Pay it Forward

There are two things that I really enjoy (okay, there are WAY more than 2 things that I enjoy but that is all I am focusing this post on) – Shopping and the Pay it Forward Movement. I have always had a passion for helping people. Sometimes I jokingly call it my savior complex. When I was entering college, I was frustrated that I wanted to do more in the world than I was doing (actually, this is still a common frustration of mine- fun fact!). I wasn’t exactly sure on where to start with making a difference and sure, I could go the same route as most are probably thinking right now “Uh, Lyndsay, you could volunteer?”… which, is true. And I did to an extent. But at 19 I had 2 jobs, I was a college student FT, working with a local organization doing additional PR stuff on the side and I had a slew of other responsibilities so time was limited. But then I came across TOMS and was introduced to the One for One movement. I fell in love with the idea. Fast forward 6 years later and here I am, still in love with the One for One movement, still wanting to help anyone and everything, and still enjoy shopping- to an extent.

Anyone who does not know what the One for One movement is, it is an idea that for every item purchased from an organization or retailer, another item is given to someone in need to support a social cause. TOMS began with founder Blake Mycoksie realizing there was a need for people to have access to something as basic as shoes. I am sure many people now have heard of TOMS, and they have launched other products in areas such as eyewear, clothing, and coffee as well, but the simple concept of wanting to help people, the need for something so basic we don’t even think about such as shoes, helped to create a movement and spread the word on other One for One needs globally.

20140219115225207327646Since purchasing x amount of TOMS (number purposely not mentioned for my own protection- my mother and Adam could potentially read this, do the math, look in my closet and not realize some pairs are missing and STILL  be shocked at the amount), I have found other organizations that support other global causes I feel so strongly about. Because of this, and because there are countless times people ask me where I got something I am wearing or own, I decided to make a list of companies that use a similar business style and idea behind their products. I truly enjoy each of these products and feel strongly about each of these causes so they come highly recommended from me. Plus, Christmas buying season is around the corner and maybe each of you will find something that you can purchase if not for yourself, for someone else. You can always browse the shopwithmeaning.org website for more ideas on how to make a difference through your purchases.

  1. Sseko Designs- Based in Uganda as a way for high potential young women to continue education and generate income from Footwear, Bags and Accessories. Their sandals are pretty neat and can be tied countless ways so I highly suggest checking them out! ssekodesigns.com
  2. 31 Bits- a jewelry company that gives displaced women in Northern Uganda an opportunity to combat poverty through fashion. One of the actresses I admire most, Sophia Bush, is a big supporter and promoter of this.
  3. The Giving Keys- its purpose is to employ those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make key necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. I would love to see this reach more areas than just LA.
  4. People Water- The idea is to bring the essential gift of clean and safe drinking water to those without it.
  5. Raven & Lily-  It is all fair trade jewelry, clothing, accessories and gifts handmade with naturally dyed fabrics and locally-sourced, eco-friendly materials.
  6. Purse and Clutch- Some reeeeally cute things can be found on here sometimes! They are all about selling adorable Fair Trade purses & clutches to help create jobs for artisans in developing countries with limited opportunities.
  7. Radiant Cosmetics- Fighting human trafficking one lipstick (or other cosmetic purchase) at a time while raising awareness and funds for the cause.
  8. Mitscoots- Give+ Get+ Employ…  with every purchase they are helping the homeless and those in need get both socks and employment/work.
  9. Two Degrees- ending hunger in children. It is a pay it forward buy one get one company. For every meal purchased, they give one to a child in need.
  10. FEED- Same cause as Two Degrees, Feed is dedicated to raising funds to support programs and organizations that are effectively working to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition throughout the world.
  11. One World Futbol- based around a soccer-ball that is difficult to destroy,  in their buy one get one movement, purchasing a soccer ball will have another donated to organizations that can put the idea of childhood carefree fun into the lives of various children.
  12. 147 Million Orphans- impacts the lives of children affected by the orphan crisis by providing for their basic needs. The provision of food, water and medicine in the name of Jesus Christ is the foundation of all Love+ 1 Projects. Their primary countries of impact are Haiti, Honduras and Uganda. Purchase a shirt, feed a child for a week. Pretty simple.
  13. Dog For Dog- all natural dog food and treat company that will donate a product to a dog in need for every product they sell.
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Sophia Bush, wearing and promoting the 31 Bits jewelry line.

As you can tell, some of these organizations mentioned above do the one for one movement, some of them focus more on raising awareness through product purchases or providing underprivledged women and children with basic things that we often take for granted – a job, a meal, clothing, a fun afternoon of playing games outdoors, etc.

If you have any questions, or know of other organizations that do similar things, because of course their are countless ones that I have not mentioned (but I wanted to simply focus on the ones I have had direct interaction with before), please let me know! I am always eager to learn of new things in this field and of course I love to promote any good, worthy cause.

Not this is where I say, go check out the organizations by simply googling their names, and happy shopping. 🙂

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