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Spring is coming up and with that so is spring fashion. I have some insight on the newest trend in fashion. Are you ready? It’s generosity. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines generosity as “the quality of being kind, understanding, and not selfish.” You tell me what’s more attractive than that? Beauty lies in giving. Although we’re college students and our funds are limited, there’s still ways we can give to those less fortunate than us. One way is through our fashion!

Here are 10 organizations that can help you get involved in the newest fashion trends.

1) www.loveyourmelon.com

Two students in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas created Love Your Melon in the fall of 2012. Brian Keller and Zachary Quinn started the organization on the very simple, but often overlooked principle of giving. Now, Love Your Melon is a fully functioning non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of children battling cancer through therapeutic treatments.” For every bright and comfortable hat sold, Love Your Melon gives one to a child dealing with cancer. “Our hats do more than keep them warm, they restore confidence.” Seriously go check out their website!

2) http://www.serengetee.com/

Serengetee wants us to “wear the world” in an effort “to help change lives around the globe.” The organization currently supports 32 different causes and five percent of every purchase goes to charity. Customers can shop by product, region, pattern, color, or cause. So pick a region of the world you’re passionate about or a charity you believe in and support them with a fun pocket-tee, tank, or even a backpack! Colorful pockets and unique patterns allow you to style Serengetees in so many ways. Casey chose a purple cardigan to make her trendy t-shirt pop! 

3) https://www.krochetkids.org/

“We believe in quality, handmade products that not only bring comfort and style, but serve as a vehicle for social change.” Krochet Kids actually began with three guys who liked to crochet and began taking orders in their high school in Spokane, WA. The organization achieved non-profit status in January of 2008 and as of today they have over 150 people working and receiving education in Uganda and Peru. Krochet Kids sells everything from shirts and sweatshirts to bags, hats, and scarves. Every product purchased from the organization contains the signature of the woman who made it.

4) www.freewaters.com

“Our mantra is do some good-a call to the make the world a better place, little by little, step by step.” Do you need some stylish kicks for this spring/summer? Freewaters sells a wide variety of super comfortable and cool shoes whether you’re looking for flats, boots, or flip flops- they have it all. And wait, there’s a kick to this shoe company (get the pun?)! Each pair of shoes Freewaters sells goes to helping provide clean water to those in need through grassroots water projects.

5) http://cyny.org/

“Clothe Your Neighbor as Yourself” is a non-profit clothing brand built on the promise that for every item you purchase, we provide clothing to someone in need… 100 percent of the profit.” The organization began in 2009 when founder, James Barnett, quit his job and sold everything he had to go live with the poor in America. Could you do that? Most of us probably couldn’t imagine going to that extent, but it doesn’t mean you can’t help. Purchasing something from Clothe Your Neighbor as Yourself, you are practically handing clothing to someone in need. If you buy a shirt you are giving an orphan in Africa a school uniform, buy a hat and you’re providing a wig for someone as they go through cancer treatment, buy an infant one-piece and you’re giving a single mother a bag of diapers. So what do you want to give? 

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6) http://www.sevenly.org/

In 2011, Dale Partridge and Aaron Chavez created Sevenly “with the mission of leading a generation toward generosity.” How? Every week, Sevenly teams up with a different charity, assisting that particular charity in raising funds, but also helping raise awareness. Every purchase results in seven dollars being donated to the charity of the week. So far the company has raised over 3 million dollars. Sevenly has it all!  Go to their website and check out their awesome selection of clothing, accessories, home décor, and even some items for your pets!

7) www.toms.com

Most of us are familiar with TOMS by now. The company started in 2006 after Blake Mycoskie visited a village in Argentina and noticed that the children had no shoes protecting their feet. The “One for One” campaign was born and Toms began giving a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. With bright, fun, and unique patterns, TOMS quickly captured many peoples attention, and since it’s start in 2006 has given away over 10 million pairs of shoes to those in need.

TOMS is constantly expanding and introducing new products like their eyewear collection. Need some new sunglasses for spring break? Check out TOMS collection of eyewear because for every pair of glasses sold, TOMS will help give sight to someone in need. Since the eyewear collection was launched in 2011, 150,000 people in over ten countries have had their eyesight restored. Keep checking the TOMS website for new products, designs, and ways to help those less fortunate. March 11, 2014 TOMS will be announcing their next “One for One” product!

My personal Toms collection… they’re just so comfy and fun! 

Check out Taylor rocking some tribal TOMS with her Serengetee! 

8) www.twloha.com

“To Write Love on Her Arms” is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists “to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.” Founder Jamie Tworkowski began TWLOHA in 2006 by writing a story about a friend struggling with depression, addiction, and self-injury and then began selling shirts to help support her friend’s treatment.

9) http://www.warbyparker.com/

Did you know that approximately 15 percent of the global population can not effectively work or learn due to lack of access to eye glasses? Well, Warby Parker does and they’re on a mission to change it. “We believe everybody has the right to see.” So when you buy a pair of glasses from Warby Parker a pair of glasses is given to someone less fortunate. Whether you have prescription eyeglasses or just need some new sunglasses, they have a wide variety of unique, edgy, and oh so fashionable eyewear for you to choose from.

Study in style like Ashley in her adorable Warby Parker glasses! 

10) http://www.goodwill.org/

“Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.” Goodwill is an excellent opportunity for you to clear out your last season goods or perhaps a sweater given to you as a gift five years ago that you’ve still never worn (and honestly never intend to) and donate those items rather than just throwing them away. If you’re really daring, you can become a Goodwill fashionista like some of my friends who have composed entire (extremely cute) outfits entirely from things they’ve found at Goodwill. Clothing from Goodwill is super affordable and it’s all going to help others get into the workforce and discover their potential. If you have the patience to dig through racks of clothes (sadly, I don’t) Goodwill can be a fashion gold mine! 

Can you be a Goodwill guru like Megan and find a cute spring blouse? 

So let your fashion reflect your passion. Whether you’re passionate about giving to the poor, the sick, people near or people far, there’s something here for you. After all, when spring weather hits you don’t want to be the only person not following the generous trend! Booker T. Washington once said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” So be generous, be fashionable, and be happy.

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