Fashion Philanthropy

Local style companies sew goodwill into their bottom lines.

By Eden Dawn October 12, 2012

 ’Tis more than the season for suede boots and military jackets. It’s also the season for giving. And we don’t just mean a token drop in the charity bucket outside Macy’s. Several small Portland style companies have built their business models around philanthropy. Chief among them: Fetch Eyewear. Formerly Amy Sacks Eyewear, Fetch donates all of its profits to the Pixie Project, an animal adoption organization. Last year, Fetch sold 5,000 pairs, and its gift helped the nonprofit add housing for dogs, a renovated cattery, exercise areas, and an in-house vet clinic. But Fetch isn’t alone. Here’s a look at three other local companies making goodwill the season’s hottest accessory.  

1. Portland’s Own  It’s not yet six months old, so Portland’s Own’s actual donation dollars are still small, but its potential is huge. Founder Mikee Shattuck created the online store to showcase “local goods, doing local good.” The site provides a platform for makers of everything from clothes to ceramics, such as Red Clouds Collective, Lemolo (pictured), and Seaworthy, and then donates a third of its gross profits to a rotating list of area charities. 

2. 141 Eyewear  Riffing on the renowned Tom’s Shoes model (the Santa Monica–based company donates a pair of shoes to a needy child with every purchase), this Portland-based company gives away a pair of glasses every time someone ponies up for a new set of specs. Since its inception in 2010, 141 Eyewear has donated 2,500 pairs, and this year is on track to give away another 3,000. 

3. Jade Rose Designs  Last year, accessory designer Jade Rose McArthur used all of her profits to fund trips to educate others about human trafficking. In Ukraine and Germany, she served as the US representative for Justice ACT International and taught jewelry-making to orphaned trafficking victims. This year, she plans to continue her work as an ambassador with Shared Hope International, and launch an after-school accessory design program for at-risk girls in February.  

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