Shopping can bring on major feelings of guilt, especially during an economic recession. Whether you've cut back on spending or are just hiding the spending from your partner (we know, it's terrible), shopping for fun has become a thing of the past.
Thankfully, Community Collection has a remedy. Launched in 2011 by Brooks Cook, a California native and USC alum, the membership-only site works with designers to develop exclusive limited-edition products. Once a shopper buys the item, a percentage of the sale goes to the charity of the designer's choice.
Cook started his career in private equity real estate, but quickly grew tired of shuffling millions of dollars between properties. He wanted to give back and make an impact. When the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake happened, Cook saw his chance. He started the site with small designers, donating profits from each sold item directly to Haiti. He was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the fashion industry could mobilize around disaster.
Community Collection formed a foundation with the same name, which acts as a channel through which the company's proceeds are funneled directly to charities. The site keeps its overhead really low, and receives tax breaks from the foundation, thus maximizing the amount of money going to charity and remaining a viable buyer in the designers' eyes. Each month the site focuses on one collaboration with a designer because, as Cook says, "We're not trying to be an 'in your face' e-commerce site. We want to tell the story between the designers and the charities, and create excitement and anticipation around these designers that people love."
With 10 to 20 percent of gross sales going to charity, Cook has given us a good reason to get shopping again. And to get started, Community Collection is giving us exclusive access to this month's collaboration from jewelry designer Joomi Lim who created the "Tribe Festival" bracelet benefiting Animal Care Sanctuary. Animal Care Sanctuary is a no-kill, non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the humane care and treatment of all animals in need of protection, including rescued, abandoned and abused animals.
Proceeds from the sale of Joomi Lim's "Tribe Festival" bracelet will be used to purchase orthopedic dog beds for the senior pooches living at ACS.
Go spend some money -- it's for good.