We all know the expression, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” but did you consider that this could apply to clothes, too?
Americans discard an estimated 68 pounds of clothing each year. Of these, about 10% of never worn items are simply tossed in the trash. According to the EPA, this results in approximately 11 million tons of old clothing and textiles winding up in U.S. landfills each year — nearly all of which can be reused or recycled.
Most people probably have a few items they’ve never worn (read: impulse buys) or pieces that no longer reflect their style but are still in great condition. So instead of throwing away what’s bogging down your closet, spare the landfill, help the environment, and save money by giving your clothes a second life.
One fun way to do this? Host a clothing swap party. The concept is simple. Invite your friends and family over for festivities. Each guest brings a bag of new or gently used clothing that she’d like to trade. And everyone goes home with a few new looks…for free! It’s the perfect eco get-together, allowing you to enjoy guilt-free shopping in the comfort of your home. (In the spirit of the holidays and living mindfully, an exchange could also make a great alternative to frenzied holiday shopping.)
If you decide to host or attend a clothing swap party, here are some tips:
The best part? A clothing swap party offers many benefits beyond enjoying an evening full of laughs, having friends provide honest fashion advice, and leaving with an updated wardrobe. You will:
Clothing swap parties aren’t just limited to women. We love the idea of an exchange for parents and their children since little ones grow so quickly and constantly buying new clothes can get expensive. Kids outgrow their toys and books too, so swapping those items would also be an eco- and budget-friendly way to change-up their reading selections and playroom.
Have you ever held a clothing swap party? Tell us how it went in the comments.
Shred Kids’ Cancer is an organization created by kids to help raise awareness and money for children’s cancer research. Teagan Stedman was inspired to start the organization when his friend Alex was diagnosed with cancer.
Honest interviewed Teagan, who is the chairman as well as the founder of Shred Kids’ Cancer, to find out more about the charitable work of his non-profit.
Pictured: Shred Kids’ Cancer presents a check to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for children’s cancer research.
Q. What was your motive to start SKC?
A. My motive to start Shred Kids’ Cancer was to help and support my friend Alex as he battled Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and to benefit other kids with cancer by raising money for pediatric cancer research. I looked into ways of helping out other organizations, but there really weren’t any opportunities for kids my age (I was 8 years old at the time). I was determined to do something to help him feel less isolated and show him that his friends were there for him. Inspired by Alex’s love of music and playing bass guitar, I thought a concert with kid’s bands (called Shredfest) would be a cool way of showing Alex we were all there for him trying to Shred Kids’ Cancer. I wanted to start something that would allow young kids to feel like they can do something to help with this cause and commit to it over the long term. And I wanted to raise money for pediatric cancer research so that it would get to the root of the problem and could benefit all kids affected.
This cause is so urgent because of the lack of attention it receives. Kids’ cancer is an orphan disease. Only 4% of the National Cancer Institutes’ funding (the primary source of funding for all cancer clinical trials) is directed to pediatric cancer. Most people do not know that pediatric cancer is different than adult cancers — they are systematically different and must be treated differently. Right now kids must use adult treatments for cancer, and in the past 20 years only one new drug has been approved by the FDA. My primary motive is to help make the public aware of this issue and help kids who so desperately need better treatment.
Pictured: The crowd at Shredfest.
Q. Why is it important to get kids involved in non-profit work?
A. It is important to get kids involved in non-profit work because kids can learn from two different aspects. The first is the giving back, being a part of your community, and supporting each other. It always makes people feel good to help others. When kids start out doing non-profit work at an early age, it can give them a foundation to do charity work in the future, just like a good habit. The second skill set you can gain when getting involved with a non-profit, at least with our organization, is learning how to run a business. In our organization, kids are learning how to run board meetings, write letters asking for donations, contact local businesses asking for sponsorships, leading other volunteers, and helping organize events. Besides just the personal benefits of getting real-world business experience, kids involved in non-profit work can really help people in need in knowing that they are supported and being looked out for by their peers. This is the whole concept of kids helping kids, an aspect of our organization that I have highlighted since the beginning.
Q. How can people (and kids specifically) get involved with your organization?
A. There are many ways that people, and specifically kids, can get involved with Shred Kids’ Cancer. One way to help would be to attend or volunteer at our next event. Our two biggest events throughout the year are Shredfest — the battle of the bands fundraiser held at the House of Blues on March, 15 2014 — and Rock the Run, a 5k/10k/kids run event we hold in September. You can always donate through our Web site at shredkidscancer.org. If you are really interested in Shred Kids’ Cancer and want to make a huge impact but are not in the Los Angeles area, start your own chapter of Shred Kids’ Cancer in your area by contacting us at email@example.com. We are an official charity of the ASICS LA Marathon and have a marathon/half marathon relay team, where you can also raise money to run. If you are not into running, you can wear a bald cap for a day on Be Bold, Be Bald day (the last Friday in October) to raise awareness. Kids can also make something to sell on the Shredstore, as my younger brother has made survival bracelets we call ShredStraps. You can sell something on our ebay giving works program (put an item up for sale and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to Shred Kids’ Cancer) or sign-up to shop via Goodsearch and help with microdonations by playing a game on Giveaheart.org. Or come up with a new idea. There are many other ways to help listed on our Web site.
Pictured: The community comes out to support Shred Kids’ Cancer at the Rock the Run event on Westlake Boulevard.
Q. What was your most memorable moment during your work with Shred Kids’ Cancer?
A. My most memorable moment during my work with Shred Kids’ Cancer was probably when Dr. Federman, the oncologist who we granted research money to at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA for the first couple years, told us that the money we donate, no matter how little, is making a real difference, and that it is called seed funding. Seed funding is used to pay for small clinical trials that collect useful data on treatments so that researchers can eventually receive huge million dollar grants from larger organizations to really get the ball rolling with their specific research/treatment plan. This made me realize that the grants we give, although they may be small in size, really do matter, and what we are doing is making a true impact, that our work isn’t insignificant.
Q. Getting a non-profit up and running can be hard work. Do you have any advice for someone of any age looking to start their own organization?
A. Yes, starting a non-profit and keeping it running is hard work and it can take a long time, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying. I was able to start something because nothing else like it existed in my area. If you want to start your own organization, make sure you find a cause you truly believe in and something that you are willing to commit to. To start off, you may also want to try partnering with another organization to get some experience with the cause you are thinking about starting an organization for. Then make your organization unique, so you are offering a solution to serve a new need or create a new fun twist. Once you decide to start your own non-profit, reach out to your friends and family for help — doing everything by yourself can be really challenging, and the more of the community you get involved in your cause, the more of an impact you’ll make. Don’t be intimidated by making your organization “official.” I was able to research and figure out how to become a 501c3 without using any lawyers, so you can too! Finally, never give up on your organization. At times, you may want to quit, you may feel like your work isn’t getting anywhere, but your non-profit may just be gradually growing, invisible to you, while still making progress. If you give up on your non-profit, you give up on all the effort you put in to build it. As long as you are still making a difference, your organization will be a success.
Collect enough non-perishable food to assemble 160 full Thanksgiving meals-in-a-box for local families in need this holiday season. In order to do this, the entire company was split into 10 teams and then randomly assigned to specific food groups. Each team was responsible for collecting 160 individual items of their assigned food (for example, Team Green Beans was responsible for collecting 160 cans of green beans). Teams were then required to present a full 160-count collection in order to participate in the main event.
***Why 160 boxes? That is one box per every one Honest employee!
Part I — The Contest
Upon entering the contest, teams could earn “donation dollars” for winning different competitions in Project Thanksgiving. The winning team in each category could then donate those earnings to the non-profit of their own choosing. Categories for competition included: Best-In-Show, Best Team Spirit, Best Stacked Food Tower, Best Team Name, and many more.
Here were the entries:
Jack and the GREEN BEANstalk
The Hoover Yam, presented by We Be YAMmin’
The Honest PUMPKIN ship
This is gooooood STUFF
Best of SPUDS
TGI “Pie” Day
In the end, the following winners were announced:
Several other fun awards like, “Best Use of Honest Packing Materials” and “Best Potato Sack Style” were also awarded so that all non-profit beneficiaries would receive a donation by the end of the event.
Part II — The Meal Boxes
After the competition, and with all of these food towers ready to go, Honest employees assembled full Thanksgiving meals in boxes (Honest box decorations courtesy of our Warehouse Team!) for local families in need. In total, 160 full meals were assembled for pick-up by our Thanksgiving non-profit partner, St. Joseph’s Center.
The St. Joseph Center, located in Venice, CA, serves working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages residing on the Westside of Los Angeles. The families served by the St. Joseph Center are literally our neighbors here in Santa Monica so this partnership was the perfect way for us to be able to give back in our own neighborhood. St. Joseph’s hopes to provide 800 Thanksgiving meals this holiday season and we are proud to be able to assist in making that happen. Learn more about how you can get involved here.
In the aftermath of one of the strongest storms ever recorded, our team at The Honest Company is keeping all families affected by the Super Typhoon in the Philippines in our hearts and minds. We have put together this infographic to share the relief efforts we are joining and suggest ways that you can get involved with helping these families in need.
A special thanks to our friends at AP Express Champion Logistics Group for donating their time and services to deliver these Honest goods safely to Operation USA in the Port of Los Angeles.
Katie Stagliano from South Carolina started Katie’s Krops five years ago out of her desire to feed people without food. For a third grade project, she grew a cabbage in her yard and donated it to a local soup kitchen where it went into a meal that fed 275 people. After that experience, Katie wondered how many people an entire garden could feed. Now 14, Katie has watched her small gardening project blossom into a non-profit that helps feed people in more than 25 states and encourages other youths to plant their own gardens. Katie shows us the power a simple garden can have on your community.
A. When I was in the third grade I received a tiny cabbage seedling from the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. As instructed by my teacher, I brought the cabbage seedling home, planted it and cared for it. When deer were spotted in my neighborhood I constructed a cabbage cage around my very special plant to protect it from hungry animals. When my cabbage was ready to harvest it weighed in at an amazing 40 pounds.
My father had always shared how blessed my family was to have food on the table every night. He explained that there were many families, many children, who went to bed hungry. As I watched my cabbage grow and discussed with my family what I should do with my massive cabbage, I recalled my father’s words. I knew that I wanted to share my cabbage with the families, the children, who did not have enough to eat.
In May of 2008, I donated my cabbage to Tricounty Family Ministries, a soup kitchen in North Charleston, South Carolina. I had the great honor to not only donate my cabbage but I had the privilege to serve it to the guests of the soup kitchen after it was prepared with ham and rice. My cabbage helped to feed 275 people. Who were the guests? There were families, just like mine. There were wounded Veterans. There were senior citizens. There were mothers and fathers. And there were children, just like me.
As I left Tricounty Family Ministries on that day I knew I wanted, I needed, to do more to help individuals who struggled with hunger. If one cabbage could feed 275 people, I imagined how many people a whole garden could feed. That was the birth of Katie’s Krops. I never imagined five years later Katie’s Krops would be a non-profit with over 60 gardens growing in over 25 states.
Q. Why is it important to get kids involved in non-profit work?
A. Whether you are 9 or 99, you have the ability to change the world. Find a cause you believe in and follow your heart. Youth are so powerful — just imagine how wonderful the world would be if every child decided to follow their heart and help, even for just one hour in a cause they believed in.
One of our young Rhode Island growers puts it best saying, “It made my heart grow twice as big to see how grateful these people were for us just by giving produce to them,” said Sofie, Katie’s Krops Grower, in seventh grade. Wouldn’t it be magical if every child had that experience?
A. Every Katie’s Krops garden is youth run. We provide grants to kids, age 9 to 16, to start vegetable gardens at their homes, schools, parks, rooftops or anywhere they have land to start a garden. Our grant cycle opens at the end of the year (around December).
If a child, or a group of friends or students, is excited about growing a healthy solution to hunger in their community, I would love for them to apply.
At Katie’s Krops we go beyond just awarding grants. It has been my dream to create a family of young growers all across the United States. Every grower receives funding and a camera to document their garden. In addition, every young grower is also eligible to attend the all-expenses paid Katie’s Krops Camp. Katie’s Krops also offers an educational scholarship for the volunteer and grantee of the year.
What makes Katie’s Krops unique is that all grants are renewable. If a grantee wants to continue to grow, we will support their efforts. This makes Katie’s Krops a truly sustainable solution to hunger.
We always need help to make this all possible. We would love to find individuals and companies who believe in our efforts and will support the efforts.
Q. What was your most memorable moment during your work with Katie’s Krops?
A. There have been more than I could ever count but one very special moment happened very early on. I was invited to speak at a Bible School Camp. The young campers, all under the age of 10, filled the room. When I finished speaking about my dream of Katie’s Krops, I asked if there were any questions. A young girl in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “I don’t have a question. I just want to say you are very nice.” She stood up and came to the front of the room. On her shirt she had a small sticker that said ‘Love’. She removed the sticker from her shirt and put it over my heart then she leaned in and gave me a big hug. When she left the room the Bible School Director shared that the little girl was homeless. She and her family had been relying on the homeless shelter for support. The vegetables I had been donating to the shelter were feeding her family. I will never forget that moment.
Q. Getting a non-profit up and running (and keeping it running) can be hard work. Do you have any advice for someone (of any age) looking to start their own?
A. I have to be honest. I never set out to start a non-profit. I set out to help end hunger in my community. I worked very hard and my efforts caught the attention of Build-A-Bear. I was honored to be a Build-A-Bear Huggable Hero 2009. I was awarded a donation for my cause but I did not have a 501(c)(3) to accept the funds. I found the support I need from RandomKid.org. They provide a 501(c)(3) umbrella for charitable or educational efforts developed by youth. I was blessed to be one of those youth!
This was the best possible scenario for my dream, Katie’s Krops. RandomKid helped guide and support my efforts. Eventually, after a few years, we had grown so large that it was time for us to form our own 501(c)(3).
What would my advice be? If you are a young philanthropist, reach out and find a support system. I had the most amazing people guide and support my efforts. RandomKid was the best possible situation for Katie’s Krops. They gave us the chance to grow and to truly know that forming a non-profit was absolutely the right step for Katie’s Krops.