Community Collection Ties Shopping and Charity

Courtesy of Community Collection

A look at the Community Collection Web site

If you’re like us, those flash sale emails that alert you to ready, set, shop are a highlight of the day. But what if you could do some good while doing a little retail damage?

Brooks Cook, a University of Southern California graduate who formerly worked for a real estate office’s private equity fund, set out to do just that with Community Collection: a brand-new shopping site that donates 20 percent from every purchase to a worthy cause.

“After the 2010 Haiti disaster I wanted to give back, but I wanted to have an impact on a larger scale,” Cook told FashionEtc of the venture. “I also wanted to make sure that the funds were being used by the best charity for the right purposes. The fashion world is extremely philanthropic, and engaging the industry to help me make that happen was an obvious choice.”

The first round of vendors includes such illustrious names as Alexander Wang, Current/Elliott, Alexis Bittar, and Equipment, while Cook says the company has over 200 brand partners that they’re looking forward to working with. Six new designer collections will be added to the site every Tuesday, and limited-edition products as well as exclusive capsule collections are expected in the future.

And as for that do-gooding? Community Collection works with eight categories of charities: animals, disaster relief, environment, human services, education, health, international; and arts, culture and humanities. From those areas, participating designers work with the site to select a specific cause for its sales to benefit. The first round of sales' proceeds go to the American Cancer Society, Flying Kites Global, Girls Inc., Goods for Good, Operation Homefront, Operation Smile, Operation USA, and the World Wildlife Fund.

“We spent about a year prior to launch working to one, create eight specific cause categories that cover as large a breadth of local, national and international needs, and two, to create a vetting process that would enable us to select the most effective charities in each of the categories,” Cook said. “We work closely with the brands during the pairing process, as well as with the vetted group of affiliated non-profit organizations to really focus on where the funds are going so that our customers can have transparency when they shop and give.”

In simpler terms? When you buy that lace party dress from Adam, $119 goes to the American Cancer Society. What are you waiting for?

In related news, check out our shopping roundup of pieces that benefit Breast Cancer Awareness.