Social Encore: Gifts that give back

Dec. 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Most people probably feel rushed right now, as it’s literally the week before Christmas. My post last week helped provide a bit of gift inspiration. We all know it’s the season of giving, but have you ever thought to buy a gift for someone and help a cause at the same time?

Here are a few more gift ideas for the holiday season:

‘The Anti Canvas: A Showcase of Board Short Art For Charity’

On Saturday, Dec. 21, “Honolulu Night Market” will display 25 pairs of Hurley Phantom board shorts designed by 25 local and international artists.

Board shorts by Remi Mead that will be part of this year's "Anti Canvas" show. (Courtesy photo)

Board shorts by Remi Mead that will be part of this year’s “Anti Canvas” show. (Courtesy photo)

You can bid on the board shorts during a silent auction and own a wearable work of art. To transfer the original art, a sublimation method is used. Proceeds from this showcase will benefit Waves For Water, an organization working to help with relief efforts in the Philippines, as well as the Hawaii Foodbank.

This year’s participants include John John Florence, Clark Little, C.R. Stecyk III, Tim Hendricks, Keoni Payton, Aaron Kai, Carl Pao and Dana Paresa. Now in its fifth year, “Anti Canvas” has raised more than $18,000 for various charities since 2009.

Tidepool Love Jewelry

Jen Sarsuelo comes from a line of creative minds; her mother was a jewelry designer. Sarsuelo started Cottage By The Sea at Ward Centers, where she has truly embodied the beach scene with wonderful garments and accessories. Like thousands of people in Hawaii, her family experienced the difficulties of breast cancer. so she decided to create jewelry with hints of pink. Proceeds from Tidepool Love Jewelry will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Lil Coconut Hawaii Clutches

This little clutch company started this year and also tries to capture the best of Hawaii’s island lifestyle. Created by Hawaii resident Amanda Dela Cruz, the images will remind any local just how lucky we are to be from Hawaii or live in Hawaii.

Lil Coconut Clutches. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

Lil Coconut Clutches. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

Dela Cruz will donate 20 percent of her sales this month to help relief efforts in the Philippines. The only place that you can pick up these clutches is Cottage By The Sea.

The Base Project

Chris Akin is originally from New York, but has lived in Hawaii for more than 13 years. He and his twin brother, Doug, traveled the world and went searching for eco-friendly fashion that could be designed and produced locally.

The brothers partnered with two tribes, the Himba and Herero, from a town called Opuwo in the Kunene region of Namibia, Africa. They wanted to make a difference by using a convergence of business and social change. By creating The Base Project, the brothers have helped two communities become self-sustainable through up-cycled bracelets made of discarded plastic pipe and hand-cut and carved by local artists.

This year, the company started to sell their bracelets nationally. With the motto “wear your impact,” the brothers have truly made an impact by doubling the tribes’ average income, which has helped each artisan obtain basic needs like food and water during the worst drought of the last 30 years. The income has also helped send kids to school and has even helped artists create homes so families are given the opportunity to all live under one roof.

Bracelets by the Base Project. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

Bracelets by the Base Project. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

The Akins brothers’ efforts have landed the unique bracelets in Toms Marketplace as well as the pages of the New York Times and Lucky Magazine.

If you order online by Saturday, Dec. 21, you should receive your order before Christmas. However, if you want it immediately, stop by Roberta Oaks in Chinatown, Chai Studio at Ward Warehouse, Super Citizen in Kahala Mall, Global Village in Kailua, North Shore Trading Company in Haleiwa and Akakura House in Waikiki. For outer island residents, visit Pearl Butik on Maui, Jams World Maui at Whaler’s Village and Jams World Big Island at the Shops at Mauna Lani.

Bright Future Sunglasses

Have you ever thought about wearing sunglasses that will really brighten the futures of others? That’s the concept San Franscisco based designer Chapin Atchison thought of when he created Bright Future Sunglasses.

Atchison said he never really had educational opportunities given to him when he was growing up. Not being able to finish college, he wanted to reach out to kids and provide them opportunities he never had.

Bright Future Sunglasses are available exclusively at About the Goods in Aiea. (Courtesy of Zane Harp)

Bright Future Sunglasses are available exclusively at About the Goods in Aiea. (Courtesy of Zane Harp)

For every pair of sunglasses purchased, $1 goes to the Institute of International Education (IIE). The IIE is a non-profit founded in 1919 and is the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organization. Atchison said he chose the organization because when doing research about education programs, the IIE had the best financial transparency and had the most effective educational programs.

“The IIE uses the money in the best way possible and because it is a international charity and gives back to people ranging youth to adult in all realms of education,” he said.

Atchison has been in the fashion industry for more than eight years as a product designer and buyer. With several different styles, his shades are hip and durable, made from polycarbonate and high tensile steel with polarized UV 400 Lenses.

Honolulu resident Zane Harp owns a pair of the shades and said they are different from any type of sunglasses he’s ever owned before.

“It has a classic style, affordable polarized lenses and nice colors,” Harp said.

You’ll be able to order online but if you want them now, About The Goods in Aiea is the only place to go. Make sure you get the shades before Christmas Eve, which is the store’s last day of operation at their Pearl Kai location. About The Goods will move to a new location in McCully at the start of 2014.


W.I.N.G.S. stands for Windward Instruction for the Generalization of Skills and helps artists with autism and development disabilities. Artists create cards and fabric flowers out of recycled and donated items, which helps with their communication and social skills for the real world.

You’ll be able to grab adorable Hawaiian greeting cards and flowers at Muumuu Heaven in Kailua. Proceeds from the art sales help fund the program for future generations to come.

A HERO product wallet. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

A HERO product wallet. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quilllopo)

Red Heaven Collection

Jewelry designer Natalee Kibby of The Red Heave Collection walks on seculuded beaches on the Big Island in search of highly-prized red plastic washed up from the sea. Kibby said the red plastic is the most challenging to find but is also the most beautiful to work with.

Proceeds from sales of the collection help generate funds to build fresh water dinking wells in South America. Find these beachy finds at Muumuu Heaven in Kailua.

HERO Products

We have everyday heroes who sometimes go unrecognized. Some of those heroes include our local firefighters. HERO products can be found at Muumuu Heaven as well or online and there are an array of items up-cycled from damaged Oahu fire hoses. There are belts, reversible bracelets and even wallets that can hold your money, cards and cell phone.

Out of each sale, 10% is donated to the Honolulu Firefighter’s Foundation.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.

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