Causes Philanthropically Speaking

Thoughtfully Fashionable Gifts That Transform Lives at Home and Abroad in One Click!

Thoughtfully Fashionable Gifts That Transform Lives at Home and Abroad in One Click: ‘Tis the Season of Shopping for a Change!

San Mateo, California (PRWEB) October 31, 2012

This time of year, discriminating shoppers oftentimes find their search for personal gifts to be daunting and overwhelming. Gift givers spend hours on end looking for items that have personal meaning for their loved ones, friends, business associates and the like. To help shoppers’ ease their gift decision angst, an upstart web-based shopping site offers an ideal solution for thoughtful and fashionable gifts that simultaneously transform lives abroad and at home in the United States. At Shopping for a Change® (SFAC), consumers can find beautiful fair trade jewelry, accessories and home décor handmade by artisans in impoverished countries that look good, feel good and do good all in one click of the mouse. Impacting change around the world, the 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization serves as a portal for artisans in impoverished countries to sell their fair trade handmade products, while helping their communities, their families and U.S. nonprofit organizations. Net proceeds are split equally between funding an annual community improvement project abroad in the areas of education, health and clean water and aiding a U.S.-based nonprofit organization of the web shopper’s choosing from SFAC’s partner list.

Trending with Celebrities and Bloggers

Trendhunter Magazine featured Shopping for a Change in its August 15, 2012 blog “Ethical Artisan-Empowering Organizations” and, the organization, which qualified to be on the Great Nonprofits 2012 list for Social Justice is expected to make that list on November 15th.

The handmade products showcased on the internet shopping site are in hot demand, too, and are on the radar of many celebrities and bloggers: Gayle King, Deidre Hall, Brook Shields and Maya Rudolph are all sporting jewelry from the Andean Collection. Actresses Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep are two of many celebs sporting bracelets from Same Sky, another featured collection on SFAC. And, SFAC’s artisan groups’ crafts have been featured in popular magazines including: People and O Magazine.

“Seeing all the beauty of that country coupled with the despair and hardship made me realize how, if it wasn’t for an accident of birth” it could have been me,” – Stacey Horowitz, Founder of Shopping For a Change

The Woman Behind The Change

The unique upstart digital business platform/model is the brainchild of San Mateo’s Stacey Horowitz, who developed Shopping for a Change after having an epiphany while anticipating her upcoming 50th birthday. Contemplating how she was going to leave this world a better place than when she arrived, three key events during her 50th year were instrumental game changers in her life that would turn her contemplation into action, benefiting the life of others around the globe. A middle school philanthropic project, a trip to Galapagos Islands and Peru, and the realization of “seeing all the beauty of that country coupled with the despair and hardship made me realize how, if it wasn’t for an accident of birth” it could have been me,” says Horowitz.

A year and a half later, Shopping for a Change was born with the motto: empowering others, transforming lives®. Launching its website in September 2010, SFAC serves as a digital community where artisans, consumers and charitable organizations have a symbiotic relationship following fair trade principles. Doing good, feeling good and looking good in one fell swoop, this web-based site should be on everyone’s shopping list!

Shopping for a Change® (SFAC) empowering others, transforming lives® is a web-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization where artisans (predominantly women) from developing countries, sell their handmade creations enabling them to earn a sustainable income and lift themselves from poverty. The net proceeds subsidize community improvement projects abroad as well as help fund select U.S.-based non-profit organizations of the web shopper’s choosing from SFAC’s partner list.

Ethical Fashion for Today’s Consumer
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The Problem with Most Fashion-Tech Startups

Op-Ed | The Problem with Most Fashion-Tech Startups


NEW YORK, United States — Fashion is an incredible industry. It’s sexy, it’s glamorous, it’s exciting. But it’s also incredibly complicated and the amount of change the Internet and other technology innovations will bring to this industry in the next decade will be mindboggling. Indeed, our offices have been swamped with business pitches from more than a thousand entrepreneurs who want to transform this industry.

As for the ideas themselves, many look great on whiteboards or in business school competitions: virtual closets, flash sale businesses, new designer “discovery” sites, you-be-the-designer sites, social shopping, user-curated boutiques, subscription sites, custom clothing, and so on that seek to use technology in ‘clever’ ways. But, in the end, they often miss the mark by a wide margin.

There are many flaws to these businesses. But the biggest flaw I see is that these “Internet entrepreneurs” fail to understand how the Internet will fundamentally transform the fashion industry, not just provide another access point to buy something.

In my opinion, the biggest change will be a dramatic shift in the relationships amongst brands, retailers and customers. Going forward, every brand must figure out how to connect directly with its customers and they must structure their business around the relationships they want to have with their customer rather than let their distribution channels define them. The economics are too great not to do so.

If all brands must connect directly with their customers, it also means the roles played by retailers must change. Online retailers will not succeed as customer access points for brands anymore, because the brands can now access these customers directly. So, the online retailer must be more. I would argue that Net-a-Porter is as large a threat to Vogue as it is to Bergdorf Goodman, because of the editorial content and contextual placement they provide. In my mind, making a decision to sell on Net-a-Porter is a branding decision, not a revenue decision. The ramifications of this shift will destroy many large incumbents in this industry, as they realise that they must provide a brand more value than simply aggregating customers and selling their products in unimaginative Sears-catalogue formats.

Another major change will be retailers and brands realizing that there is enormous opportunity to use technology to create shopping experiences that replicate the emotion that a customer feels when they shop an incredible physical store, without resembling the traditional shopping experience in any shape or form. In the current fashion-tech world, many incredible designers and merchants who create amazing physical experiences have created dull online experiences. Too often they try to far too literally recreate physical experiences online: I go into a store, I look for a product that I like, I put it in my bag or cart, I proceed to the checkout, I pay for it and I leave. But fashion is not about process or necessity: I need water but I don’t need that fantastic Tom Ford suit, I only feel like I need that fantastic Tom Ford suit. Simply displaying products like they are in a grocery store (rows and categories) doesn’t work.

Fashion makes you feel. It is about emotion. The web can create amazing experiences using video and images to convey a story. Sites can engage customers and get them to participate in the definition of brands and products…

The entrepreneurs who master both and understand the subtleties of each will be triumphant and realise all the potential that lies in this combination of technology and fashion.


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Pairing the Right Clothes and the Right Table

Pairing the Right Clothes and the Right Table

ABOUT the only time that food and clothing turn up together in ads is when detergents demonstrate their abilities to remove from one the stains made by the other. That is about to change as a food magazine and a clothing retailer join for an elaborate summer promotion.

The magazine is Bon Appétit, part of the Condé Nast Publications division of Advance Publications, and the retailer is Banana Republic, part of Gap Inc. It is, apparently, a coincidence that the retailer involved features a food in its name.

Those two brands are working together, along with OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation service, to promote a new apparel collection coming from Banana Republic called Desk to Dinner. The clothes, as the name suggests, are intended to be versatile enough to be worn from a day at the office to a night out to eat.