Site Spotlight: Fashion Project

(Source: Fashion Project; Fendi dress, $149; Nicole Miller skirt, $59; Susana Monaco pants, $49)When Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk learned that Americans make $52 billion worth of non-cash donations each year, the former Harvard Law classmates started pondering ways to funnel those dollars towards a good cause. The two eventually arrived at what they dubbed Fashion Project—an e-commerce site that sells new and gently-worn clothing and accessories, and donates a portion of its sales to charitable nonprofits.

The giving process starts by requesting a donation bag and indicating which organization you’d like to support. You can select one of Fashion Project’s charity partners, such as the AIDS Institute or the National Forest Foundation, or opt to benefit another organization of your choice. In a few days, you’ll receive two pre-paid bags with which to fill your garb and mail to the site’s Boston headquarters. Once the items are received, they’re sold online with 55 percent of the net proceeds going directly to your designated cause.

(Source: Fashion Project; ZAC Zac Posen Clutch, $89; Mui Mui Platforms, $129) In order to be resold on the site, items must be in new or impeccable condition, retail for $50 or more, and be made by one of Fashion Project’s qualifying brands, such as Acne, Madewell, Jimmy Choo or Tracy Reese, among many others. Fashion Project recently partnered with Nordstrom to give participants a $40 gift card for every five qualifying items they donate.

Pieces currently up for sale include a black A-line Fendi frock ($149, originally $1,700) that benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters, a striped Nicole Miller skirt ($59, originally $290) linked to VH1 Save the Music, and a pair of suede Mui Mui platforms ($129, originally $675), whose sale helps fund culinary programs for Chicago-area kids through Common Threads.

Thus far, Fashion Project donors have supported 153 organizations in 53 countries—fitting, since giving back is one of the few things that never goes out of style.