7 Women-Helping-Women Brands to Know and Support

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7 Women-Helping-Women Brands to Know and Support
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Photo: The Brave Collection/To the Market/STYLECASTER

If ever there was a time to support women-owned brands, it’s the present—and even better if those brands are also committed to helping other women, whether at home or abroad. After all, ’tis the season for shopping, and putting your dollars towards companies that are making an impact on something beyond their own bottom lines is one way you can do good while crossing people off your list, or just picking up a little something for yourself.

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Look for independent designers that partner with charity organizations to donate a portion of proceeds to causes like combating sex trafficking or domestic violence, or those that make it their mission to employ and empower women at all levels of the supply chain (or do both!) With consumers demanding greater transparency and accountability from brands big and small, there’s never been a better time to find ones that make a difference.

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Below, read up on seven fantastic brands that support women—and are owned by women, too—to consider shopping this holiday season and beyond.

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Agua Bendita
Agua Bendita

Colombian power-duo Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza launched their line of colorful swimwear in 2003, and have since built a mini-empire, tapping models like Candice Swanepoel, Izabel Goulart, and a fresh-faced Kendall Jenner (for her first-ever campaign!) and expanding to lingerie, resortwear, and activewear. The latter category they launched just this season out of a desire for clothes that would get them through their busy days as moms—from morning workouts to dropping the kids off at school to work, meetings, errands, and beyond. Through its social-responsibilty program, AB Hearts, the company employs hundreds of Colombian craftswomen, giving them the opportunity to work from home, take care of their children, and earn income for their families. "The handmade process is the essence of our brand," say the founders. "We started our first pieces doing the embroideries, cutting, drawing and doing everything by ourselves with our grandmother’s sewing machine, and as the business started to grow, we saw the need for more people helping us in the production process, and that’s where we started to hire artisans."

Their customers are confident, socially conscious, and young at heart, they say: "Age is not important for us, as long as our customers are free-spirited, adventurous and appreciate details and colors because we put our heart in our designs, and hundreds of Colombian artisans also leave their talent in our handmade pieces. At the end, our customers are also conscious of the importance of the footprint they leave in this world and like to take a positive stand with social responsibility."

AB Active Luminous Tank, $95; at Agua Bendita

AB Active Luminous Tights, $110; at Agua Bendita

Photo: Agua Bendita
Agua Bendita
Agua Bendita

Bendito Lila V.B. Bikini, $180; at Agua Bendita

Photo: Agua Bendita
Agua Bendita
Agua Bendita

Bendito Dalia One-Piece, $225; at Agua Bendita

Photo: Agua Bendita
Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily

Over 1,500 women earn fair trade wages and have access to health care, stable income, and education thanks to this Austin-based company, which is at the forefront of the ethical and sustainable fashion movements. Through partnerships with artisan groups in Ethiopia, Kenya, Haiti, Cambodia, and numerous other countries, the brand helps women break the cycle of poverty—and makes some damn cute clothing, accessories, and housewares (most of it very giftable) while it's at it. Every piece online is accompanied by information about where it was made—and since the brand is a certified B Corporation and a member of the Fair Trade Federation, you can be confident knowing that your money is going towards making an impact.

Okello Cropped Mohair Short Sleeve Sweater, $98; at Raven + Lily

Photo: Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily

Linen Square Pillow, $44 (was $62); at Raven + Lily

Photo: Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily

Salem Lunchsack Clutch, $124; at Raven + Lily

Photo: Raven + Lily
Pondichérie
Pondichérie

Going from philanthropy to fashion may not seem like the most natural career move, but for Pondichérie founder Devon Fisher, it gave her the chance to parlay her years of experience at organizations advocating for gender equality into a tangible part of a buisness. Her just-launched resortwear line employs female artisans in India to create gorgeous, hand-loomed textiles in partnership with a local women's empowerment organization—just in time for your next beach vacation.

Kyra Caftan, $195; at Pondichérie

Photo: Pondichérie
Pondichérie
Pondichérie

Malika Tunic, $150; at Pondichérie

Photo: Pondichérie
Pondichérie
Pondichérie

Sita Black Tie Dress, $200; at Pondichérie

Photo: Pondichérie
Akola
Akola

What started as a jewelry company with a mission to empower women in Uganda with steady income, education, financial training, and more has now expanded closer to home, employing more than 100 at-risk women in the company's hometown of Dallas, Texas, who were struggling below the poverty line and may have criminal records or have been the victims of sex trafficking. The made-in-the-U.S.A. line is sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus, and features the same bohemian aesthetic—replete with beads, tassels, agate, and pearls—as their lower-price Ugandan-made collection. What makes the company really stand out is its status as a nonprofit, meaning 100 percent of proceeds are reinvested into its job centers, allowing them to hire more women.

Layered Clay + Horn Necklace, $72; at Akola

Photo: Akola
Akola
Akola

Akola Kenyan Bead and Gold Disc Bracelet, $140; at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus
Akola
Akola

Small Leaf Necklace, $35 (was $50); at Akola

Photo: Akola
To The Market
To The Market

TTM founder Jane Mosbacher Morris has a seriously impressive resume: she led the anti-human trafficking program at the McCain Istitute for International Leadership, worked for the Bureau of Counterterrorism and the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues in Washington, D.C., and serves on the boards of a half-dozen organizations with causes ranging from fighting child sexual abuse to empowering women in Nepal. With her e-commerce venture, she supports women artisans around the world by giving them retail channels, a platform to share their stories, and on-the-ground resources like mental health care and trend forecasting. Because it partners with so many cooperatives, you'll find a wide range of products on the site, from throw pillows made in India from vintage saris to beaded necklaces made by HIV/AIDS survivors.

Starfish Project Inc. Sawyer Necklace, $64.99; at To The Market

Photo: To The Market
To The Market
To The Market

Anchal Project Weekender, $120; at To The Market

Photo: To The Market
To The Market
To The Market

Nomi Network Flare Tank, $29; at To The Market

Photo: To The Market
The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection

Founder Jessica Hendricks Yee—an alum of Forbes' "30 Under 30" list—launched The Brave Collection in 2012 after traveling to Cambodia and falling in love with the country and its people, while witnessing the after-effects of genocide and the pressing problem of human trafficking. Today, she employs Cambodian women—many of them mothers—who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities to hand-make delicate bracelets and necklaces rich with symbolism (five engraved lines representing the Buddhist flag, "brave" spelled out in the Khmer alphabet), and donates 10 percent of proceeds to combating human trafficking in the country.

Jewelry; at The Brave Collection

Photo: The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection

Guava Compass Bracelet, $45; at The Brave Collection

Photo: The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection

Tassel Cuff, $95; at The Brave Collection

Photo: The Brave Collection
White Rabbit
White Rabbit

Bras that support more than just boobs? Sign us up. This NYC-based brand partners with Fabrica Social, an organization that helps women in rural Mexico learn design and business administration skills, empowering communities of artisans. Buy one of their super-comfy bamboo bras or pairs of undies and a percentage of proceeds will go towards the cause.

The Ann Bra, $38; at White Rabbit

The Chrystie Thong, $15; at White Rabbit

Photo: White Rabbit
White Rabbit
White Rabbit

The Minetta Bra, $50; at White Rabbit

The Leroy Boyshort, $16; at White Rabbit

Photo: White Rabbit
White Rabbit
White Rabbit

The Madison Bra, $55; at White Rabbit

The Jane Bikini, $16; at White Rabbit

Photo: White Rabbit

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  • Agua Bendita
  • Agua Bendita
  • Agua Bendita
  • Raven + Lily
  • Raven + Lily
  • Raven + Lily
  • Pondichérie
  • Pondichérie
  • Pondichérie
  • Akola
  • Akola
  • Akola
  • To The Market
  • To The Market
  • To The Market
  • The Brave Collection
  • The Brave Collection
  • The Brave Collection
  • White Rabbit
  • White Rabbit
  • White Rabbit

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