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Getting shop-happy? Spread the joy!
by Gina |  Aug 8, 2012

I remember riding home from back-to-school shopping with my mom and sister, just itching to climb into the back of the car to dig through the bags and marvel at my beautiful new clothes and shoes. Fine, I'll admit it - that still happens to me from time to time after a particularly exciting shopping trip.

Let's face it - shopping gives us a natural high. Whether you're indulging in a little retail therapy or simply treating yourself to some new fall fashion, shopping can provoke some seriously sunny feelings. While you're indulging for yourself, why not spread some of that happiness for others, too. Today, there are a number of brands that pledge to give an item to people in need for every single unit purchased by you, the consumer. Here are some of my favorite brands that spread the shopping happiness.

Fashionably fix your vision (and that of others)

Got a new prescription for your specs or need some new sunglasses? Warby Parker, which has a gorgeous selection of vintage-inspired eyeglasses and sunglasses, donates one pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold in their website.

When almost 1 billion people across the globe don't have access to glasses, a tool that can increase a person's productivity by 20 percent, it's tempting to want to buy those classic rims in every color, just to donate more glasses. Thanks to Warby Parker's collaboration with VisionSpring, a social enterprise dedicated to providing glasses to improve conditions in the developing world, more than 150,000 people have gotten clearer vision, which has in turn led to improved economic development in these places.

That means I can get twice the enjoyment of my (super-trendy) specs knowing I am helping someone who is less fortunate than me.

Looking cute, comfy and charitable

You might be familiar with the adorable slip-on shoes that have taken the feet of Americans by storm since they hit the market a few years ago. Part of founder Blake Mycoskie's success might have been thanks to America's goodwill - the company made itself known for its "One for One" campaign, pledging to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Thanks to this setup, Toms has given more than 1 million pairs of shoes to children across the globe!

Shoes protect children in developing countries from soil-transmitted diseases and cuts, sores and other wounds they may get from walking, running and playing barefoot. Plus, shoes help many children stay in school. Shoes are often required for school uniforms, and if a child is not in uniform, they don't go to school.

Of course, you can buy a pair of these cute (and might I add VERY comfy) shoes and know that you are donating a pair to a child in need, but you can also buy a new item from the new Toms eyewear line and contribute to a cause similar to Warby Parker's.

Inspi(red) to cure AIDS?

Don't need new shoes or glasses? The (Red) organization has partnered with a handful of different companies who have agreed to donate a portion of its profits to the global (Red) Fund, which works to fight AIDS worldwide, but particularly in Africa where it is most prevalent. Your newest iPod Nano or even that handle of Belvedere vodka could be going toward this good cause, since these companies have partnered with the organization. Feeling inspi(red)? You can find all sorts of merchandise on the organization's website and find a full list of their partners so you can make an educated (and generous) decision next time you shop. 

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