May 26, 2015

Super Fishy, In a Good Way: Blu Kicks

School may have started up (note the snarling a.m. traffic this week), but we’re just getting prepped for San Francisco summer, a.k.a. regular people’s fall. A shoe you’ll want to kick back in for the sunny months ahead comes from local label Blu Kicks, a socially responsible line inspired by Hawaii’s – oddly enough – shoe-shaped Humuhumunukunukuapua’a fish that sales of the footwear help protect.

Founded by Victoria and Will Leonard after trying to devise a way to help the Humuhumunukunukuapua and its habitat, the San Francisco footwear company offers up casual slip-ons ($58) for men and women made of recycled canvas and natural rubber in beachy hues. Transparent soles reveal a fun fish design waiting underneath, while playful accents at the heel bring added visual interest.

For every sale, Blu Kicks donates $1 to ocean-focused non-profit organizations For the Fishes and Wild Aid.

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BeGood Opens: New Shop Touts Feel-Good Fashion

BeGood co-owners Mark Spera and Dean Ramadan

Many people focus their lives on making the world a better place. Dean Ramadan and Mark Spera are doing their part by opening BeGood Clothing, a store nestled in Cow Hollow on Union Street that celebrates its grand opening on Saturday. Here’s why it stands out: BeGood Clothing only carries pieces with environmental, social or humanitarian impact (or a combo thereof).

Ramadan and Spera were initially inspired by international travels and philanthropic work, respectively. However, it was the success of Tom’s Shoes and its “one for one” philosophy that led the pair to open a retail store. When the former college roommates began scouting for philanthropic brands about six months ago, they discovered a plethora of stylish, socially-responsible, eco-friendly and fair trade brands.

“There are a number of causes our brands support,” says Ramadan.

Among them are donating books, clothing, toothbrushes and financial support to people in need both here in the United States and around the world. After searching for other brands that, like Tom’s, give back for every item purchased, the pair discovered numerous worthy companies. In fact, many of items they carry are from local designers, including Palo Alto-based eco-friendly label Amor Vert and San Francisco’s Jade of All.

Another feel good factor? For all eco brands in the store, BeGood Clothing has partnered up with local non-profit organization Project Open Hand to donate a meal for each item sold to those in need and unable to leave their homes. This way, Ramadan and Spera ensure that every time someone shops, another person in the world is helped.

The ethos doesn’t stop at what’s on the racks.

“The wood for the floors were the scraps from ten separate contracting jobs,” says Spera.

The flooring and even the dressing rooms are upcycled, while other decor elements that include metal birdcages, a painted door with vintage photos and a chandelier were all found at local flea markets.

Here are the vital stats:

Who: BeGood Clothing

What: A charitable boutique

Where: 2127 Union Street in San Francisco

When: Grand opening on Friday, August 3rd at 7p.m. Opened for shopping Saturday, August 4th at 11a.m.

Why: To stylishly act locally and think globally.

How (much): Prices range from $20-$160.

Look good while Be(ing)Good starting this weekend when the store officially opens.

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Snap Judgment: Kayu Lace & Wood Clutch


Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgment of the day: this chic Gen Lace & Wood Clutch, $517, by San Francisco’s Kayu Designs may not come cheap, but it appeals with hand-dyed lace, shell clasps and the bonus of the company’s commitment to charitable causes: 2 percent of each sales goes toward one of the worthy non-profits the label helps to support.

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Snap Judgment: Young Love Outfitters’ Lines Tee

Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgement of the day: Spark conversation with the Young Love Lines Tee, $25. We think this soft v-neck’s cool graphic is perfect for all the upcoming summer music festivals – Outside Lands, anyone? Plus, Northern California’s Young Love Outfitters lets shoppers choose among three non-profit organizations and donates a portion of its proceeds to their projects.

Today Only: Shop ModCloth & Support The Princess Project

The Ruffle Vision dress by ModCloth, $104.99

Fashion for a good cause alert: buy any ModCloth dress from the online shop’s Fancy Frocks category today, and the indie fashion purveyor will donate one dress to The Princess Project, a Bay Area-based non-profit organization that donates stylish dresses and accessories to high school girls in need just in time for their spring proms each year. The one-for-one dress drive runs today only.

Each year, the Princess Project gives thousands of girls who would not otherwise be able to afford a new dress for their school prom the opportunity to get dolled up and enjoy the big night. The annual dress drive, which collects dresses at locations around the Bay Area each year, ended over the weekend, so this partnership with ModCloth brings a don’t-miss-out chance to give back if you haven’t already.

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