Shopping with a Purpose

Purpose Boutique, one of the many shopping locations available at Point Ruston, has a unique spirit that is captured in its motto: “How you shop can change a life.” The store offers trendy fashion products that are made ethically and partners with brands that empower and employ people who have been exploited or disadvantaged across the globe. These brands include Toms, Sanctuary Springs, Half United, and The Shine Project, which are sold in Purpose Boutique’s four retail locations across Western Washington.

In addition to partnerships with companies that are committed to empowerment and/or fair trade, Purpose Boutique donates 15 percent of profits to Rescue: Freedom International, a Kirkland-based organization that is committed to fighting sexual slavery and healing those who have been impacted by it.

“We have donated almost $70,000 to help women who are marginalized or trafficked or in extreme poverty to get out of that lifestyle,” said Christie Johnson, founder and CEO of Purpose Boutique. “We have sold thousands and thousands of pieces of jewelry and clothing that have been directly made by these women.”

Purpose Boutique also offers free one-on-one styling sessions with customers in need of fashion advice or a wardrobe overhaul. Discounts sometimes can be taken on certain pieces of clothing when a donation is made — for example, the boutique’s Coat for Coat program, which ran in October, encouraged customers to bring in a gently used coat that was then donated to a foster family in exchange for 25 percent off a new jacket from the store.

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