Holiday gifts that give back

Kemberly Richardson reports on Donna Karen's West Village marketplace
December 17, 2013 4:17:20 AM PST
If you're checking off your holiday shopping list, there's a place in the West Village this month where you can find great gifts for a great cause.

"It's a season for us to celebrate and realize not how we can take for ourselves but how to give to another person," said Donna Karan, Urban Zen Founder.

And in the process, change a life.

That's the mantra at Donna Karan's Urban Zen Marketplace, where everyone has joined forces for what she calls conscious consumerism.

"It's when you're buying something, not only because you love it but it's also making a difference in someone's life," Karan said.

If you buy a stuffed animal there the Voss Foundation will use the proceeds to help folks in sub-Saharan Africa get access to clean water.

Then there's "Just Shea," the brainchild of Wickham Boyle and her business partner.

You see, roughly 600,000 women in northern Ghana make a living harvesting Shea so they can send their kids to school.

But the practice is dangerous without proper protection from poisonous snakes.

Money from the sale of this cream, made with that Shea, is used to buy the villagers hats, boots, and gloves.

"The idea that two women, could do something, that Danielle and I could do something, was really compelling to me because we all fell so underpowered," said Wickham Boyle, Just Shea, Vice President, "And then we went on to build a silo where they can put all their crops together and then we actually doubled their income this year."

Beautiful carpets made in Nepal and purchased will help orphans.

Everyone is dedicated to this cause at the company, fully aware this isn't a one shot deal, rather a lifelong commitment. "Where there is creativity, there are possibilities endless," Karan said.

At Urban Zen Marketplace, you have plenty to choose from.

Roughly 25 organizations have come together.

It's open through December 31st.

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