Product of the Month
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.
Montreal pop-rock band Simple Plan is donating 10 percent of the proceeds from the sale of a new coffee-table book, Simple Plan: The Official Story to the Simple Plan Foundation. Published by La Presse, the 304-page tome is available in Chapters bookstores for $34.95 and also comes in a French-language version. It was written by Quebec journalist Kathleen Lavoie of the newspaper Le Soleil and is part biography, part photo album, part scrapbook. Through their Foundation, frontman Pierre Bouvier, drummer Chuck Comeau, guitarists Jeff Stinco and Sébastien Lefebvre, and bassist David Desrosiers have donated more than $1 million to various organizations that help troubled youth. Order the book here. — K.B.
Canadian pop singer Nelly Furtado, whose new album is The Spirit Indestructible, is selling a “spirit indestructible” tank top, via Free The Children, for $34.50. All proceeds go towards the construction of Oleleshwa Secondary School, a new girls school in Kenya, and other girls’ education initiatives. The tanks, which feature the leaf of the resilient leleshwa plant, come in black and white and are available on the Me To We online store. Furtado is an ambassador for Free The Children, the world’s largest network of youth helping youth through education and development programs. Furtado will match every dollar raised, up to $500,000. — K.B.
30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto has put together a hard cover book of photographs he took on a humanitarian trip to Haiti last January, a year after the earthquake resulted in the deaths of 300,000 people and devastated the lives of millions. The singer, actor and director lived in Haiti in his mid-teens when he family went there for a short time to do volunteer work. Haiti, as it is simply titled, sells exclusively online for $100. One hundred percent of net profits will go to charities to assist those affected by the quake. — K.B.
This year, top jewelry designer and cancer survivor Susan Fiedler expanded her popular 925 sterling silver "F Cancer" cuff bracelet line to include copper cuff bracelets for half the price. The expletive appears in full on the bracelet; the underside is engraved with “embrace life.” These bracelets just add class to the tell-it-like-it-is expression. Sales of the bracelets have raised more than $100,000 for Vancouver’s InspireHealth, Canada’s foremost not-for-profit integrative cancer care clinic. Each silver and copper bracelet comes in four sizes. Prices range from $75 to $210. — K.B.
Eyeglasses for eye care: Toms Shoes — the company which donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair it sells — now has an Italian-made eyewear collection, which will help others when with each pair purchased. Administered by Seva Foundation, one sale means that one person’s sight is helped through medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses and sight-saving surgery. The shades sell for $140-$150 and are available at TOMS.ca and select retailers across Canada (Holt Renfrew, Little Burgundy, Over The Rainbow and Stance). — K.B.
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