Shopping: Do-good purchases

From the November 24, 2011 edition

Thanksgiving got you stuffed with warm fuzzies of gratitude? Perhaps, then, you’d be interested in buying something that benefits those with less to be grateful for. Thankfully, there’s no need to look far for these types of items in Columbus. Here are some cool cause-supporting items you’ll find at local stores this shopping season.

Ave Maria Bead Company necklaces, $16-$20

Global Gallery

Multiple locations

David Szaronos, a Columbus resident turned Peace Corps volunteer, started the fair-trade Ave Maria Bead Company as a way to help empower the people of Kisoga, Uganda. The Ugandan artisans — whose stories are told on the bead company’s website, — make each necklace out of recycled paper by hand.

Falling Whistles necklaces, $44-$50


607 N. High St., Short North


The imagery of the whistle dangling from a necklace is meant to inspire people to speak out against injustice (a la whistleblowers). It also memorializes the boys in the Democratic Republic of Congo who, because they are too young to hold a gun, are sent into war zones with whistles instead. Proceeds from the sales help support those affected by war.

Warby Parker glasses, $95

Milk Bar

765-A N. High St., Short North


The Warby Parker line of glasses frames features chic, vintage-inspired designs and a buy-one-give-one business model that has resulted in more than 85,000 pairs of glasses being given to those who can’t afford them.

Winter Toms, $89


787 N. High St., Short North


Most know the Toms concept by now — you buy a pair, they’ll give a pair to someone who needs it. What you might not know is that the company sells more than just canvas slip-ons. Get shod for winter by Toms at Tigertree.

Environmentally friendly cards, $3.50-$4.50 each

Peabody Papers

1261 Grandview Ave., Grandview


This paper shop is stocked with cards from companies like Crane, which makes its cards from recycled cotton, and Smock, a Syracuse company that uses bamboo and soy ink. A wonderful way to say thank you to whoever cooked you Thanksgiving dinner, no?