers a range styles of women’s shoes including lace-up shoes, slip-ons, wedges, botas (similar to high-tops) and vegan boots. Most styles range between $54 and $70.

Kayu

This ethically minded company started with a line of bamboo sunglasses. For every purchase of its sunglasses, Kayu donates $20 to fund a sight-restoring surgery in a developing country.

[These handcrafted retro bamboo sunglasses from Kayu offer 100 percent UV protection. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Bamboo artisans in China handcraft Kayu’s line of sunglasses. The line includes four styles all priced at $180. While this seems expensive, these sunglasses have great features that make the price worth it. They’re made from sustainable materials; bamboo, a fast-growing grass, is a more eco-friendly alternative to wood; the lenses offer 100 percent UV protection; and the company gives back to those less fortunate.

Today, Kayu’s collection also includes a line of straw and shell handbags. For every clutch sale, Kayu donates $15 to purchase a backpack and school supplies for a child in need.

[This clutch, made from natural and sustainable straw, features a funky turquoise clasp and works well for day or night. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Women’s cooperatives in Asia handcraft Kayu’s purses. The three styles of shell purses are made from mother-of-pearl and pen shells that are by-products of the food industry. These styles cost $280 to $320.

Kayu’s other line of purses, made from natural and sustainable straw, come in four distinct styles and cost $135 each.

Out of Print

What’s your favorite book? Out of Print lets its customers wear their favorite stories through its t-shirts and sweatshirts that feature classic, and often out of print book covers.

[This ultra feminine t-shirt references my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Photo Courtesy Out of Print.]

For every shirt sold, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need through its partnership with Books for Africa, a nonprofit that distributes books to children in Africa.

The book covers featured on Out of Print’s t-shirts include my personal favorite, Pride and Prejudice, along with everything from The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick to Nancy Drew, Fahrenheit 451 and The Outsiders. Out of Print’s t-shirts cost $28.

Out of Print’s sweatshirts, which cost $38, feature 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick, and Pride and Prejudice.

What do you think I should buy? Do you have any other favorite ethically-minded brands? Tell me about it in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Want to know more about sustainable fashion?

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Filed under Accessories, Bags, Clothes, Fashion, Green Fashion, Purses, Shoes, Sunglasses

Poll: What Is Your Favorite Fashion Accessory?

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Filed under Accessories, Fashion, Hats, Jewelry, Purses, Scarves, Sunglasses

The Perfect Bag: What Are The Qualities Of Your Favorite Purse?

I consider myself a shoe person, not a purse person. Unlike shoes, which I buy too often, I usually find a purse that I love and use it until the handle falls off or it gets too dirty to wear in public.

[This houndstooth purse from Target has all of my “essential” elements for a bag. Photo by Kirsten Hudson.]

My favorite purse that I’ve been using lately is this large, houndstooth tote I bought at Target a while ago. This purse fulfills all of the qualities that I like in an everyday bag and then some!

Essential quality number one: Size

None of those little clutch purses that only hold a wallet and a phone for me; I need a large bag. My guy friends refer to this bag as my “camping bag” because they say it’s large enough to hold everything needed for a camping trip. Well, almost. Usually I cram books, several tupperware containers holding my lunch, a water bottle, a scarf or light sweater depending on the weather and other essentials when I head to class. I’ve even put groceries in it before when I forgot my reusable bags. This bag is big enough to hold whatever I may need without looking like a duffle bag.

Essential quality number two: Adaptability

I need a bag that can adapt to lots of different situations. This bag is very versatile. It works as both my backpack and gym bag, but looks nice enough that I can carry it to interviews and when going out to eat.

Essential quality number three: Look

When shopping for a bag though, it really just comes down to one factor. Do you spot it and say “Oh that’s cute,” or not. Because if not, all of the other qualities don’t matter. I love the classic look of this bag.

A little extra

The hands down best quality about this purse though, is the narrow pouch on the front. I use it as a cup holder almost every day to hold my water bottle. My little secret is that I often hide cups of coffee and other drinks that you’re not supposed to bring into movie theatres and other places in that pouch. It’s exactly the right size to hold drinks without spilling. The pouch is also great to hold keys or a phone because digging for keys at the bottom of a purse this size can get frustrating.

If you love purses that multitask like me, check out the slideshow below. I found several cute purses with those convenient front pouches!

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What are the qualities of your favorite purse? Tell me about them in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Love purses? Then check out these other posts from everyday threads:

  • This Kayu clutch, made from natural and sustainable straw, features a funky turquoise clasp and works well for day or night.
  • Are purses your favorite fashion accessories? Let the world know your opinion in our poll on the best fashion accessory.

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Filed under Bags, Fashion, Purses