As a designer – my line is RIVETED Clothing & Accessories – I’ve developed an eye for style over the years…and right along with it, a nose for a bargain. Half the fun of fashion is looking fabulous without needing to declare bankruptcy. Each week, I showcase five hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one splurge-worthy item.

If, like many fashionistas, you’ve resolved to be more green in 2008, why not start with your style choices? These eco-friendly, fair trade fashion picks are easy on the earth and the wallet:






Made from recycled tire rubber and aluminum, this fashionable unisex bracelet donates $10 from each one sold to a number of environmental groups including Global Green and the National Resources Defense Council. And priced at just under $30, it displays a conscience – for your karma & your bank account. By itself or worn with a tangle of charm bracelets, wood bangles, and a chic steel watch, you’ll enjoy wearing your heart on your wrist. Greenloop Project Green Bracelet $29 –



 Designed by Sarah Worden of the indie band My Brightest Diamond, this super-soft American Apparel tee donates 100% of the cost are to Road Recovery, an organization that promotes a drug-free future for youth. Good deeds aside, it’s the vintage-rock style graphics that are this shirt’s selling point; the group of strange little birds at the hem just begs for a pair of banged-up denim pipestoves and a frayed handwoven scarf at the neck. My Brightest Diamond Tee $25 –



Dubbed the Roll-Up Dress, this machine-washable cotton number does just that, meaning you can stash it in your suitcase for a well-deserved Spring Break or mid-winter getaway. As with any (Product) RED item, a hefty amount of the profits (in this case, 50%) go directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Fashion-wise, this multitasker will look as chic over some dark skinny jeans and punchy ballet flats as with ankle-boots and a little swingy coat. (Product) RED Roll-Up Dress $68 –








If you’re just so over not being a plastic bag, then try this equally eco-friendly (but far less self-important messagey) tote. With the handles anchored by grommets and long enough to sling over the shoulder, and a handy inner pocket for keys and other necessities, it’s effortlessly easy to schlep a full load of groceries home without resorting to plastic bags (on your solar-powered bicycle, of course). Your purchase helps fund loans to women in developing countries so they can begin entrepreneurial businesses to help better their lives. Nest Eco Tote $26 –



These artisan-created pashmina/silk wraps come in gorge hand-dyed hues like Dream Blue and Pumpkin. They look just as fabulous slung over a worn denim jacket as gracing bare shoulders and evening dress. If you buy through The Hunger Site’s online shop they will donate 50 cups of food for the purchase; alternatively, purchase it at The Rainforest Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Animal Rescue Site,The Child Health Site, or The Literacy Site for your purchase to give to those charities instead. And at just under $30, they are a luxe steal that also helps impart a change in the world. Lightweight Classic Pashmina $29.95 –



Instead of posting the usual luxury item, I’ve chosen this website as my pick because it’s a fabulously easy way to give back while you shop. Simply choose your charity – options include Amnesty International, America’s Second Harvest, and The I Have a Dream Foundation – and then choose from a retailer from an extensive list which includes, eBags and 1800Flowers. And then proceed to shop ’til you drop – prices are identical as if you had gone directly to the e-tailer’s site, but in this case, a portion of your purchase goes directly to charity.

If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at *carlyjcais AT*. ‘Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!
– Carly J. Cais


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