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For fashion week, I present my top three sites where you can buy reasonably priced fashion and help others…

1. Our first choice is Sudara PUNJAMMIES:
Every woman needs a few stylish clothes, but more importantly some stylish ‘comfies’. Punjammies provides these. There are clothes for everyone — the skinny, the full-bodied, which we prefer to call the multi-sensuous (with high marks on both senses of the word taste). You could wear these clothes prepartum, postpartum, and no-partum — these will appeal to all women and girls who want super-comfy clothing and make a difference in the world. It also appeals to all women pre-holidays and 5kg post-holidays. When you buy their clothes you are also paying to help women who have been trafficked learn new skills. You are investing in the empowerment of women and in creating a local economy.

2. Our second choice is the shop in The Mae Fah Luang Garden, at Doi Tung, near Chiang Rai in the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia meet (see Highlights of the Garden).

The shop and garden complex is attached to Doi Tung Royal Villa, the residence of Her late Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother. The market is a showplace for the wares made and sold by the Akha hilltribe people, one of the larger ethnic groups in the region, known for their crafts. This shop houses the products of numerous programs funded by local (Thai) royal projects and local and International NGOs. It provides alternative work to an area that was previously completely consumed by the drug trade and promotes environmentally-friendly farming practices and replacement cash crops (especially coffee).

This market is well worth trip!! It’s particularly good for those of you who would rather spend your money on plane fare than expensive clothes. The jackets are exquisite and perfect to keep at the office to throw over a plain work dress and transform yourself for an elegant evening event in the less than ‘one minute of free time’ we working moms have. Because these jackets themselves are so beautiful, they also serve us on a bad hair day. No one looks at our hair because they are so enthralled with the clothing.

3. For beautiful accessories that enhance your outfits, the mission of BeadforLife is “creating sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone”.

This NGO started by engaging women who typically earn less than $1 a week to make colorful paper beads and turn them into beautiful necklaces sold all over the world. They have added an entrepreneurial business training program and The Street Business School. At the school women learn about marketing and get the hands-on skills they need to make their business thrive. After six months, these smart and hard-working women graduate and are ready to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Here are some other affordable options!

You don’t have to be a millionaire to do good.

What is your favorite NGO clothing or accessory site? Where do you shop to look good and do good? Let us know in the comments!

Ruth Nemzoff

Dr. Ruth Nemzoff is a resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center. She lectures on parenting adult children, relationships and family dynamics. Her papers are archived at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University where she also holds a doctorate in social policy. She has served three terms in the New Hampshire Legislature and was New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Health and Welfare. She is the mother of four adult children, four in-law children and grandmother of eight. She lives in Brookline, MA with her husband Harris Berman, Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine.

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