The #1 Reason You Should Buy Fashion That Gives Back (Are You Helping?)
Updated March 20, 2019
Disclosure: I only highlight companies and products that align with Empower Palette’s values and/or I personally use. This blog receives a commission from purchases through some of the links in this post (affiliate links). To see a full list of the brands I earn commissions from, check out the shop page.
Part 1: The Why
The #1 reason you should buy fashion that gives back is a healthier body and mind. What?! Yeah, you read it right.
Giving benefits your overall well-being and positivity, meaning increased happiness, less stress, increased gratitude and feelings of pleasure. 😍
Tell you more? Don’t mind if I do...
Many studies show that giving to others increases happiness. Including a 2008 Study by Michael Norton at the Harvard Business School, plus Elizabeth Dunn and Lara Aknin from the University of British Columbia.
“We found that people who spent the money on themselves that day weren’t happier that evening,” said Norton, “but people who spent it on others were. The amount of money, $5 or $20, didn’t matter at all. It was only how people spent it that made them happier.”
There is this idea that earning more or collecting more money equals a more satisfied version of ourselves, but maybe the real happiness comes from giving money. 🤔
Rachel Piferi at Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler at the University of Tennessee found that charitable participants had lower blood pressure than participants who didn’t give social support.
Their research also found that participants with a higher tendency to provide social support have greater social support and self-esteem while having less depression and stress than participants with a lower propensity to provide social support for others.
Barbara Fredrickson, a happiness researcher, addressed gratitude in her book Positivity. "When you express your gratitude in words or actions, you not only boost your own positivity but (other people's) as well. And in the process, you reinforce their kindness and strengthen your bond to one another."
After donating, people usually get what scientists call a “warm-glow." The brain's reward center is activated creating a feeling of pleasure and warmth. This feeling is also known as the "helper’s high.”
Not only are you on a G-Rated "high," but you will buy clothing without feeling guilty! Two in one! You now have a solution for impulse purchases. If you have to buy, why not buy something that helps others too?
Giving is connected to the release of oxytocin (which we know is released during sex and breastfeeding and is also to blame for the feelings we catch for someone after we get it in). Oxytocin elicits feelings of warmth and euphoria as well. Paul Zak calls this hormone the "moral molecule."
As Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, he revealed that oxytocin causes people to give more generously for up to two hours. Paul says that when a person gives, the receiver then has a rush of oxytocin and may pass it on, triggering a "virtuous circle, where one person's generous behavior triggers another's."
Of course, we should help others solely because it is the right thing to do. However, we are human, and such a reason does not always motivate us.
Try doing it for YOU, and in turn, you will help others and yourself. If we all give a little, we have all given a lot.
Part 2: The How
Need ideas on where to shop for fashion that gives back? I've got you covered! You don't even have to Google stores.
There are many online and IRL stores, but why don’t we start with 5. Too many choices can be frustrating.
Here are five shops to get you started:
ABLE creates manufacturing and artisan jobs for impoverished women in Nashville, Tennessee, and Ethiopia.
Symbology empowers women artisan partners in Mexico, India and West Bank.
Sudara has partners in the United States and India. Not only does Sudara employ and train women, but they also provide housing and education for both women and children.
You can donate directly to their freedom fund here.
4. Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily employs over 1,500 women with fair trade wages in countries like Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Kenya, and Peru.
Indego Africa works with thousands of women in Rwanda and Ghana to sell products designed in New York City and handmade in Africa.
You can also donate directly through their site.
Does this motivate you to give more? How do you feel after you give your money or time? Will you shop these sites? Are you excited impulse buying can be productive and helpful? Will you rethink how you buy?
Post a comment or question below and don't hesitate to share this post and help create a cycle of generosity 😘
& remember to allow your authentic self to empower the women around you