For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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2015 Gifts That Give Back

Tis’ the season for giving! I’ve curated a fun list of gift ideas that give back in more ways that one. By giving these gifts, you’re also giving back to a great cause.

2015 Gifts That Give Back

 

1. The Gemma Hat by Krochet Kids: Krochet Kids supports women living in poverty in Northern Uganda and Peru by providing them with jobs, an education, and career counseling in order to create long lasting, sustainable change. This classic, gray pompom beanie is perfect for colder weather.

2. Dime Collection (tortoise frame with gold mirror lenses) by Diff Eyewear: These shades not only keep you from squinting on bright, sunny days, but also help to supply eyeglasses to rural areas in Africa. For every pair of eyewear that is bought through Diff Eyewear, a pair of eyeglasses is given (at no cost) to communities that do not have access to vision care.

3. Resilience Necklace by Made By Survivors: Made By Survivors provides jobs, education, and shelter to thousands of human trafficking survivors in Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. This particular necklace is inspired by vines that grow in Northern India. Like the women who make these necklaces, vines are very resilient. When you cut them down, they grow back even stronger.

4. Black and Gold Striped Vase by Ten Thousand Villages: Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations. They are the founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and strive to improve the lives of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. This vase is made with a traditional Peruvian technique, but the black and gold stripes give it a modern twist.

5. Nine West Cross Body from The Fashion Foundation: Recently Nine West donated over 300 bags to the Fashion Foundation. So if you want to get a good quality bag for a fraction of the cost while also supporting a good cause, this is the place to do it. The Fashion Foundation has donated over $10,000 to schools in need of basic supplies like pencils, crayons, uniforms, and basic gym equipment. You can read more about The Fashion Foundation in this interview I did with the founder, Amanda Munz.

6. Maria Poncho by Moorea Seal: Moorea Seal is an awesome store that donates 7% of profits to a variety of causes. This poncho combines comfort and style and gives back to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I call that a win-win-win. You can also check out my Moorea Seal gift guides from last year: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

7. Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch by Endangered Species Chocolate: There’s no better winter combination than chocolate and peppermint. 10% of the proceeds from each bar go to one of two foundations Endangered Species Chocolate is currently partnered with: African Wildlife Foundation or The Xerces Society.

8. On Purpose Blue Leather Tote by Kate Spade: What girl doesn’t want to find a Kate Spade bag under the tree? This particular bag is from the On Purpose collection, which provides jobs, heath care, and fair wages to 150 women in Masoro, Rwanda. The end goal is to positively transform the entire community of over 20,000 people.

9. Tiny Treasures Lil’ Zip by Dogeared: The makers of this adorable pouch are a little different than the rest of the companies on this list. Dogeared is a certified B-Corp, which means it is a for profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

10. In-Ear Wired Sport Headphones by SMS Audio: These headphones help support Feeding America, which is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. SMS Audio was founded by 50 Cent so you know they’ll be stylish, yield high quality sound, and will be appreciated by the music lover in your life.


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Orange Harp 2015 Gift Guide (For Her)

Every year I make myself wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. No Christmas decorations, no holiday music, no gift shopping until I have properly stuffed my face with turkey. And every year I find myself in a mad rush to find last minute gifts. This year I’ve decided to take a new approach. In respect for Thanksgiving, I will still keep the holiday tunes and décor to a minimum, but I am going to start thinking about gifts a little earlier to spare myself any last minute stress.

I thought I would help my readers out too by creating my first gift guide of the year. Last year my first seasonal gift guide revolved around a company called Orange Harp. For those of you who have never heard of Orange Harp, Orange Harp is a mobile app that serves as a marketplace for high-quality, ethically crafted, socially conscious products. They partner with brands that make things the right way. The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious life.

Since my original gift guideOrange Harp has grown in many ways. They currently have partnered with 45 brands and sell over 4,000 products. Orange Harp has also updated their app with filter options for easier navigation. In my opinion, the coolest new addition is their Orange Harp Heroes program. They encourage users to send in their socially conscious tips and stories so Orange Harp can share them with the world. You can email you tips to life@orangeharp.com for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

All the products below are available on the Orange Harp app which you can download from the app store. You can click the links to learn more about each product and why they’re considered socially conscious. This is your lucky day because you can also save some money by using the code GREATERGOODS at checkout to get 15% off your entire purchase (valid through November 30, 2015). Happy shopping!

Orange Harp For Her Gift Guide 2015

1. Aasha Glass Cuff

2. All Natural Hand Cream Smoother

3. Arapahoe Red Button Down

4. Ring Holder

5. Presidio Tote

6. White Sage & Wild Mint Tea

7. Kiss Ring

8. View Sera Cosmetic Bag


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Fair Treasure September Box Review

Last month I wrote a post about my first experience with Fair Treasure, which is a monthly subscription box that contains ethically sourced “treasures” from all over the world. To my delight I received another box this month.DSC00012

Just like my last box, this one included three items and a set of cards that give a description of each item and how it is made. All the items in this box are very relevant for fall and will surely get a lot of use this season.

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Alem Necklace By Raven & Lily

This bohemian, woven, rusty red necklace is very fall appropriate. It’s causal, simple, but also very versatile. You can tie it into a necklace or wrap it into a bracelet. And I’m sure if you think a little outside the box you can find some other creative uses.

It is made by Raven + Lily, which is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering impoverished women from all over with world with a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education.DSC00016

Home Fires Candle Set by Silence

Nothing says its fall like a room full of cinnamon scented candles, right? This set includes scented candles in a variety of fall shades. These candles smell exactly like the fall section of a craft store (minus the old ladies who are trying to pick out the best faux leaves for their latest DIY). I’ve had them sitting in my room for a while and without even lighting them, they completely stunk up my room, but in the best way possible. One thing I love most about this set, besides the smell, is that it comes with three frosted glass holders. So they can serve as a decorative piece on their own, or you can place them in a candle holder like the Silver Prayers Candle Holder that also came in the box.

The candles are made by Silence, which is a very unique self–help project for artisans who are deaf or physically disabled . It gives them an opportunity to become self-sufficient and earn a living.

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Silver Prayers Candle Holder by Noah’s Ark International Exports

I’m not usually one to get excited about candle holders. It holds a candle, what’s the big deal? But I actually really love this one. I love it because when you put a candle in it the light flickers and shines through the faint, transparent holes throughout the silver coating and it reminds me of a starry night sky. I know so mushy, right? But it’s true! I love the effect light has on this semi-translucent piece.

The candle holder is made by Noah’s Ark International Exports, which is a fair trade handicraft distribution organization that supports local artisans in India.DSC00037

Besides the quality, practicality of these products, I love the fact that each of them support small businesses. Fair Treasure allows you to support and access goods from local economies all over the world. And while I do believe heath, education, and many other philanthropic causes are equally important, I think creating a stable economy isn’t usually associated with humanitarianism. And that’s why I think Fair Treasure is so wonderfully unique.

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Splurge or Save: Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

Now that the weather is (sometimes) warm enough to bare my wrists and arms while wearing a tee shirt, I’ve been really into stacking dainty bracelets. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different stacks and while I’m no master, I like to have fun with it. But as I was looking for some dainty bracelets to add to my collection, I realized I am fairly boring when it comes to my stacking game. Most of what I own is gold chains or bangles. So I’ve made it my goal to mix up colors, textures, and metals to make a more interesting stack. I’ve got to diversify my portfolio, right?

I have picked out two similar, stackable bracelets at different price points that are socially conscious and will add a little pop of color to your wrist. Stylistically speaking these two bracelets are extremely similar. Both have a colorful, adjustable band with a metal bar centered in the middle. The materials and prices are what set these two apart.

Dogeared balance blue leather bracelet

The first and more expensive bracelet is from Dogeared, which you can buy here. The founder of Dogeared, Marcia Maizel-Clarke, believes jewelry could be both beautiful and meaningful. All of the jewelry is designed and hand crafted in the spirit of love, kindness, and consciousness out of their Southern California Studio. Dogeared is a certified B Corporation. Don’t know what a B Corporation is? Check out this video (it probably explains it better than I can). Basically, they’re all about creating, implementing, and sustaining ethical business practices.  Dogeared adheres to these standards by handcrafting everything locally, respecting the planet, and partnering with non-profit organizations that share their vision of a better world. While this bracelet won’t completely break the bank at $42, it is over twice as much as the other bracelet I’ve picked out.

Silver Bar Boarding 4 Breast Cancer

The next bracelet is by Pura Vida and can be purchased here. It is very similar to the Dogeared bracelet, but instead of leather, the band is made with string and only costs $15. The company started after the founders, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, took a trip to Costa Rica and fell in love with the pura vida (pure life) lifestyle. They met two men who were selling bracelets on the street and decided to take some of the jewelry back to sell in the U.S. The bracelets became very popular and blossomed into a business. Today Pura Vida provides jobs for artisans in Costa Rica. They also created the Charity Collection which gives back to charities all over the world through the sale of individual bracelets. The bracelet I have featured today gives $3 to Boarding for Breast Cancer.

So which do you chose? Will you splurge or save?

(Also as a sidenote: There is an adorable dog named Annie (just like yours truly) that needs YOUR help. If you saw my my recent Friday Finds, you might have read the story about Lola’s Lucky Day, which rescues dogs in Houston. Annie is their most recent rescue and needs an operation to have a tumor removed. So whether you have $2 or $200 bazillion to donate, please take the time to help any way that you can.)


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The Yoga Post

I started doing yoga about 6 months ago and as corny as it may be, yoga has changed my life. I can touch my toes now! But aside from that, I also love yoga for its peacefulness. I love that during each practice I am encouraged to only do what serves me, be conscious of my body, and declutter my mind. And I still get a good workout in!

So for all you yogis out there, I have put together a couple of conscious products that embody the thoughtfulness of yoga by giving back in different ways.

The Yoga Post

The Mat

“I am Free” Mat- Affirmat

Get it? Affirmat… affirmation? Clever. Life gets crazy sometimes and Affrimats are here to remind you to relax and stay positive. Each mat has a different saying on it that can serve as a reminder or mantra throughout your day. These mats are made out of a non-toxic, high quality, biodegradable blend that creates an ergonomically friendly and no-slip mat great for any yoga practice. They’re good for you and the environment.

Cimarron Mat (Cow Skull)- Wildlings Yoga

How funky, cool, and amazing is this mat? Each of these eccentric mats are named after and inspired by national parks. This one is inspired by New Mexican traditional folk art.

Wildlings Yoga believes in making the world a better place and being an example for others companies to give back. They truly embody the whole “be the change you wish to see in the world” thang. $3 from every mat sold is donated to Free Arts for Abused Children, which is a non-profit in LA.

The Treads

I’m Just Here For Savasana Muscle Tank- Spiritual Gangster

I mean let’s be honest, savasana is half the reason we drag our tired bodies through the cold to go to yoga class. Or is that just me? Anyway, Spiritual Gangsters believe in giving back every chance they get. All of the quirky apparel from Spiritual Gangster give back to national and international charities such as the Cambodian Children’s Fund, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Children’s First Academy, and Make a Wish Foundation.

California Dreaming Leggings- Zuvi

Believe it or not, the craziest thing about these pants isn’t the colorful print. These pants are actually made out of recycled water bottles. Crazy, right? Zuvi hopes to help the Earth become more sustainable by reducing waste in landfills… and making awesome leggings.

The Bling

The Doreen Bracelet- The Neshama Project

I love jewelry that has meaning, whether someone special gave it to you or it symbolizes something meaningful. The hamsa hand on this bracelet represents blessings, power, protection and strength. You can wear it on or off your mat to serve as a positive reminder. Also, 10% of each bracelet purchase goes towards an orphanage in Kaliro, Uganda. 

Ganesh Om Necklace- Relevee

This necklace design is a merge between the ‘Om’ symbol and Ganesh the elephant. It represents Zen. Even when you’re off your mat, this necklace can serve as a constant reminder to remain calm. I wrote about Relevee in one of my first posts, but as a refresher, the company works with women who have been rescued from human trafficking and 100% of the proceeds go to supporting human rights.


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Presents With A Purpose: Women’s Causes

Today is the last day of my Moorea Seal Presents With A Purpose gift guide series. Phew. Are you sick of me yet? Blogging everyday this week was a big challenge, but I’m glad I’m really glad I never gave up.

From the products to the charity, today is all about the ladies. The products featured today donate 7% of proceeds to the Athena Network, which has been at the forefront of ensuring gender equality and human rights in the HIV response since 2006. They are partnered with 31 global and regional women’s organizations to advance the recognition, protection, and fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights as a component to the response to HIV and AIDS.

Click here to see all of the products below and much much more.

Womens

1. Agate Arrowhead Necklace / 2. Teal Cylinder Vessel / 3. Pennant Earrings / 4. Amethyst Druzy Ring / 5. Speckled Sphere Vessel / 6. Stardust Quartz Ring / 7. Brigid Flats / 8. Jagged Diamond Duffel Bag 


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Presents With A Purpose: Protecting Our Planet

Day 3! Today’s Moorea Seal products give back to the environment. 7% of proceeds go to Semilla Nueva, which means New Seed in Spanish. Those 4 years of high school Spanish finally pay off.

New Seed’s mission is to develop locally-led farmer education programs that rebuild the soils and improve food security and income for Guatemala’s rural poor. They plan to do this by harnessing the power of sustainable agriculture technologies, organizing communities, and engaging with local government. In the future Semilla Nueva hopes the increased incomes and environmental protection will go hand.

Check out my top gift picks from Moorea Seal’s Protecting Our Planet section below.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.20.51 PM1. Laundry Day Candle / 2. Screw Cuff / 3. Salt + Pepper Foldover Cowhide Clutch / 4. Reversible Feather Pendant / 5. Stir Shake Calender / 6. In The Garden iPhone 6 Case / 7. Golden Fern iPhone 6 Case / 8. Dos Tonos Ankle Boot / 9. Tomato Tea Towel / 10. Caramel Flecked Clutch