Product Spotlight

Started in 2017 via a Kickstarter campaign, these durable environmentally-friendly sustainably harvested cork yoga mats are just one of the give-back products available from this Ontario yoga company, Scoria World. Each mat purchased provides 10 meals through their partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere. In three years, that has equalled more than 100,000 meals. The mats are available in a variety of designs, such as bears, moons and flowers, as well as plain, for $79 to $142. Buy here. — Karen Bliss


To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, throughout October retailer Avon, Fruits & Passion and Nature Collection will be donating the net proceeds from its alo Pink Apple Hand Cream to Avon Foundation for Women Canada Breast Cancer Crusade.  Enriched with coconut oil, the 50 ml cream costs just $4.50, and is described as “deliciously scented with a fresh and uplifting blend of sparkling apple blossom, exotic kiwi, blooming jasmine and pink lotus petals.”  Buy it here or at any one of the 21 Nature Collection and 17 Fruits & Passion locations. — Karen Bliss

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Norman Powell of the world champion Toronto Raptors basketball team has released a Black Lives Matters-themed set of t-shirts as part of his Understand The Grind clothing line. The series features three separate designs, one featuring a quote from late poet and social critic James Baldwin, one that says "Understand Black Lives Matter" and one that asks "Am I Next?" Retailing between $25-$30, proceeds from shirt sales will be split to support the Black Youth Helpline in Canada and Campaign Zero in the U.S.. — Aaron Brophy

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The Toronto Blue Jays are playing this strange truncated 2020 season outside Canada due to covid-19, but the franchise is offering a commemorative ticket for the Home Away From Home Opener (presented by TD), Tuesday Aug. 11 against the Miami Marlins.  Hard tickets are $10 with a portion of the proceeds going to Jays Care Foundation to help Canadian families who are struggling during the pandemic. Buy here. — Karen Bliss

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In mid-March Spirit Of York, a Toronto-based maker of fine gins and vodkas, switched their distillery over from producing spirits to creating much-needed hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 crisis. The company, which is based in the city's historic Distillery District, has since been providing their World Health Organization-standard sanitizer to front-line medical workers and vulnerable communities. In addition, the hand sanitizer is for sale at their storefront for $3/bottle, limit two per customer, with all proceeds going towards local food banks via Feed Ontario. They've raised $10,000 so far. Store is open Tues. - Sun 11 a.m. to  6 p.m. — Aaron Brophy

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The DIFF charitable eyewear company has teamed with rising R&B musician H.E.R. for a four-piece limited-edition series of sunglasses. Profits from the collection will support DIFF's mission of providing reading glasses to those in need. In partnership with Sightsavers, an international organization dedicated to combating preventable blindness, DIFF estimates it has provided over 1.5 million people with reading glasses in the last four years. The H.E.R. pieces retail for $85 USD each ($113.44 CAD). — Aaron Brophy.

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Sam the teddy bear won't be just an adorable gift this holiday season, he'll also be helping support mental health causes. That's because Sam is retailer HBC's 13th annual limited-edition Heritage Charity Bear. Named after Samuel Hearne, who was tasked with the task of establishing the Hudson Bay Company's first inland post in Canada in the late 1700s, Sam the bear costs $23.99. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Sam sales will go towards HEADFIRST, the program established by the HBC Foundation to support mental health programming initiatives. Buy it here. —Aaron Brophy

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For Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Hudson's Bay is selling a light pink scarf with the words “Hope Love Strength” subtly in the fabric; it is also available in French.  Thirteen dollars from the $21 retail price will go the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), whose mission is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research.” The scarf is 45” width x 180” length and is 100 percent acrylic. It can be purchased online and in-store, while quantities last.  — Karen Bliss

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Bryan Adams, whose current Shine A Light Tour ensures one tree is planted per ticket sold, continues to donate his used guitar strings to the charity Wear Your Music. Founder and designer Hannah Garrison makes and sells gorgeous custom jewelry out of them. Fittingly, the pop hitmaker selected Nordoff-Robbins as the recipient of the proceeds. The U.K. music therapy charity “use[s]music to enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illnesses, disabilities and feelings of isolation.” Adams’ strings have been made into bracelets, cuffs and pendants, ranging from $65 to $275 USD. The pendant, for example, features a stainless steel and glass locket on a boxchain necklace. Buy them here. — Karen Bliss

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A portion of proceeds from these colourful rainbow-patterned Dr. Martens goes to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ people under the age of 25. The style is the classic 1460 — the original boot that came out in England April 1, 1960, hence the name — and include a rainbow welt stitch, eyelets, laces, sock liner and heel-loop. “Because whatever your color, creed, sexual orientation, musical tastes, passions or beliefs, Dr. Martens is proud to celebrate inclusivity and diversity,” the company states. The boots retail for $189.99 (CAD). Buy them here. Dr. Martens has other Pride boots and also rainbow laces. — Karen Bliss


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