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At HFS, our mission is to liberate women from their baggage. In our view, we women are connected, not only to each other, but to all life existing on this beautiful earth. As a modern company it is our responsibility to consider not only our own desires and designs but also the future of our planet. We are strongly committed to sustainability, produce all bags locally and ethically, and make it our goal to source only the most innovative, animal and earth-friendly materials available for our products. To that end, we also support organizations that serve to protect the welfare of women, our planet and all the animals that live upon it.

Below is a brief description of the organizations we support and/or have supported in the past:

Geena Davis Institute

One of our central missions is to help empower women. As we see it, one of the biggest obstacles standing in our way is our own self-perception. From the day we are born, we are bombarded with messages from the media that subliminally cause us to feel that our worth is determined more by how we look than who we are or what we do. Worst and most damaging of all, is that we have been trained to subconsciously see ourselves as objects to be judged. We want to be pretty because we are told that is where our value lies. Then, just to make us really feel confused and insecure, we are given mixed messages: yes, legally, you can be anything you want, but the only examples we see valued on television or in the movies are women in supporting, sexualized roles. The media seems to make women choose: do you want success or do you want love? This is at the heart of the issue.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media seeks to assess and alter the representations of female characters in TV and film, with particular attention to programming for children ages 11 and under. Images are incredibly powerful and can have an incredibly positive effect. They can create opportunities to overcome these unconscious biases and social barriers.

Find out more about how we work with this organization on the blog: "Turn Off the TV: How Media Gender Bias is Affecting Us All."

Rainforest Trust is a world leader in the protection of tropical ecosystems and wildlife. They have protected millions of acres of rainforest from destruction while helping the world’s most endangered species rebound and thrive. It protects threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife by partnering with local and community organizations in and around the areas that are being threatened. After they purchase acres of endangered land, they empower local people to help protect it by offering them education, training and employment. Through these highly effective partnerships, Rainforest Trust can ensure sustainable results necessary for the long-term protection of tropical ecosystems and the wildlife they hold. Find out more about how we work with this organization on the blog.

All Girls Chess Championship Tournament

Part of our mission at HFS is to level the playing field in terms of women’s self image, self-esteem and intellectual development. Research clearly shows there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement but girls are being left behind. Numerous studies have clearly proven that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability. It teaches higher level thinking skills such as the ability to visualize, analyze, and think critically. Sadly, girls are not taking advantage of this learning opportunity. The National All Girls is helping to change that.

Find out more about how we work with this organization on the blog: "Helping Girls Stay in the Game," "Who Run the World? Girls Who Play Chess," "Hipsters for Sisters Sponsors Girls for National Chess Tournament."

mercy for animals

Mercy For Animals (MFA)is an international, non-profit organization, founded in 1999, dedicated to the prevention of cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals. “We are committed to reducing the greatest amount of suffering for the largest number of animals. Our efforts focus on protecting farmed animals—the most abused and exploited animals on the planet—and utilize a broad range of strategic approaches that seek to expose cruelty, prosecute abusers, and inspire consumers to make compassionate food choices.”MFAbelieves, as we do, that a non-violent, humane society is not only possible, but as Thomas A. Edison pointed out almost 100 years ago, it is necessary for our own evolution.

What we like most about Mercy for Animals is that they know the world we currently live in and apply these approaches to advocate for and create common sense, practical, “do-able,” reforms. They do not expect or fantasize that factory farms will be shut down immediately, but seek to insure the humane treatment of farm animals based on a set of ethical imperatives for farmed animal welfare.

Farm Sanctuary Walk for Animals

For more than 25 years, Farm Sanctuary has relied on the Walk for Farm Animals to support its life-saving mission to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassion. It also aids in the rescue of animals from factories or farms hit by natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods. Additionally, it seeks to educate the public about the benefits of buying cage-free hens, crate-free pork and grass-fed cattle, with regard to not only the well-being of the animals, but also of humans and the planet. To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit their website at Find out more about how we work with this organization on the blog.

Haven Hills

Haven Hills truly is a haven for victims of domestic violence. It not only supports these victims emotionally, but also houses them and their children in a 30-day confidential crisis center where they can begin the process of healing. When ready, they can begin stabilizing their lives and planning for the future with the help of Haven Two, an 18-month transitional housing and education program. Here, the staff helps victims of abuse establish credit, develop a budget, find a permanent place to live and develop a plan for employment, safety and self-sufficiency. In addition, it provides children’s programs (including classroom instruction) and volunteer training. Since its inception over 30 years ago, Haven Hills has helped over 600,000 women and children break out of the cycle of domestic violence.

Find out more about how we work with this organization on the blog: "That Special Place," "Real Talk: Chances are Someone You Know is Being Abused."

Photo by Kristine Lo