In a perfectly sustainable world, we'd never really need to go shopping; all our clothes could be hemmed, cuffed, tailored, dyed, and reworked into the trendiest styles season after season. Of course, that is not entirely realistic?sometimes you just need new clothes. But it's easy to take your eco-friendly shopping habits one step further by buying from companies that donate time, money, or energy to charities around the world?and since charitable donations are some of the first expenses to get cut from personal budgets when the economy goes bad, you can feel even better about making your dollars do double-duty.
Kate Organic: The chic dresses that Kate Organic turns out in SKAL-certified cotton get their deep jewel-tones from low-impact dyes, and are produced under fair trade guidelines. The pieces are trendy and flattering?plus, for every one sold, the company plants a tree through Trees for the Future.
Good Society: Jeans are hard enough to shop for on their own; if you think about the environmental backlash of the process that makes them, from cotton to dye, you might never buy another pair. Good Society's fair-trade denim is eco-friendly from waist to cuff, and made of 100 percent organic cotton. Plus, the company donates 10 percent of its profits to charities that help Indian orphans, Cambodian sex slaves, and other underserved communities around the world.
North Face: Winter is coming: time to make sure your coats are up to the challenge. If you?re in the market for some new cold-weather gear, look to The North Face; Not only did the company donate the $1 million Legacy Fund to the Conservation Alliance?helping the organization stay solvent for years to come?employees around the country contributed 700 hours of volunteering time for Earth Day this year alone.