Best in Crowdfunding: October 2013

The True Cost

The major issue that I've come to care the most about over the past year is the fast fashion industry. I'd already started seeking out more eco-friendly apparel, when the

Rana Plaza collapse

happened in Bangladesh, killing over 1,100 garment factory workers. It was then that I realized that there was something even more important that the eco-friendliness of my clothes: their human-friendliness. Since then, I've completely changed the way I shop for clothing. I talk about fast fashion to anyone who will listen, and am constantly encouraging my friends and family to make better shopping choices. It's so important to educate people about the fast fashion industry, and its affect not only on the treatment of factory workers, but on the environment as well. This filmmaker is working to do just that. I hope you'll watch the trailer, below, and support this project.

Campaign Goal:

$75,000

Deadline:

November 11

Platform:

Kickstarter

You and Who makes the "Goodest T-Shirt Ever!"

I can barely contain my excitement about this campaign!

You and Who

, a Buffalo-based t-shirt company has been around for a few years now. Their shirts are designed by some really talented artists from all over the country. For every shirt they sell, they donate another one to

an organization

in the artist's city. Until now, their shirts have been manufactured overseas. Founder Dan Gigante was really affected, much like I was, by the tragic garment factory collapse that occurred in Bangladesh earlier this year. He decided to make a major change and to start working with domestic manufacturers. This campaign will help him make that happen. It's

no secret that I'm skeptical of the Buy-One-Give-One business model

, but You and Who is definitely an exception! They are a great company doing wonderful things, and I'm proud to say that I know Dan personally. I'm thrilled about this project, because it's educating people about garment factory working conditions, and because it's coming from a Buffalo company!

Contribute now

to help prevent more garment factory tragedies, and get some really awesome t-shirts in the process

Campaign Goal:

$25,000

Deadline:

November 11

Platform:

IndieGoGo

Conscious Step: Socks That Solve Social Problems

Here's another fashion-related project that is pretty great. The creators behind this one just want you to buy some socks. When you do, the proceeds will go to the cause associated with the sock design you choose. Causes include providing clean water to school children in Nepal, and planting trees in Ghana. The sock designs are all really fun, and of course I absolutely love the fact that they're manufactured in fair trade conditions. They're going to make some really unique gifts for the wonderful men in my life this holiday season!

Campaign Goal:

$20,000

Deadline:

November 7

Platform:

IndieGoGo

Proceeds from Conscious Steps socks will benefit a variety of causes.

Give to Kenya's Wildlife Foundation

This project addresses a very complex situation arising in and around Nairobi, Kenya. It is a rapidly developing city, surrounded by poor farming families. Land development is forcing wildlife to share space with livestock farmers. The farmers, who depend on their livestock to feed their families, kill predators like lions and leopards. Meanwhile, they're selling portions of their land to developers, usually to pay tuition costs for their children. So the land for the wildlife is getting smaller and smaller, and poor families are still struggling to both feed and educate their children.

The Wildlife Foundation

has come up with a great solution through the

Conservation Lease Program

. They ask farmers and landowners not to sell their land to developers, or to kill predators like big cats. In exchange, the farmers receive a stipend that they may spend as they choose. Most often, the money is spent on education. It's a win-win-win. Farmers get to keep their land, wildlife is safe, and children receive an education.

Campaign Goal:

$50,000

Deadline:

November 13

Platform:

IndieGoGo

The conservation lease program protects wildlife like lions.