We see variations of the "shop to benefit" model all the time, but a new web site that just rolled out, Portland's Own, takes it to a new and hyper-local level. The basic premise is that it's an online store selling only locally made goods—bags, tees, ceramics, home goods, jewelry, clothing—and 1/3 of all gross profits go to a local charity that switches out every month (currently it's the Portland/Metro East chapter of Habitat for Humanity). The idea is that Portland's will be the template for a similar scenario in major cities across the country. In addition to that fairly standard idea, they're also doing a "monthly feature," best explained in the site's own language:
Every month we work with a different designer/design studio and have them create a unique graphic that reflects the mission of the charitable nonprofit we’re supporting that month. The graphic is sold on a bamboo Plywerk panel and a locally manufactured t-shirt—meaning it’s hand cut and hand sewn. We think that’s pretty rad! We also recruit a different influential person in the community (a business owner, an artist, a politician, etc.) to model the shirt for us every month. The graphic is screen printed on the t-shirt by a local screen printer. The model is photographed by a local photographer. And everyone involved gets paid for their services. This means that when you buy a shirt, you’re supporting multiple local businesses with one purchase. The cherry on top of The Monthly Feature is that $7 from every sale is donated to the local charitable nonprofit of the month.
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