Charity Works: DSW Launches Pop-Up Where Customers Won’t Be Able to Buy Anything + More

Dec. 12, 2019: DSW has launched a pop-up shop run by its charitable arm, DSW Gives, where customers won’t be able to buy anything. Instead, they’re encouraged to donate gently used or lightly worn shoes and contribute funds, which will go toward the needs of impoverished families. Each day the store is open, DSW will also provide special events and activations. The pop-up runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Dec. 15. It is located on 498 Broome Street.

Dec. 12, 2019: Sneaker brand Koio is on a learning curve. The company has partnered with a public school in the Harlem neighborhood of New York for today’s launch of the Koio x P.S. 149 Sojourner Truth style. Developed as a result of a school-wide art contest, the sneaker features a glistening, iridescent python-effect, textured upper and rose gold metallic outsole. All 600 students in the school, from kindergarten to 8th grade, sketched their dream sneakers based on Koio silhouettes. Judged by a group of past collaborators along with Koio’s founders, the winner was 8th grader Shazia Rahman. Profit from the limited-edition sneaker will be donated to the school to help fund a kiln. Priced at $248, the sneakers will be available at Koio.com as well as its New York store in SoHo.

Dec. 11, 2019: New Balance Foundation has announced it’s reached a milestone of $100 million in total grants to nonprofits. From an initial $31,000 grant-making investment in 1981, the foundation’s contributions have grown to provide millions in funding to develop high-impact, long-term, sustainable initiatives that enrich the lives of children, their families and their communities. “The New Balance Foundation is one way we live our values, which is the basis of everything we do,” said Anne Davis, managing trustee of the foundation. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication of our company associates that have enabled the foundation to grow over time and share our business success with communities around us.”

Dec. 11, 2019: Sneakers for Soldiers, a nonprofit that provides properly fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops, is the recipient of Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladin award. The program provides up-and-coming nonprofits with funding, business advice and volunteer support, helping move them from start-up to sustainable while also helping share their stories more widely. Through the Purple Paladin award, Grant Thornton will support the nonprofit with skills-based services, as well as financial support, enabling Sneakers for Soldiers to continue its work.

Dec. 4, 2019: Hari Mari, known for its comfort-driven flip-flops, has launched Freedom Flops, a new initiative that provides U.S. military and first responders with flip-flops designed specifically for prosthetic legs. The program’s spokesperson is Corporal Jacob Schick, CEO of 22Kill, an organization designed to combat veteran suicide; Schick lost his right leg when a tank mine detonated below his vehicle in Iraq. “As a combat veteran of the Iraqi War, it’s so refreshing to see a family-run company going above and beyond to help wounded veterans,” said Schick. “The Freedom Flops program has given me just that — the freedom to wear flip-flops again. Hari Mari is the epitome of a company that’s proof you don’t have to wear a uniform to serve.” Hari Mari will be providing the sandals free of charge.

Dec. 3, 2019: On Giving Tuesday, Hoka One One has announced a $30,000 donation to Back on My Feet, a nonprofit that helps combat homelessness. The grant will directly support members of the organization who are either living without a home or in addiction or treatment facilities. Through this partnership, Hoka will provide more than 500 pairs of sneakers as well as assist in shoe fittings and runs in 13 cities with Back on My Feet chapters across the country come 2020.

Dec. 2, 2019: Earth Shoes is introducing a slip-on style made in Haiti in partnership with JL Fine Shoes S.A. located in Port-au-Prince. The style, named Renmen, means love in Creole, while the word Ayiti, which means Haiti in Creole, is embroidered across the vamp. The goal of the project is to help bring jobs to the people of Haiti, with proceeds from the sale going towards reforestation efforts in the country. The shoe, which retails for $80, will be available by Christmas exclusively at EarthShoes.com.

Earth Footwear's Renmen style raises money for Haiti reforestastion.
Earth Shoes’ Renmen style raises money for reforestation in Haiti.
CREDIT: Earth Shoes

Dec. 1, 2019: The Council of Fashion Designers of America is donating $500,000 to eight community organizations based in New York. In partnership with the MAC Cosmetics Viva Glam Fund, grants of $70,000 each were given to the Audre Lorde Project, Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Hetrick-Martin Institute. HEAT Program at SUNY, Anti-Violence Project and Ali Forney Center each received $50,000. The organizations were chosen based on their commitment to helping queer people of color, including members of the community impacted by HIV/AIDS. “With the help of the American fashion community, the CFDA has been able to raise significant funds to fight HIV/AIDS since the inaugural 7th on Sale event with Vogue magazine in 1990,” Steven Kolb, CFDA president and CEO, said in a release. “We are so grateful for our partnership with MAC Cosmetics and their longstanding work in our shared mission.”

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