Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Checkout for Change


Let’s admit it: online shopping can be fun. And addictive. Seeing all those glorious things you didn’t know you needed, realising you definitely need them, filling and editing your cart, then paying for it all with those deliciously immaterial credit card dollars that seem to never run out. Problem is, once the transaction is complete, we tend to forget about it (though our bank balance doesn’t). Then some parcel from the other side of the world turns up a few weeks later, containing garments often significantly less exciting than they seemed at 1am that Sunday night last month when you couldn’t sleep. So how do we quit this cycle? How do we stop buying all this stuff we don’t need? My personal tip is to just cut off the last step of the whole transaction: the actual checkout part. Fill as many shopping carts as you fancy – it’s more than likely you’re not going to remember, or regret, abandoning them come morning. Another (better) idea? Shop til you drop at Rana Plaza, a site named in memorial to the Bangladeshi factory where more than 1,100 textile workers were killed when the building collapsed in April. You can spend all you want on clothes, shoes and accessories – you just won’t be sent anything. Instead, everything you ‘buy’ will go towards ActionAid‘s work aiding victims and their families and ensuring rights and safety for some of the world’s most poorly paid workers. In this case, we say buy up big!

Cross Conscious

Olga de Polga

Last week, Melbourne enjoyed a taste of conscious fashion when the Red Cross teamed up with the Whitehouse School of Design to deliver Cross Conscious: an event to raise awareness of their 140 Red Thread stores nationwide. Third year design students, along with local designers, exhibited everything from street style to high end fashion, including upcycled streetwear in homage to urban, edgy, Melburnian style. The event also offered music, art and DJs, and guests had the opportunity to snap up some bargains for themselves at the ‘Thread Shed’, a one off boutique pop up with upcycled, vintage and designer pieces. Godwin Charli, Olga de Polga and Ameca Calleja were just some of the designers to take part.

Sky High

Climb for Refugees

While a lot of fundraising gets done from behind computer screens these days, there is another way to raise money for a great cause and experience a little taste of adventure at the same time! The UNHCR is organising a Mount Kilimanjaro Climb for Refugees, slated for November 24 this year, and the scout for participants is already on. The trek to the top of Africa’s highest mountain is all in the name of raising money for the UNHCR’s Emergency Response Program, which responds to refugee crises all over the world. Each participant in the climb is required to raise $4,000 for the UNHCR – money that goes directly to helping those fleeing conflict, famine and natural disaster. If traversing ice fields, trekking through pine forests and climbing glaciers to raise some dollars for a good cause sounds like you, then visit the Inspired Adventures website for more information and enrollments.

Bassike for Babes

MarquiseM x bassike

Iconic Sydney label Bassike is one of a number of high profile designers to show their support for the Sydney Children’s Hospital premier annual fundraising campaign, the Gold Telethon. Bassike, which produces locally and is well known for its use of sustainable materials, has teamed up with Marquise to create a line of limited edition baby bodysuits. The aim of the partnership is to raise over $20,000, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the bodysuits being donated directly to the hospital. The bodysuits are available from online store The Iconic throughout the months of May and June and are available in sizes 000-0 for tots. Check them out online to support this worthy cause!

Pay It Forward

ties and whimsy

While giving a little every day might be something we endeavour to practice in our daily lives, there’s no harm in having these values gently reminded to us with International Pay It Forward Day on April 25. To help you get involved, Australian-based online marketplace Andable are making things easy by pairing up with micro-loan initiative Kiva. 10% of every sale made by Andable will be paid forward on your behalf to Kiva, helping support small businesses and up-starters all over the world. With products from Be Genki, Bamboo Village, Ties and Whimsy and a whole host more, Andable is a veritable conscious-shopper heaven. While you’re there, check out Andable’s clever ‘FRESH’ guide to purchases which gives every item in store a code – Fair trade, Reborn, Eco-friendly, Supports local business and Handmade – so that you know exactly what you’re buying.

One Billion Bicycles

One Billion Bicycles

What does your bike mean to you? For those of us in the Western world, it’s a convenient way to get from A to B with exercise and environmental and social benefits thrown in. But in countries where the non-wealthy have little access to cars, bicycles double as taxis or even ambulances. Journalist and filmmaker Bojun Bjorkman-Chiswell is travelling the world to document the stories of our planet’s billion bicycles, raising awareness for bike users and uncovering extraordinary tales in the process – such as that of the bike ambulance driver in Zambia who is yet to be paid for his 20-hour-day efforts, or the unfortunate reality of the choking pollution in all the cities she’s visited so far. Bojun’s project is self-funded, but she’s asking for your help to keep the wheels spinning. You can view the videos she’s created so far and chip in to help her keep the cause going through Pozible here. You can also vote for One Billion Bicycles in the Cycling Visionaries awards here.

Hope is All You Need


‘Hope is contagious…[pass it on]‘ is the mantra behind Band4Hope: a movement of pay-it-forward copper and zinc wristbands ethically handcrafted in Zimbabwe and inspired by the traditional jewellery of the Himba people of Namibia. Already spotted on the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Annie Lennox, Lily Cole and Aussie VJ Kate Peck, each band is fashioned with a unique ID which enables them and their impact to be tracked via an online map as they are passed from person to person. Part of the purchase price of each band goes to charity and those who the bands are passed on to are also encouraged to make a donation. The perfect gift for someone who has everything, you can buy the unisex bands for $25 online here.

Game On


You’ll never find a better reason to procrastinate by playing games online now that Half the Sky Movement: The Game has reached Facebook. Inspiring journalist and author Nicolas Kristof  - whose 2010 book Half the Sky, co-authored with his wife Sheryl WuDunn, spawned a global movement to fight for women’s rights – has created an online adventure that helps raise funds to combat issues such as sex trafficking, deaths in childbirth and gender-based violence and oppression. As players progress through the game, they can unlock funds from its sponsors (which include Room to Read, the United Nations Foundation and World Vision) that go directly towards improving the lives of women and girls everywhere. It’s a fantastic example of how social media can effect real change, and how game play can be used to educate and motivate people to act. Find out more about the game by watching this video. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get on Facebook!

Chime for Change

Chime for Change

It may have recently ‘gone green’ on the red carpet, but behind the scenes, Gucci has been busily working on a new social justice initiative. Chime for Change aims to drive equality for girls and women around the world in the areas of Education, Health and Justice. It works with some of the world’s leading human rights activists, lawyers and humanitarians, but has also attracted celebrity attention. In fact, Beyonce and Salma Hayek even sit on the founding committee. The website showcases a range of case studies through films and stories to help educate people about the issues and provides the option to support or fund some of these causes. In an effort to bring more attention to the campaign, Chime for Change is hosting a a concert in London on June 1st, featuring John Legend, Rita Ora and Florence and The Machine.

Funding the Future

Australian Ethical
Australian Ethical

Superannuation has certainly been a hot topic in the media of late, for all the wrong reasons, so it’s great to see one fund putting a positive spin on the investment industry. Australian Ethical, this country’s only ethical, green, coal-free superannuation company, have just launched their most recent Community Grants program, which sees over $100,000 distributed to non-profit organisations and community projects here in Australia. Supporting innovation in healthcare, education, technology and energy to name but a few, Community Grants are just one way Australian Ethical mobilise their power for good, giving back to their community to help create a brighter future for everyone. Applications have just opened for the 2013 round, which Australian Ethical are hoping will be even bigger and better than last year’s campaign which saw over 1,000 charitable organisations take part. (more…)

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