After the 9.0 earthquake, ensuing tsunami, and still-unfolding nuclear disaster hit Japan, everyone wants to know how to help, and the fashion community is no exception. Retailer H&M donated nearly 100,000 garments to the Japanese Red Cross, while Coach is giving the organization an impressive $5 million. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is also putting together an online charity event called Fashion & Friends for Japan. The council recently distributed a press release asking designers to donate fashionable packages to be auctioned off for the worthy cause. The auction is scheduled to begin April 5, with sales benefiting the Japan Society.
There's no need to wait for the auction to give back, however. With several designers creating special pieces to raise money for those affected by the disaster, one of the best ways to give is to shop! Kate Spade created this symbolic tote (4), priced at just $18 and funds go straight to the Japanese Red Cross Society. T-shirts are a popular way to show support. Anna Sui's $20 "We're All In This Together" shirt comes in purple (6) or black. The Japan Relief t-shirt designed by Tory Burch (5) mixes images of the Japanese flag with red hearts, sells for just $29 and 100% of the proceeds through September 15 heads to the American Red Cross. Polo Ralph Lauren teamed up with the United Way to create the $98 Japan Hope Polo (1). It's available for women as well as men and a full 100% of the proceeds goes to the Central Community Chest of Japan.
Jewelry is in the mix, too. Pick up these $70 double disc white-plated earrings (2) from RichRocks and 20% of all proceeds from the sale will go to the American Red Cross and related relief efforts. A silver sterling Wave of Hope Pendant (3) was created by Joan Hornig Jewelry for the relief efforts. The $60.80 price tag identifies the location of the initial quake which occurred 6 miles inland, 80 miles off the coast of Japan.
Couture designers are even donating a portion or all of their sales to the relief effort. Diane Von Furstenberg is handing over 10% of sales from U.S. online stores through April 8 to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.
For every red handbag purchased on Rebecca Minkoff's site, $100 will be donated to the American Red Cross.
All the proceeds from sales on Alexis Bittar's site from March 21-25 are earmarked for the Catholic Relief Fund. For the month of April, Josie Natori is donating 10% of all sales to the Red Cross. United Bamboo and 3.1 Phillip Lim both held sample sales geared towards raising funds.
It's not just designers and retailers coming up with stylishly generous ways of helping those in need. Lady Gaga designed a "We Pray For Japan" wristband (7) complete with Japanese characters. It costs only $5 and 100% of that money will go to the relief effort.