Breast Cancer Awareness Month: The Best of Pink Products

As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And, in the spirit of Fashion & Philanthropy, Style & Soul, and Random Goodness, Philanthropistas.com is bringing you the ultra-fabulous list of caring companies, hip designers and one-of-a-kind styles that raise money for research, support breast cancer awareness, and promote prevention of the disease.

All month long we’ll be featuring pink products and awesome breast cancer awareness campaigns and events that support the cause. If ever there’s a time to get your style-on with meaning, it’s this month.  Coveted styles, fabulous fashions, scrumptious eats and a round-up of all of our favorite “pink” products that do double-duty. Shopping for the cause is our laser focus all month long!

Below, you’ll find the first part of our series – and really, the most essential part of this month – breast cancer screening and awareness.  We’re starting with preventive health and breast cancer risk reduction with the best cancer fighting foods brought to you by BrightPink.org.

Be sure to come back and visit us throughout the month.

Philanthropistas of the world unite! Let’s go shopping with purpose – and help put an end to this disease!

 

Five Things: Fabulous Fall Finds that Give Back

Autumn is unarguably my favorite time of year. The gentle falling leaves. The rich, vibrant colors.  The crisp fog-filled mornings.  The cozy fireplace and afghan evenings. The tableau is ever-changing during this graceful transition from summer, and sends many of us on the task to surround ourselves with warm comfort.  So, in the spirit of this cozy fall vibe, here are a few original finds that bring a little bit of that opulent beauty indoors – and give something more.

 (Joyful Nuddle Blanket: By purchasing a Joyful Nuddle, you are helping to provide another Joyful Nuddle to a survivor of domestic violence)

(Give Scent: This scent is made with pure oils and contains notes of amber, bergamot, grapefruit, moss, musk, oak, sage, and vanilla. A portion of the proceeds goes to Women for Women International, an organization that supports female survivors of war and conflict.)

(This is still one of my favorite philanthropic finds!  This gorgeous scarf from Warriors in Pink (Powered by Ford) is an elegant and powerful statement of the power of pink.  100% of Warriors in Pink net proceeds  help fight breast cancer.)

(Make Love Not Trash “Safari Tall Fall Doctor’s Bag”: A natural, eco-aware, non-toxic bag, were proceeds are donated to various organizations.)

(Humanity Dark Amber & Spice Soy Candle from Altru: Proceeds from the special edition candle benefit the Alliance for a New Humanity organization which aims to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world.)

Five Things: Beauty Products that Give Back

Coco Chanel once wisely observed that, “nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”

So when it comes to beauty products, it’s a topic we gals take very seriously.

Lucky for us, the luxe and healthy options for getting your gorgeous on – with meaning -are unlimited.   In the push to make a positive impact, numerous cosmetic and boutique companies are stepping up to the plate and introducing beauty and skin care products that are giving back in a big way. These multitasking do-gooders in today’s Five Things have managed to create quality cosmetics products housed in environmentally aware packaging that benefit worthy causes all the while helping us gals to look and feel our best:

(M-A-C Viva Glam Nicki (Minaj) lipstick. Proceeds help those affected by HIV and AIDS.)

(The Body Shop Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Dome.  Vegetarian and 100% cruelty-free.)

(Shea Terra  Madagascar White Clay Drawing Masque.  Shea Terra collaborates with NGOs that teach locals how to support themselves while respecting the environment in which they live.)

(PeaceKeeper “Paint Me Provocative” vegan nail polish.  PeaceKeeper donates all of its after-tax, distributable profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues.)

(Philosophy “green” Fresh Pear Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath. 100% of philosophy’s net proceeds from the sale of green go directly to the rain forest foundation.)

Philanthropy Chic: TOMS Shoes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or on a deserted island (which btw, doesn’t sound half bad), you’ve probably heard of – or seen, the funky and fiercely-fashionable TOMS shoes that have found their way onto many a chic gal’s tootsies.

(Photo Source: TOMS)

What you may not be aware of, however, is that in addition to the stylish kicks that support a great cause (for every pair purchased, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need), TOMS took the next step and expanded their product line beyond the ever-present cotton espadrilles and comfy kicks to a “One for One” brand – now offering sunglasses and eye-wear – that does double duty.

As creative director of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie explains on his blog, shoes were just the beginning of his “buy one, give one” philanthropic business model:

I realized that our One for One model could serve more needs than shoes, it struck me that it was our responsibility to do so, and a real urgency set in. I started gathering a TOMS team together to find out more about sight and how to give more in a new way, responsibly. And we have been working on preparing for this day ever since.

With so many different needs around the world, Mycoskie felt that TOMS had an obligation to try to improve as many lives as possible.  Lucky for us, TOMS “One for One” eye-wear line is donating sight restoration (via glasses, surgery, or medical treatment) to one person for every pair they sell!

The highly anticipated eyewear line is both super-chic and exquisitely made (in Italy, darling…) and are available in various styles – from the over-sized “Yes, I’m famous” Deoria shades, to the vintage Hollywood-glam Beachmaster shades, and much more.

(TOMS Deoria Sunglasses) 

(TOMS Beachmaster shades in pineapple) 

For my money, it’s brilliant to feel like your purchasing dollars are going to a good place, and in this case, fashion & philanthropy doesn’t get much more altruistic than TOMS.

D-I-Y Kindness-Chic: Quilts for Kids

(Photo Source: Etsy.com)

Each year more than 6 million children in America require hospital stays.  As wonderful and healing as hospital’s are, sometimes that therapeutic experience can be a little scary for young ones.

To make the stay a little less daunting, caring company, Downy  partnered with the nonprofit organization, Quilts for Kids to provide handmade-with-love blankets to the youngest of patients requiring a hospital stay.  Since 2009 Downy’s Touch of Comfort program has delivered more than 20,000 warm and cuddly blankets to help soothe hospitalized children.

If you’re a D-I-Y giver, with a flair for quilting, head over to downy.com.  Although the company has filled its quota of hand-made quilts, it makes it super-easy for sewers (even beginners) to get involved in the do-good, give-back efforts with Quilts for Kids, by offering a free downloadable Touch of Comfort heart quilt pattern  – the perfect way to cover someone with love!

Five Things: Stylish Acts of Goodness

With so many rockin’ options for giving back, it can be hard to indulge in all of them. Luckily, Philanthropistas.com is featuring “Five Things” every Friday, to help you effortlessly fashion your look from head to toe – and make a fabulous difference, everywhere.

Go thrifting at a vintage shop that gives back, such as Out of the Closet; sales help support the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. For locations, see outofthecloset.org.

Bring common courtesy back in style: Kindly hold the door open for another.

Drink a toast to philanthropy with a benevolent vino that gives back in high style: ONEHOPE Wine donates 50% of net profits to a number of worthwhile causes. (Photo Source: ONEHOPE)

Share the gift of fashion, donate a dress to one of the chapters of DonateMyDress.org — they’ll distribute it to a young girl in need during prom season!

Forgo your lattes for one week and you can provide a month of desperately-needed care for a woman or child rescued from sexual slavery for just $30 at sharedhope.org.

Wear This Not That: “GUCCI for UNICEF” Boston Bag

We think it’s pretty clear what the Gucci Boston bag and Hermes Birkin have in common – both are high end, luxe and stunning pieces, both are designed by iconic brands that practice philanthropic traditions, and both, most assuredly, should find their way into my ever so desperate l’armoire.  But what may not be so obvious amongst these fabulous pieces, is the way one of these bags gives back to children in the greatest of need.

As part of its corporate responsibility programme, Gucci has teamed up with UNICEF for the seventh year to create its “Gucci for UNICEF” boston bag. The latest version of which, is designed by the house’s creative director Frida Giannini and features a double top handle, Gucci’s micro Guccissima calfskin leather, a detachable shoulder strap and a subtle touch of stunning light gold hardware.

As in previous years, Gucci is dedicated to donating 25% of net profits from each purchase of the bags to UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” program, which aims to provide access to quality basic education for millions of children in Africa.

The “Gucci for UNICEF” alabaster micro Guccissima Boston Bag is available in Gucci stores worldwide and on Gucci.com until May 31, 2013. For more information about Gucci’s work with UNICEF, go to gucci.com/unicef.

 

 

Campus Cool: Esperos Bags

Class is in session, and my tip on being the coolest kid on campus this year – dominating the halls in the latest philanthro-chic gear.  Case in point: The fabulous line of ESPEROS bags and backpacks that do a world of good.  You’ll simply swoon for the rugged style and chic tree-hugging vibe of the sleek canvas bags, and with a padded sleeve on the interior that fits laptops, a discreet pocket on the front flap perfect for your iPod, and a side pocket for any other goodies you may be packing, the ESPEROS bags and backpacks ensure that you’ll be well equipped to hit the class in style. More importantly, you’ll be providing children in need with one of the greatest gifts of all: Education.  With every purchase of an ESPEROS backpack, you’re helping to send one child in Haiti to school for an entire year!  Yah, you rock! One bag. One child. One year.  Work it!

 

(Photo Source: Esperos Bags)

 

 

UNICEF & Hallmark’s Philanthro-Chic Greeting Cards

“Style is as much under the words as in the words.
It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work”
~ Gustave Flaubert

I’m a greeting card sap.  I’m not going to lie, a sentimental card gets me every time.

Tears. Sniffs. Snuffles.

…Every. Time…

If you’re a fan of greeting cards for special occasions (birthday, anniversary, Groundhog Day…or any day, really), you’re going to love the simply chic new line of Hallmark for UNICEF greeting cards that give children in need, a better chance at life.

Recently, I discovered this Hallmark and UNICEF “match made in heaven” at a local card retailer, and much to my delight, there was a great selection of beautifully crafted UNICEF cards to celebrate all occasions including birthdays, weddings, the birth of a new baby or to send a special message like good luck, get well or bon voyage.

I was instantly hooked!

The great part about these cards is that the back of each card describes its impact for your recipient. An anniversary card can help UNICEF provide Vitamin A doses to boost children’s immune systems and preserve their sight. While a birthday card can help provide measles vaccines or oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhea, one of the leading killers of children under 5 years old. One of the cards that I purchased provides one dose of polio vaccine for a child.

How can you not feel great about that?

What’s more, UNICEF cards are made with a commitment to sustainable forest management and are reasonably priced to boot! ($3.50)

Get ready to swoon:

{Simplicity is supreme.} 
{Elegant and sweet}
{The undeniable impact}




What Makes You so Damn Fabulous?

Everything is “fabulous” these days.


Oh, you drive a Prius and get 45 mpg in the city?  Fabulous! 



You ran a half marathon in under three hours? So fab!



That sleek Ralph Lauren maxi-dress you’ve been lusting after? Insanely fabulous!



The incomparable Coco Chanel once wisely asserted that “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  But with fabulousness so eagerly doled out to every idea and incident that creates interest and attention, what is it that makes a girl fabulous?  Better yet, what makes you so damn fabulous?



Most of us believe that there are two types of people in this world:  Those who have it and those who don’t.  And, when it comes to gauging the fabulous gene in ourselves, sadly, we often land undoubtedly in the latter category of complete and utter lack. (Of course, when we’re constantly bombarded with the media’s (false) messages and measures of “extraordinary” we simply aver that, next to fabulous creatures like the Marilyn Monroe’s of the world, none of us ordinary gals are really that remarkable.)



The truth is there is an allure with those who seem to have it – that “fabulous” gene.  At first glance, we naturally assume that person to be well heeled with charisma, charm and intelligence – all wrapped up in a fierce social-package.  On deeper reflection however, we realize that some of the most fabulous women we know (both our besties and beauties on the big-screen) are usually a more inconspicuous type of fabulous – without all the hype and ooziness.


For all the millions of women Marilyn Monroe inspired, she still remains very much an anomaly.  In the book Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC (US),  Marilyn is much like the rest of unassuming gals; always late for class. Slipping in without makeup, hair hidden under a scarf, trying to be inconspicuous. Speaking in a tiny wisp of a voice. And trying to not draw too much attention to herself. And this is when she was already one of the most famous people in the world!


What made Marilyn – and what makes you – so damn fabulous, then, is authenticity. Yes, Marilyn was a shy, insecure goddess who came into her full glory upon the big-screen, but she never completely became void of the uncertainty of her belonging up there.  Nonetheless, she wholeheartedly went for it. And she kicked some serious ass in the process.  Perhaps, this is what people never really “got” about her.  



As for me, I kind of like the unassuming gals. The cool chicks – with all whole heap of  hot-mess baggage securely in tow – and completely unapologetic for it.  Fabulousness isn’t about impeccable behavior, housed in a two-dimensional guise.  It is about embracing and striving from each place of yourself, even the dark and wish-I-could-change places, to live a full and meaningful life.     


So, what is it that makes youso damn fabulous?



You.


The real you.


All of you.



You are fabulous!

  

California Chic

The best part of summer is indulging in nature’s bounty – sun, surf and soft-sugar beaches, to name a few. I simply adore the modest and graphic-style bathing suit options from Lime Ricki, a retro, Cali-chic, swimwear collection that epitomizes summer “indulgence” and hits right on target with my philanthropic style.

(lime ricki donates 10% of all their proceeds to charity.)

{ Photo source: www.limericki.com}

Christian Louboutin “Sweet Charity” Handbags

He’s the undisputed king of shoes, and even though they’re sans the signature red bottoms, the French designer’s flirty line of coveted “Sweet Charity” handbags and clutches are just as unapologetically striking and beautiful. Colorful and candy-esque, I get giddy trying to pick just one!

Available at:
www.neimanmarcus.com
www.bergdorfgoodman.com
www.barneys.com

{photo sources: Christian Louboutin}

Choose hope

I rarely pick favorites. But, every once in a while, even this girl gets hooked. My current summer attaché obsession: Juicy Couture’s sweet, petunia-pink “Choose Hope” Canvas Tote from StJude Children’s Research Hospital. As an avid lover of all things, handbag-related, I have to say that this canvas tote featuring the Juicy Couture crest and “Choose Hope” logo printed in gold tone, epitomizes my philanthro-chic style.  Although no longer available at the St. Jude gift shop, I see that Choose Hope handbags and other accessories (including an adorably-chic silver key chain) are still available from online retailers like Amazon.com.