Do you have a jewelry obsession? If you’re anything like me, I love hunting for unique versatile pieces that I can keep forever. Sometimes, my love for jewelry has made me question my retail therapy. One day I realized, “Why don’t I use this guilty pleasure of mine to offer the gift of giving back?” It turns out, I have plenty of ways to help the community, just by shopping for jewelry. Take a look at how jewelry can impact the world while you accessorize.
When I discovered the Starfish Project, I fell in love, and not just with their jewelry. The Starfish Project is an online jewelry store whose initiative helps exploited women in Asia to restore hope, freedom, and establish independence. Being Asian myself, this initiative hit close to home. As you scroll down the page adding rings or necklaces into your cart, the Starfish Project provides a description of one piece’s equivalence, whether it’s the cost of one week of medical care or equal to the cost of reaching out to 24 women. What I really love about the Starfish Project is their variety. While I appreciate their minimalist and modern jewelry, I adore the Asian inspiration in some of these pieces. I cannot get enough of the Starfish logo and packaging, which reminds me of all the sand dollars I used to collect at the beach.
Wild Moon takes pride in using natural materials and ethical products such as recycled glass, 100% recycled fine silver, beading, and repurposed brass to create handcrafted pieces with an Afrocentric aesthetic. Wild Moon focuses on working with local artisans and designers from non-profit organizations based in Ghana. They also offer jewelry-making workshops through non-profit organizations.
Moving Mountains is inspired by women’s empowerment and the recognition that choices have an impact. When shopping at Moving Mountains, $5 from each purchase goes to women-focused charities and not-for-profits. Every few months, Moving Mountains selects a new organization to share their donation. If you want to be more involved or help create awareness, Moving Mountains has a suggestion page to submit to charities and organizations that you believe deserve a spotlight. Their inspirational jewelry and apparel can be delivered to your door with free shipping in Canada.
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Zaleska Jewelry provides a modern approach to crystal healing and energetic self-care with inspiration from historical periods to share their vision, but it’s their solid gold rings that shine. In 2018, Zaleska donated 10% of their gold made-to-order ring profits to the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS). The organization aspires to empower immigrant and refugee women and children through neighborhood-based programs in Canada. Director of Operations, Rod Campbell, tells DINE that Zaleska is currently in the works to move away from made-to-order rings in order to have stocked selections instead. “In fact, I’m in Bali meeting with our goldsmith…We expect to re-launch the option to purchase solid gold rings in mid-to-late March,” says Campbell. Once Zaleska relaunches their gold ring collection, they will continue donating 10% to PIRS, so keep an eye out and your energy flowing.
Brass & Unity is a Veteran-owned company that creates unity for veterans suffering mentally, physically, and emotionally. A portion of their proceeds funds various organizations globally and locally to “change the lives of those who protect ours.” They are currently in collaborations with SheHerdPower, Honour House, Light on PTSD, and VETS Canada to name a few. Their jewelry and sunglasses contain real forged reproduction brass shell casings, etched with their logo.
If online shopping isn’t your thing, Alex and Ani now have three stores across Canada. Specializing in bangles and charms, their Charity by Design collection is currently the highlight for their donations. Alex and Ani have hosted over 5000 events and donated $50 million to non-profits globally. Different charms represent different funds. My personal favorite is the Gorilla Charm Bangle for which 20% of the purchase price goes toward The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund to help save the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
For all you animal-lovers, Animal Stone is dedicated to connecting people to animals. Wear your favorite animal to stay connected with your animal spirit, whether it’s a sea turtle, a lone wolf or a majestic lion. Forget about butterflies in your stomach and wear them close to your heart. With “Kamama the Butterfly,” your purchase will go toward the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto. If you think sharks need more love, “Bahamas the Shark” helps support the Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships and Training. With Animal Stone, find the connection to your animal and connect yourself to the world of giving.