Purchasing With Purpose

Just like that perfect in-between of early fall’s changing leaves, still hanging onto summer’s last drops of golden sunshine before they turn deep burgundy and then brown, there are so many mainstream fashion labels also straddling the changing times. With consumers increasingly valuing socially conscious brands that support a good cause, here are seven of our favorite brand collaborations from the season, from labels that have designed some stellar products to support the organizations doing great work all over the world.


1. Madewell x Surfrider Foundation

Minimalist modern Madewell is hanging ten with the Surfrider Foundation’s mission to protect beaches and coastlines around the world. In the spirit of Surfrider’s timeless mantra “long live the beach,” Madewell has launched a five-piece collection of limited-edition, beach-friendly pieces that feature stylish tees made from 100% recycled cotton (AKA, Mother Nature), top bar sunglasses, and a straw tote. Snag them up while they're still on sale—these summer staples are going faster than a riptide.


2. PacSun x ME to WE

Skater girls can browse through PacSun’s collaboration with ME to WE, where every choker tee, bralette, or knit top purchased helps change the life of a child or family in a developing community overseas. Specifically, the sales of each product go towards five areas of impact: education, healthcare, food, financial tools, and clean water. So far, the partnership has already contributed to the employment of 1,700 women, provided 7 million gallons of water and have made 1.4 million impacts including providing education and medical services. Some of the products also come with a special code, with which individuals can track their impact, watching how ME to WE is delivering essential resources in communities around the world to break the cycle of poverty and create real, lasting change. 


3. Mer-Sea x Water.org

From the company that makes the softest travel wraps comes the Sea Change candle, a 7-oz hand-poured soy candle made in the USA. All proceeds from the “aquatic-scented” Sea Change candle go to directly to Water.org, an international nonprofit founded by Matt Damon and Gary White that creates innovative solutions to provide access to safe water and sanitation around the world. The founders of Mer-Sea (originally from California) are self-professed “water lovers” who missed the sounds of water after moving to landlocked Kansas City, and were moved by Water.org’s work, and the impact that clean water and sanitation have on women and children. 


4. FabFitFun x UNICEF

Everyone's favorite subscription box FabFitFun has teamed up with UNICEF for their fall box, donating classroom supplies to give disadvantaged children an education. UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization, providing things like health care, clean water, emergency relief and more. Through their $50 season box, as well as add-on items and donation for UNICEF’s “Back to School” pack, FabFitFun members can get a range of lifestyle products from a denim gym bag to a jewelry holder, and support a great cause. 


5. Cotopaxi x Truth

Cotopaxi, the outdoor gear company and certified B-corp on a mission to alleviate poverty, has partnered up with Truth in its mission to end smoking. To celebrate the partnership, which also included educating youth about big tobacco lies in Cotopaxi’s various “Questival” races across the country, the two organizations unveiled a new, limited-edition Luzon Daypack featuring Brooklyn-based artist Kevin Lyons’ famous “Monster” designs. 


6. Fabletics x GirlUp’s SchoolCycle

Demi Lovato’s newest collection of bold fitness clothing benefits Girl Up's SchoolCycle initiative, which provides girls in Malawi with bikes, spare parts, and maintenance training so they can go quickly and safely to and from school. These bikes also lend girls a certain mark of independence, perfectly in line with Girl Up’s mission to empower girls around the world. Choose from edgy styles featuring metallic leggings (in the bestselling Lisette) or a cute cropped mesh hoodie for trips between the track and the barre studio, remembering to express gratitude for how easily we can hop into a car to get around. 


 7. Livari x Cool Effect

Livari, a zero-waste womenswear label created by Orange Is The New Black's Alysia Reiner, has partnered with Cool Effect, a crowdfunding platform supporting carbon reduction projects around the world, with its Backbone t-shirt. Inspired by women and printed ethically in Brooklyn, 15 percent of proceeds from this t-shirt help fund the “Productive Poo” carbon reduction project in Bagepalli, India that turns cow poo into clean energy, effectively reducing carbon pollution, waste, and disease while helping with waste management, soil fertility, and forest conservation.


8. Breast Cancer Awareness

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you don’t have to limit yourself to wearing pink on just Wednesdays. A handful of brands have launched chic items supporting organizations like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, including S’well’s “bikini pink” bottle (or studded with Swarovski crystals, if that's your style) and LOFT’s rose quartz jewelry collection perfect for the office. Bright Pink has also partnered with brands like Modern Citizen in its compass necklace, Vineyard Vines, and Susan G. Komen has Spiritual Gangster’s “Warrior” yoga top and Timberland rocking candy pink boots for sale. For a full list of brands to shop for a pink cause, see BCRF, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Bright Pink’s dedicated pages.