Fabulous Brands Who Give Back

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I am always looking for unique and unusual gifts to give or receive so I decided to feature several companies who manufacture great products and also give back to others. Why not choose a Valentine’s gift that is beautiful and benefits someone else.
We featured a VIDA blouse in a recent blog and they have generously donated a beautiful scarf for our Valentine’s give a way contest. The designer is Maria Virginia from Venezuela who trained in Madrid and now lives in Barcelona. This scarf is called L’ESCALA. VIDA gets the designs for it’s clothing and accessories from partner artists of all disciplines across the world and wants to help them make a living wage.  Scarf makers in Karachi, Pakistan earn literacy classes for every 15 scarves produced. 
Ashley Pittman makes such beautiful statement jewelry that you could keep in your wardrobe for years to come. She works with and trains local artisans in Kenya. At the present time she employs over 75 artists in Africa. Each piece of jewelry is entirely hand crafted in Kenya featuring repurposed ankole cow horn, semi precious gem stones, bronze and materials indigenous to East Africa. She also donates 10% of all profits to Kamboo Dispensary and Kathiani Primary School in an area of Kenya particularly hard hit by prolonged drought.
The founders of Akola Project wanted to empower the women in eastern Uganda to uplift the spiritual and physical livelihoods of their families and communities through economic development. Their vision is to create a global fashion brand that is fully made by and fully benefits marginalized women in eastern Uganda.  They accomplished this by training the women in jewelry making techniques using available local resources that are marketable to a mass audience.
The mission of Cotopaxi is to sell amazing outdoor gear and give back to humanity. Each piece of Cotopaxi gear is tied to a humanitarian cause in one of the poorest regions of the world. They can tell you where your money goes in a tangible way. For example when you buy a Cusco pack you help educate a child in Peru for one week or when you buy a Cotopaxi India water bottle you give clean water to a person in India for 6 months. Cotopaxi products are guaranteed to last 61 years, which according to the World Health Organization’s most recent statistics, is the average life span of a person living in the underdeveloped world.
For 22 years Barrington Gifts has been dedicated to the art of giving. “We understand that at the intersection of what a gift means and how it makes the recipient feel is just a little bit of magic.” They feel a social responsibility and try to live by the idea of caring as much about people as they care about their products. At their factory in China they believe that work should be more than just a place to earn a living and they compensate their employees with above market wages. Barrington believes in bringing business to a community and providing resources, education and employment to those in Xiamen, China. CeCe Chin, an employee for over 10 years, loves the nurturing supportive atmosphere at the factory where value is placed on friendship, encouragement and excellence.
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