Women-Owned Brands (and Non-Profit) To Support & Shop On Now!

By Emelie Pelenkahu

Women-Owned Brands (and Non-Profit) To Support & Shop On Now!

When you buy a product, whether it's fashion, food, home goods or accessories, do you think about the unique stories behind the products or who started the company... and why? With the proliferation of unethical factory practices, high level chemical waste in water stream to the enriching of billionaires, there have been a wave of movement of ethically-made, sustainable, giving-back to community initiatives across industry categories in America, at least for the past few years. Millennial and Gen-X are becoming pioneers in demanding for sustainable products - that are ethical to the people who produce them and environmentally friendly. 
We round up 8 companies who have authentic philanthropic programs, sourcing from women artisans in emerging countries like Indonesia, Made in USA, and who are committed in using eco-friendly materials, like Swell. If you haven't been on board to this train, hop in! It's time for us to support local businesses, ecthical companies and especially women-owned businesses who contribute to the well-being of its community. 

So scroll down slowly, don't skim thru and prepare to be inspired! 
  1. Ban.do

Created by Jen Gotch, in 2008, Ban.do was a one-of-a-kind hair accessories company. As they grew, it became a lifestyle brand that encourage joy and helps customers to be their best. Ban.do is currently one of our favorite brands for gifts, stationery and all things statement-making products. We especially love this statement T-shirt “Strong Female Lead”! Perfect gift for your sister and besties. Their signature styles are vibrant color, artsy graphics and cool designs. What’s even more special about them is that, in March 2018, they launched an initiative called Feel Better that helps perpetuate the stigma surrounding mental illness. The program aims to create meaningful conversations and change the narrative on depression and anxiety.

Ban.do Shirt Ban.do Stationeries

Source: Ban.do


  1. Food 52

Food 52 is an e-commerce platform that creates recipes, cookbooks, food community, take on food projects, and support local food producers. They also curated beautiful kitchenware, pantry goods and it even has a wedding registry service! We call this a one-stop-shop for a food and food-related goods. In 2018, they chose to support a philanthropic initiative that help community struggling in hunger and poverty, Action Against Hunger. It is a global, non-profit humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger, saving the lives of malnourished children, and working to ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training, and healthcare. Now, go to their website and basks in the glory of food heaven!


Source: Kitchen 52


  1. NEST

We just gotta put NEST on our list! This is a non-profit that we are involved in and have been supporting, as co-op members, the past two great years. NEST, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), builds a new handworker economy to increase global workforce inclusivity, improve women’s well-being beyond factories, and preserve important cultural traditions around the world. In short, they make sure that women artisans are treated with honor and trained to grow their skills.

In partnership with public and private sector collaborators, Nest’s programs – such as THE NEST STANDARDS AND SEAL FOR HOMES AND SMALL WORKSHOPS, Artisan Accelerator, Artisan Leadership Summit are bringing radical transparency, data-driven development, and fair market access to a fragmented industry.

At the United Nations on December 7th 2017, we were honored to witness the official launching of the Nest Standards program for Homes and Small Workshops. Built and piloted in collaboration with brand pioneers including EILEEN FISHER, Jaipur Living, Maiyet, Patagonia, PVH, Target, The Children’s Place, and West Elm, the compliance program stands to revolutionize the industry by making homework a safe and viable option.

If you have an ethical fashion brand (or if you are someone who values ethical business), you would want to support non-profits like NEST, who brings tangible results on the artisan communities, especially women in under-developed countries.


Source: NEST 


  1. Hexi Los Angeles

HEXI stands for House of Explore Indonesia and it is a nation-branding initiative aimed to raise awareness and appreciation for Indonesia through its products, culture, arts, and people. HEXI is a such a groundbreaking project by Indonesian diaspora professionals, ahem.. Melany Lintuuran,  in collaboration with the Indonesia Trade Promotion Center in Los Angeles, an Indonesian government trade development agency. We partner with HEXI through special events and projects - such as pop up shops - that elevate Indonesian goods and culture through beautifully curated products. HEXI carries products such as batik clothing, chic active-wear, sustainable fashion goods and jewelry. We love HEXI’s philosophy on bringing authentic and unique Indonesian products and designs – they are highlighting the creative force of Indonesian talented designers that Americans has yet to discover.

 HEXI Los Angeles

Source: HEXI Los Angeles


  1. Farai

Discovered in Brooklyn, NY in 2010, Farai, is a sustainable and ethical lifestyle brand that focuses on people, product, and planet. They design and manufacture products in the heart of the NYC Garment District & with African Artisans using sustainable practices and materials. Farai source sustainable fabrics by only using up-cycled or vintage fabric which reduces clothing and textile waste. Farai’s founder, Farai Simoyi went from a fashion designer to fashion executive, she is a global leader who exemplifies the business of international fashion and development. Recently honored on the pages of FORBES and featured by the likes of Essence and Time Out as "Next Best Designer," Simoyi's purpose: "creating global fashion houses and developing emerging fashion designers." Product that we love: this multi-colored cape called Adrien Poncho cape.

Farai New York

 Source: Farai


  1. Toko Toko

Toko-Toko is an Indonesian term for the English plural 'Shops'. We love Toko Toko because they introduce Environmentally friendly, Ethically made & Sustainable fashion accessories, clothing and brands from Indonesia to communities in the United States through retail and creative collaborations.  As part of their social responsibility, they create funds to assist with healthcare and education needs of the families of our artisans. You can find them online and at various pop-up shop in Los Angeles! Founded by Lolo Kartika Sari, Toko Toko focused on bringing brands that are created and based on Sustainable and Fair Trade ethos, handmade by artisans in Indonesia.

Toko-Toko, Everina and Hexi are involved in Indonesian Women Alliance, a non-profit with a mission to empower Indonesian women through education, culture, business and art. 

 Toko Toko

Source: Toko Toko


  1. The Brave Collection

Brave Collection jewelries are 100% handmade by talented Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Mostly mothers, their team of artists work in a small studio in Cambodia, or from their homes while they care for their young children. What we love about them is are committed to provide job opportunities to talented artisans, exposing them to a global customer and collaborating creatively. 10% of Brave Collection profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. They work with partners on the ground to support programming that empowers vulnerable Cambodian girls. You can find their products on their e-commerce site, Amazon and AHA.

Brave Collection

 Source: Brave Collection


  1. Swell

Beautiful. Sustainable. Charitable. Words best to describe this beloved brand, Swell. I mean… who has not seen this chic water bottle on the streets or the gyms. Swell is one of the pioneers in the industry to drive change from water plastic bottle to sustainable materials. In 2010, founded by Sarah Kauss, S’well was launched with the mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles. Swell believes that if we made a crave-worthy bottle that combined fashion with function, people would stop buying disposable bottles and we could reduce single-use plastic consumption worldwide. Seven years later, they are the fastest growing woman-owned company in the country! What we love about Swell, besides their fun-designed bottles, is that they are making a big difference by helping keep single-use plastic out of landfills and waterways through partnering with UNICEF and many other important charities. Not only do Swell bottles work great, they also help accomplish great work.