Product of the Month
Freshii, the global fresh food chain founded by Canadian Matthew Corrin, has teamed up with charity Free The Children to help build school kitchens and vegetable gardens in developing communities overseas. By purchasing the reusable green bowl (with lid) for $5 at Freshii, proceeds go to this initiative to help support school lunch programs. In return, Freshii customers can sign up for exclusive green bowl freebies. The sale of 15,340 bowls equals one kitchen and garden, which means approximately 500 students in that community will be fed a healthy lunch every day. According to Free The Children, 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry in the developing world. — K.B.
PR queen Natasha Koifman, whose NKPR company includes client Artists For Peace And Justice which supports communities in Haiti, is a woman of many talents. She has designed a stunning ring-to-wrist bracelet in collaboration with Toronto jewelers !Xam Diamonds to support AFPJ. The delicate chains and bejeweled pieces — all hand-made and made to order — come in 14K rose gold featuring five, ethically sourced, treated black diamonds from South Africa ($1300) and sterling silver featuring five handpicked crimson rubies ethically sourced from Thailand ($350). 100 percent of net profits go to AFPJ. They can be ordered online. — K.B.
Avon Canada’s new “Start Something” movement is to help “open the door to confidence and empower young women to speak out against bullying and domestic violence. The direct sales beauty company kicked off the campaign by donating $200,000 and now is taking it to the consumer to top it up by selling 1G USB key bracelets — the Start Something Rhinestone bracelet ($20) and an unadorned, plain version ($9). 100% of the net proceeds go to Avon Safe & Sound program at the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Big Sisters mentoring programs across Canada, split equally, according to Avon. Each bracelet has a silicone strap and the word “start” debossed in multiple languages — K.B.
Beauty is ocean deep. High-end cosmetics line Chantecaille has made a solid commitment to nature preservation. Two of its latest makeup palettes — containing powders for base highlighter, eye colour, eye liner and cheek — benefit ocean life. Five percent of all proceeds from the purchase of the Save The Sharks Palette ($83) supports ocean conservation group Bloom Association, which is dedicated to protecting sharks and implementing a global ban on finning. The purchase of The Coral Reefs Palette ($79) helps the Marine Conservation Institute win protection for 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020. The paraben-free refillable palettes are for sale in the U.S. at Chantecaille.com, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York locations and in Canada at Holt Renfrew. There are also palettes to save tigers and elephants — K.B.
Keep your wine or olive oil fresh and put money in the hands of Nairobi artisans by purchasing this hand-carved and painted Corky Giraffe Bottle Topper. There’s also a zebra and cheetah version. Sold by fair trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages, which creates long-term opportunities and fair wages for artisans in developing countries, the bottle toppers are exported by Otic International and sell for $12. OTIC provides export and marketing support for a number of small workshops around Nairobi, some of which offer their artisans training in wood carving, while others provide short-term, zero interest loans. All groups seek to ensure higher-than-average earnings. Ten Thousand Villages has approxiamately 120 stores across North America and sells online. — K.B.
Start a baby’s life off in style and another with basic necessities. The purchase of this gorgeous limited-edition Armani baby blanket, made exclusively for Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew, benefits Free The Children. Just $50, funds generated from the blanket will support international developing communities in Kenya, providing the necessary healthcare, clean water and support needed for Maasai mamas and their babies through the first year of the child’s life. The blanket is available in four designs — green multi-colour, pink, red multi-colour and navy blue — inspired by the traditional kanga wrap worn by Maasai mamas. Holt Renfrew’s goal is to raise $100,000 for Free The Children. The Armani baby blanket is available at all Holt Renfrew stores or online, while quantities last. Think of it as a two baby benefit blanket.— K.B.
It bears buying — Build-A Bear-Workshop, the interactive retailer which allows customers to make their own stuffed animals from scratch on the premise, has created a limited-edition cute-as-a-button blue bear to support Autism Speaks Canada and Autism Speaks in the U.S.. The Autism Speaks Bear sells for $23 and $1 from every sale will be donated to Autism Speaks to help fund research into the causes and treatments of autism. Autism Speaks bear-sized t-shirts are also available for $8, with 50 cents from every sale going to the charity. Throughout April, customers can also donate $1 or more to Autism Speaks when they check out at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in Canada or online at buildabear.com. Since 2005, Build-A-Bear Workshop has raised more than $545,000 to support Autism Speaks. — K.B.
Happiness is a spritz of perfume — if that perfume is the limited edition Clinique Happy Heart package with proceeds going to Happy Hearts Fund, founded by model Petra Němcová. The cosmetics giant is selling the 30 ml spray for $37 (U.S.) and donates $10 to the Fund. The non-profit foundation — which Němcová started in 2006 after she miraculously survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand — is dedicated to rebuilding schools and restoring hope in the lives of children after natural disasters. To date, Happy Hearts Fund has worked in 14 countries, and is currently active in Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Haiti. They have rebuilt over 70 schools and benefited more than 40,000 children and 337,000 community members. So far Clinique has donated $250,000 to Happy Hearts Fund. The company also sells a Happy Heart Fund white T-shirt with crayon-style drawings of pink, red and orange hearts for $16, with $5 going to the charity. — K.B.
Wine, art and charity. How’s that for an intoxicating combination? Family-run Legends Estates Winery donates the proceeds from each bottle of DIVA wine sold to Women’s Place of South Niagara, which offers support, counselling and safe shelter for abused women and children within the region. BeLuxe artist Bev Hogue created two labels for DIVA white (semillon-sauvignon blanc) and DIVA red (malbec-merlot), featuring her cool blue girls on a yellow and pink background respectively. The text on the bottle states that Hogue’s work “represents courage and the strength of the female spirit, embodied by her signature depiction of blue women.” The classic label is also available for this DIVA wine (white, rosé and red), a watermark of the deity Artemis as a symbol of protection for women and children. The wine can be purchased for $14.95 at the LCBO, at the Beamsville, Ont. winery store, or online by emailing your order via the web site and they will ship it to you if law permits. — K.B.
Canadian skincare company Consonant is already doing many things right: using 100 percent natural ingredients and recyclable packaging, but one of their products is extra special. When you purchase Help Some-Body Soap for $12 (online or at the Toronto store), 100 percent of the price goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. The 112-gram bar is scented with a blend of lavender and lemongrass essential oils. Consonant’s carcinogen-free products reflect the CBCSF's "Think Pink Live Green" mission to raise awareness about the impact of the environmental factors affecting breast cancer. “The donated proceeds will be used to help fulfill the CBCSF's vision to ease the burden of breast cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties,” it says in the product description. To purchase, click here. — K.B.
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