It’s true what they say: There’s a reason for the season. It’s all about paying it forward. Do exactly that by shopping from companies that give a portion of their proceeds to a good cause. Here are our favorite options from Chicago-based entrepreneurs that put philanthropy at the heart of their business.
Maison Atia Faux Fur (above)
Luxury faux fur is the newest must-have, and these decidedly elevated options fit the bill. Styles range from bolero to bathrobe, and colors veer both classic and unexpected (electric red, olive). The best news: The brand, led by creative director Chloe Mendel of Highland Park, teams up with PAWS Chicago and for every coat purchased, Maison Atia provides a homeless puppy or kitten with transportation to a shelter. Starting at $950; maisonatia.com.
Be Loved Jewelry
These wear-now, love-forever pieces are crafted by local designer Jeri Zaslavsky. Build that jewelry wardrobe with everything from drop earrings to stackable bracelets to interchangeable chains to collectible charms in pavé diamonds, yellow gold, and sterling silver. Ten percent of your purchase is donated to Lynn Sage Foundation — a cause close to Jeri’s heart as a breast cancer survivor. Starting at $200; beloved-jewelry.com.
It’s time to show your favorite city some love. Chicago’s Lighthouse Industries has just introduced a line of clocks inspired by America’s best-loved destinations (we obviously have heart for the rendition of the CTA “L” train map). Each is hand-produced by blind or visually impaired individuals, a population impacted by a 70 percent unemployment rate. Since 1977, Lighthouse has made more than six million clocks, providing job security to this community. $49; chicagolighthouseclocks.com.
With their mission to create and empower authentic community spaces, Chicago’s coffee brewer has upped the ante this season with the Female Empowerment Gift Box. Collaborating with Cafe Imports to source coffee from the Women’s Producers Program, each gift box not only supports women-owned farms across the globe, but premiums from sales go back into communities through educational efforts and increased health care access. Each box contains two 12-ounce bags of coffee; individual blends are also an option. $35 each; brewpointcoffee.com.
Taking a purely natural approach to perfumery, Saor’s handcrafted, small-batch fragrances focus on aromatic oils inspired by lush Irish
landscapes. During December, Saor is donating 10% of profits to Opportunity International, a nonprofit creating opportunities for families and entrepreneurs across the globe to work, learn, and support themselves. Starting at $55; saorperfume.com.
Eredità makes footwear an art by infusing traditional Italian craftsmanship and luxury leather into each handcrafted design. Whether cool high-tops and sneakers or timeless loafers and boots, each pair purchased throughout December sees 10 percent of sales donated to Project Style. The organization uses fashion as a tool to engage disadvantaged youths with in-school programs. Starting at $195; ereditashoes.com.
Known for denim that’s as wearable as sweatpants, Mugsy’s jeans and chinos are ideal for the guy who wants an instant style upgrade with no comfort compromise. Buy from the Ports or Parks collection of chinos and 10 percent of your purchase is donated to Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, which provides life-changing experiences for Chicago youths. Starting at $40; mugsyjeans.com.
Two Penny Blue Apparel
Find that perfect workwear — jackets, blazers, dresses, and blouses tailored in timeless cuts with playful details (hello, flouncy bows). A portion of proceeds is given to global intiatives supporting girls. At the heart of founder Marie Whitney’s vision is the fact that for every jacket purchased, a school uniform is donated to a girl in need in Africa, giving her hope for a bright future. Starting at $325; 2pennyblue.com.