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      How To Clean Out Your Closet And Make An Impact On Your Local Community

      How To Clean Out Your Closet And Make An Impact On Your Local Community

      Help Your Local Community by Donating Your Old Clothes

      By Beth Hoad

      It’s that time of year again! The sun is out and it’s time for a closet cleanout. 

      Cleaning out your closet is a stressful job and deciphering where to take items is a daunting experience. You might ask yourself how and why should I choose a certain place to donate items over another? From in-hand donations, charitable thrift shops to take back programs, donating pre-loved clothing helps the environment, and hugely benefits local communities in need.

      Your donation to in-hand nonprofits is directed towards people who are going through hard times. This donation is selective to particular groups of people, like Dress for Success, a nonprofit who asks for professional women’s attire, or New York Cares , who run an autumn coat drive for the homeless. If you’re donating to in-hand nonprofits avoid trendy items and try donating gently used items that the recipient can wear proudly.

      Charitable thrift shops are great options if you have more eccentric items that you no longer need. The most common of these shops are Goodwill or The Salvation Army, but there are local shops too. Like Cure Thrift Shop, which is an eclectic and vibrant shop in NYC, who not only sell quirky and one-of-a-kind pieces, but also supports diabetes research and advocacy. This is where the resale of your donation goes to funding shops services and supporting different organizations like the homeless, arts or LGBTQ rights. It might not seem like much, but these small everyday actions can have a major impact on the local community around you.

      Take Back Programs are the future. Easily donate items that have been piling up in your closet and have them recycled into new materials. You’re contributing to saving the planet, in the coolest way possible. For Days’ vision is to eliminate clothing waste by asking consumers to turn in used clothes, no matter the brand or condition in order to make new clothing. Ready for the best part, they pay you for this service, so could it get any better? Who knew throwing out clothes could be profitable, fun and sustainable.

      The cycle of constantly having to clear our closets may prove that we have too much, but it’s inevitable. Fashion is a form of expression and since bodies change, trends come and go, and wear and tear just happens, it’s important to look into options when cleaning out your closet. However, in no way shape or form should you throw clothes away in bins or just out for trash. On average, consumers throw away 82 pounds of clothing a year, and all that does is sit in landfills and damage the environment. Do you really want to contribute to that?

      There is no reason you should be throwing away clothes anymore, especially since brands will recycle it and nonprofits can use it. It may seem like a small job, but cleaning out your closet can be extremely impactful and resourceful, especially to communities going through tough times. 

      D.O.B believes we can change our future by challenging the way we think about our everyday habits, creating higher goals for sustainability, inclusion and our local communities and realizing the impact our actions can make. 

      Shopping Local In A Global World

      Shopping Local In A Global World

      How to Support Sustainability & Small Businesses

      By Curtis Harding

      What does “local” mean in 2021? Does it encompass our neighborhoods? Metro areas? States? Is it buying produce from the farm in our county, or buying a handmade clock from a shop on Etsy? 

      In an ongoing series, D.O.B will be exploring the meaning of “local” in the modern world. These are questions that couldn’t be more important as the pandemic has driven home the need to support small businesses, even as it’s pushed more of us to shop online in a digitally connected world. 

      When asked why they prefer to shop local, most overwhelmingly say that they want to support their local community and economy. But our communities don’t end at the edge of our towns. We no longer live in a world where we spend our entire lives in the same small area. We move around, find new homes and new communities, collecting bits of identity as we go. 

      While I consider myself a New Yorker, I still have strong ties to the exurban and rural areas I grew up in. And on a more personal level, my community extends to every LGBTQ+ person across the globe. 

      That’s why I just bought handmade jewelry from an online store based in a hometown I haven’t lived in for nearly two decades. And it’s why I’m supporting the push for my LGBTQ+ sports league to shift purchasing our team shirts from the big name apparel brands that we’ve been using since our founding, to an LGBTQ+ brand in our own backyard. 

      Are those both local examples? I would say so. One was a digital purchase made in another state, but my money went to a small business in a town I still care deeply about. The other supports the community that I love in the city that I’ve adopted as my home.  

      At D.O.B, we believe that sustainability, diversity and local support all go hand-in-hand. That’s why we’re proud to support brands like Yema, founded by Yema Khalif, who grew up in Kenya’s Kibera slums, and his partner, Hawi Awash, who was an Ethiopian refugee in Kenya. For them, local support means giving back to their childhood communities, supporting and educating orphaned children in Ethiopia and Kibera. 

      Then there’s ONE432. Growing up, founder Ammar Belal moved between Chicago, Geneva and Lahore, Pakistan, before relocating full time to Pakistan and starting a fashion company. Though he now lives in New York City, Belal wanted ONE432 to be a local business, based in Pakistan, employing Pakistani artisans, and supporting Pakistani children’s education. 

      It’s worth highlighting companies like these because they show us how we can shop local even as we spend globally. We can buy clothes that support children in Eastern Africa or South Asia, or purchase designs that tell stories of African heritage or Pakistani pride. 

      Yes, we can and should still support our favorite stores in our towns and use our money to strengthen the communities that we live in. But we can also support our favorite brands around the world that strengthen the local communities that they and we care about. 

      The digital world hasn’t transformed or destroyed our idea of local businesses. It has expanded it. We’re no longer limited to our own backyards. These days, our spending can have an incredible impact on lives across the globe. We’re now free to go wherever our hearts take us. 

      D.O.B strengthens local communities by supporting small businesses and by sharing stories and experiences that bring us all closer together.

      Follow our series on the evolution of what “Local” means for our future.

      The Effects Of Covid On Our Cities & The Impact On Small Businesses

      The Effects Of Covid On Our Cities & The Impact On Small Businesses

      The Small Business Struggle. Shop Small & Think Big

      By Beth Hoad

      The devastation that COVID-19 has brought has severely impacted the way we as humans will forever live. With people fleeing big cities, and small businesses having to close up shop, the effects of this pandemic have drastically changed and continue to alter lives. 

      New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, were some of the hardest hit hotspots and the ripple effects of Covid are still causing issues for city businesses. “Work from Home” culture became the new normal, with people relocating to less expensive and more spacious remote locations instead of pricey and crowded cosmopolitan areas. And with jobs plummeting and cities in a full lockdown, it’s no wonder people turned to hibernation. When neighborhoods became vacant with high rent prices it became clear many small businesses would struggle to stay afloat. With foot traffic nearly nonexistent from a country in lockdown, small businesses were going to face a hard road ahead. 

      I used to love wandering around the streets of New York, going in and out of local shops that had unique items. However, Covid made it unsafe, so the shops you would once stumble across now battle to keep their doors open, often without an online store. Businesses were struggling behind doors, with shipments and production delays due to Covid. These delays from around the world have a huge impact on the business and the customer. This happened to “Belief”, a NY skateboard vendor whose severe delays in receiving boards to their store due to the pandemic greatly impacted their sales. These delays were not uncommon elsewhere and in a time of uncertainty, challenges like these can kill a business and leave small shops far behind.

       Some shops that were able to open back up still face unseen obstacles. Many have had to invest in protective gear, enhanced cleaning procedures, and apply strict occupancy numbers while shopping. When you shop local, you’re not only helping the business, but also the owners who are putting in everything to keep their shops open. However, still with little revenue coming in, and on the verge of collapsing, some stores changed the way they sold products - instead turning to online marketing and e-commerce as part of a forced evolution. 

      The power of social media and influencers has had an enormous impact on many small businesses. With #shoplocal initiatives flooding social media platforms, it encourages consumers to look outside big brands and help support local business. However, it’s still tough to build a brand and develop strong relationships with customers when they haven’t physically been into a shop or personally know of the brand. NY brand “caliynY” was focusing on building brand awareness, but the pandemic made it nearly impossible to make real life customer connections and it greatly impacted the ability to create content. 

      With shops slowly opening back up, it’s imperative we strive to help local communities. From one city habitant to another, the best way to get back to normality is by investing in those around us. By following CDC guidelines, we believe your choices can have a safe, positive impact on local communities and help restore cities to the bustling atmospheres that we love. 

      D.O.B is committed to supporting small businesses in our communities and local neighborhoods.

      5 Simple Ways You Can Make A Difference in Your Local Community

      5 Simple Ways You Can Make A Difference in Your Local Community

      How You Can Make A Difference In Your Local Community

      By Curtis Harding

      As ethical fashion has taken off and brands have put an emphasis on local talent and production, community engagement has become something of a global phenomenon.  

      Brands like ONE432 employ local artisans in Pakistan, paying them living wages, profit sharing and supporting Pakistani children’s education. SOKO directly connects local Kenyan artisans with the rest of the world to sell jewelry, while GRAMMAR supports women and minority-owned businesses in New York City, employing the talented artisans and craftspeople of the city to ensure the production is kept local.

      Are you wondering how you can support your local community? The good news is community engagement doesn’t require starting your own business. There are plenty of ways for the average person to help out. To get you started, here’s a list of five simple ways you can make a difference.

      Clean Up Your Local Park

      Park cleanup can range from picking up trash to fixing up park equipment. It’s a matter of finding your comfort and ability level. Just be mindful that larger projects require special permission. Trash pickup is simple, easy and something you can do walking through the park. Just grab some gloves and a bag and start a little cleanup while you enjoy the day. You can help ensure that your park isn’t just a place where your community can gather, but can’t wait to gather. Art, social groups, running and yoga classes all bring parks to life. 

      Donate Your Clothes Thoughtfully

      When it comes to discarding old apparel, it’s easy to just drop a bag in the first collection bin you find. I’m guilty of this myself, but you run the risk of it ending up in the landfill or getting resold. To make more of a local impact, donate directly. Crisis centers can almost always use clothing. Churches know community needs, and so do schools. Contact these places to see what they need, and your leftover apparel could help a neighbor get a job and become a more confident member of your community, or could remove one more barrier from a local kid’s education.  

      Become a Volunteer Tutor

      Since we’re on the topic of education, why not help children learn? You don’t need a doctorate in math theory to bolster kids and teens on their educational path, just some patience and a willingness to explain. Maybe you’re good at helping prepare for tests. Maybe you’re a science nerd, or could help struggling readers. Chances are you’ll be able to find a way to help a student in need and help strengthen your community’s next generation.  

      Share Your Pet

      Are you a pet lover with a pup who’s just the best boy ever? You can volunteer to bring him to places like senior centers and hospitals. Virtually everyone can benefit from pet therapy, and it’s not just dog owners who can volunteer. There are a number of programs you can sign up with that will help guide you through your local institutions. You might be surprised at the bonds formed as you help the most vulnerable members of your community heal. 

      Shop Local

      This may seem a bit obvious, but supporting small, local businesses is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Often, your support means that local businesses have the resources for greater community engagement, and gives them a longer reach than you’d have on your own. From supporting local charity events to sponsoring sports teams, small businesses tend to be the lifeblood of your community. When we support them, we support everyone.

      D.O.B makes a difference in the everyday choices we make. D.O.B is building a community that connects and supports people and brands with shared principles to help small businesses and our neighborhoods thrive! 

      5 Ways You Can Support Local Businesses In Your Neighborhood

      5 Ways You Can Support Local Businesses In Your Neighborhood

      Support Local Small Businesses In Your Neighborhood B4 They Are Gone....

      By Yashashree Samant

      Small local businesses need our support now more than ever. Small business is defined as having less than 500 employees, which represents 99% of all U.S. businesses. Over a year ago the world came to a standstill due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Streets were no longer bustling with energy, restaurants were without giggling tables, and shops had closed their doors. What we thought would be a week or two of staying indoors has now eclipsed the one year mark, and among many victims that this pandemic has claimed is small businesses. 

      What we also understood during this year is the need and strength of togetherness. A local small business already struggles at each step of the process and with added restrictions that struggle has only surged. So as a community it is now our collective responsibility to support these local businesses, not just for their survival, but for restoring our own economy. As an individual we often question how much we can do, so D.O.B is here to offer some tips on things that can be done by each of us to protect and support local businesses.

      • Talk the Talk - Local and small businesses don’t have multi-million dollar advertising budgets and viral superbowl spots. They depend on their neighborhoods and goodwill to get the word out there about their products and services. As someone who spends hours scrolling on Instagram and sifting through Twitter, you can take a minute to follow these pages, interact with their content, perhaps even give them a quick shout out or a good review about a product purchase. Spreading awareness is always the first step.
      • Walk the Walk - Practice what you preach. Shout-outs and engagement on social media can only go so far. In the end it comes down to actually making the purchase. Try to find small occasions, birthdays, holidays, graduations, or maybe simply a sunday brunch - where instead of ordering delivery from multinational e-commerce websites, you instead support a local neighborhood business. Not only does that earn you brownie points but you can also get unique locally sourced produce instead of products that are available a dime a dozen. 
      • Bargain Not - Unlike the big fat cat companies who have millions of dollars at their disposal, local small businesses have small margins and very little wiggle room when it comes to pricing their goods. But a good product deserves a good price. While we all love finding discounts and hot deals, paying that extra dollar at your local coffee shop or clothing store not only helps support these local businesses but also supports the community as a whole.
      • Lend a Hand - Business owners always need help and consultation, whether it is to click Instagram friendly pictures or legal and taxation consulting on how to maximize profits. No matter what your trade, you can offer some hours of your time to the small business near you without charge and earn some good karma in return. Ask around and be forthcoming, everyone needs a little extra help but can often be too shy to ask. Even just an hour on the weekend helps to support these local businesses more than you can imagine.
      • Be Kind - A virus on the other side of the globe changed the world as we know it. Everything that was considered normal isn’t there anymore, the only way we find our way out of this is by being helpful and generous. Overlook tiny mistakes, go the extra mile, leave a larger tip and offer a kind look to these small businesses. After all, a little goodwill can go a long way.

      At D.O.B we are partnering and supporting the growth of small businesses.