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Two interesting ideas from The Netherlands, that combine charity with solid business goals.

Two interesting ideas from The Netherlands that combine charity with solid business goals. 1. A new Dutch fashion label, 50/50, highlights the plight of the homeless by designing ready-to-wear pieces from cast-offs from The Salvation Army. The label’s designer shares the profits with The Salvation Army (hence the name, though it could also have to do with the slogan: together we’re one ;-). The Salvation Army’s contribution is to provide 50/50 with the blankets, curtains and dungarees that eventually show up on racks as skirts, pants and belts. 50/50 is now sold alongside well-known international brands in Amsterdam’s main department store, the Bijenkorf, with prices ranging from EUR 30 for a pair of gloves to over EUR 100 for a coat. Each item comes with a flyer outlining the Salvation Army’s message: people need each other and nobody should be excluded from society. Depending on the success of the clothing line, the Salvation Army is considering expanding its collection to items salvaged from other depots, like furniture. From a business point of view, the mix of charity and a trendy vintage look should definitely appeal to young people with a healthy social conscience. 2. The Dutch word for homeless is ‘dakloos’, so it should come as no surprise that Dakloos.nl is dedicated to raising funds to eradicate homelessness in The Netherlands and around the world.The way that Dakloos raises money is all business: the website is a full fledged accommodation booking site, with 5,500 hotels on offer worldwide. Customers get low internet rates for hotels, while Dakloos donates 3% of revenues to the homeless in Amsterdam. In their own words: “You will spend your night in a good hotel, while helping a homeless person to spend a night off the street, without any extra costs or trouble!” Since inception, Dakloos has raised EUR 27,000, and expansion is in the works.

Website: www.legerdesheils.nl/5050-fashion, http://www.dakloos.nl/

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