Inspired by the power of story, two former journalists have enlisted high fashion for a higher cause. The new jewelry company Altruette sells charm bracelets with a different kind of charm. Every gold or silver pendant (there are about 30 so far) represents a different nonprofit, which receives 50% of each sale, typically ranging between $155 to $175. The benefits are more than financial, argues the jewelry company whose motto is “Look Good, Do Good.”
“They’re designed to raise funds but also to raise awareness,” says Julie Schlosser, a cofounder of the company. “Our main goal is to create ambassadors for causes we love and to help charities reach individuals who they might not normally get to through standard fundraising techniques.”
Using jewelry as awareness-raiser has come a long way since the Livestrong bracelet. Groups like the Human Rights Campaign have launched their own jewelry line to support their mission, and groups like Brilliant Earth specialize in designing “ethical origin fine jewelry.” And we’ve recently covered a jewelry company that uses old bullets from war-torn countries to create something more promising: beautiful necklaces.
“One of the reasons we created Altruette is because we love helping causes we admire but hate asking our friends to write checks,” says Schlosser. “Asking a friend to make a single donation to a cause you love isn’t hard but asking them to fund dozens of causes you like or to keep donating to your favorite causes each year is a challenge.”
For now, those beneficiaries include well-established nonprofits such as the Humane Society and DonorsChoose.org, as well as smaller groups including Girls Write Now. Bestsellers include an elephant for the African Wildlife Foundation, and a life preserver benefiting the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, a 200-foot-long vessel serving neglected populations in Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia. Rocking a gold chain has never been so charitable.