Product Spotlight

In mid-March Spirit Of York, a Toronto-based maker of fine gins and vodkas, switched their distillery over from producing spirits to creating much-needed hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 crisis. The company, which is based in the city's historic Distillery District, has since been providing their World Health Organization-standard sanitizer to front-line medical workers and vulnerable communities. In addition, the hand sanitizer is for sale at their storefront for $3/bottle, limit two per customer, with all proceeds going towards local food banks via Feed Ontario. They've raised $10,000 so far. Store is open Tues. - Sun 11 a.m. to  6 p.m. — Aaron Brophy

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The DIFF charitable eyewear company has teamed with rising R&B musician H.E.R. for a four-piece limited-edition series of sunglasses. Profits from the collection will support DIFF's mission of providing reading glasses to those in need. In partnership with Sightsavers, an international organization dedicated to combating preventable blindness, DIFF estimates it has provided over 1.5 million people with reading glasses in the last four years. The H.E.R. pieces retail for $85 USD each ($113.44 CAD). — Aaron Brophy.

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Sam the teddy bear won't be just an adorable gift this holiday season, he'll also be helping support mental health causes. That's because Sam is retailer HBC's 13th annual limited-edition Heritage Charity Bear. Named after Samuel Hearne, who was tasked with the task of establishing the Hudson Bay Company's first inland post in Canada in the late 1700s, Sam the bear costs $23.99. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Sam sales will go towards HEADFIRST, the program established by the HBC Foundation to support mental health programming initiatives. Buy it here. —Aaron Brophy

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For Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Hudson's Bay is selling a light pink scarf with the words “Hope Love Strength” subtly in the fabric; it is also available in French.  Thirteen dollars from the $21 retail price will go the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), whose mission is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research.” The scarf is 45” width x 180” length and is 100 percent acrylic. It can be purchased online and in-store, while quantities last.  — Karen Bliss

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Bryan Adams, whose current Shine A Light Tour ensures one tree is planted per ticket sold, continues to donate his used guitar strings to the charity Wear Your Music. Founder and designer Hannah Garrison makes and sells gorgeous custom jewelry out of them. Fittingly, the pop hitmaker selected Nordoff-Robbins as the recipient of the proceeds. The U.K. music therapy charity “use[s]music to enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illnesses, disabilities and feelings of isolation.” Adams’ strings have been made into bracelets, cuffs and pendants, ranging from $65 to $275 USD. The pendant, for example, features a stainless steel and glass locket on a boxchain necklace. Buy them here. — Karen Bliss

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A portion of proceeds from these colourful rainbow-patterned Dr. Martens goes to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ people under the age of 25. The style is the classic 1460 — the original boot that came out in England April 1, 1960, hence the name — and include a rainbow welt stitch, eyelets, laces, sock liner and heel-loop. “Because whatever your color, creed, sexual orientation, musical tastes, passions or beliefs, Dr. Martens is proud to celebrate inclusivity and diversity,” the company states. The boots retail for $189.99 (CAD). Buy them here. Dr. Martens has other Pride boots and also rainbow laces. — Karen Bliss


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Sometimes people want to do good but just don't know where to start. There's now a solution for those facing philanthropic indecision — follow the cards. Specifically, follow the tasks suggested in Boom Boom Revolution's Random Act Of Kindness card kits. Ranging in cost from $9.99 to $34.99 USD ($13.43 to $47.05 CAD) these 26-card sets come in "original," "teen" and "family" variations and feature suggested tasks like picking up trash, giving someone a genuine compliment or writing a letter to someone who inspires you. The Boom Boom website also collects stories about these acts of kindness to encourage further do-gooding. —Aaron Brophy


The Kiehl's cosmetics company and professional snowboarder / Olympic medalist Mark McMorris will be helping disadvantaged youth participate in sports using funds generated from sales of a limited edition skin cream. The goal is $20,000. Some proceeds from Kiehl's Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream will go towards the McMorris Foundation and its partner organization Canadian Tire Jumpstart with the goal of reducing costs of things like registrations, equipment and transportation in youth sports. The cream is available online and in Canadian Kiehl's outlets for $36 (50ml containers). —Aaron Brophy


The Karma Box Co. has previously donated proceeds from its subscription box to Oceana and Canadian Women’s Foundation and this winter season, founders Erin Maureen and Kat Rose have selected the Daily Bread Food Bank. The box will include 6 to 8 products (valued at $175) ranging from “natural beauty brands, current fashion must-haves, fitness essentials, health- conscious eats and swoon worthy home décor,” it states on the web site. A one-time purchase is $69.95; a yearly subscription (a new box every three months) is $251.84. The company ships to Canada, U.S. and U.K. — Karen Bliss


Enrique Iglesias has two new charity T-shirts for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to Save The Children. They feature the Spanish pop singer wearing the original heart-design charity tee he created in 2015, after his white shirt got bloodied in a severe accident when he grabbed a drone during his concert in Tijuana, Mexico. The new "heart photo" tees come in red or black, in men and women’s small to XXL; $11 from the $27.50 (USD) price benefits Save the Children’s Healing and Education through the Arts, a.k.a. HEART, programs in Mexico. The original T-shirt is still for sale and $12 goes to Save The Children’s Emergency Fund. —  Karen Bliss


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