New Year’s resolution: Be more charitable. Thankfully, Habit boutique, 1951 West Division, (773)342-0093, has made it easy for you to give to a variety of charities and support independent designers, all while putting that shopping habit to good use. It’s the master plan of Lindsey Boland, fashion designer and owner of Habit, an indie designer boutique that features clothing and accessories from emerging designers. She got the idea when she was asked to donate a few pieces from her store to a local charity event. She requested donations from Habit’s array of featured designers, and was stunned by the response.
“We received more donations than we needed for the event,” Boland says. “The response was amazing.” Jumping at the opportunity to give back to the community, Boland came up with a plan. Each month one of Habit’s designers (there are around seventy showcased at the Wicker Park spot) selects a creation to be auctioned off on eBay. 100 percent of the funds from the item’s sale go to a charity of the designers’ choice.
Though the program is in its infancy, Habit has already been able to help out a few worthwhile causes. In November, the first item—a dress from Boland’s own Superficial line—benefited the Chicago Abused Women Coalition, a charity close to Boland’s heart. Proceeds from December’s item, a Toad Lillie gold clutch, went to the Make-A-Wish foundation. Upcoming items will include a Superficial heart and spine t-shirt (benefiting the American Heart Association) and a set of leather belts by Tu-yere. Like the other pieces carried by Habit, the auctioned items will be handcrafted by emerging talent, which keeps the 2007 wardrobe very fashion-forward.
With the project gaining momentum each month, Boland’s goal is to keep the auction going “as long as we have interest.” One thing is for sure: Boland is having a blast with the project. “It’s been exciting to see the designers’ passion for different causes. We’ve had fun making it happen.” Giving back has never been so easy—or so fashionable. This year, you might actually keep your resolution. (Molly Each)