Madewell’s 10 Best: Easy Ways to Give Back This Season


Little things can have a pretty big impact.

Good days don’t just start with great jeans—they start with great vibes and goodwill too. But finding quick and stress-free ways to give back, especially during the time-crunched holidays, can admittedly be a challenge. So we put our heads together with our friends from Blue Jeans Go Green™ (the same crew helping us turn your recycled jeans into housing insulation) and came up with these 10 simple ways to make a difference.

1. Double the recipe the next time you bake cookies. Drop off the extra batch at a community spot you love, like the library or a local volunteer organization.

2. Brighten someone’s day with an anonymous letter. Do it through an official letter-writing group like this or this, or simply drop off a note of thanks at your local fire station or senior home (a great idea c/o Amy Poehler, here).

3. Host a “recycle your denim” happy hour. You serve the cheese and wine. They bring one old pair of jeans. Then bring them into any Madewell and we’ll recycle them (or you can find out how to mail them in for recycling here).

4. Bring your old towels and sheets to an animal shelter. More room in your linen closet = more warmth for furry friends who need it.

5. Give charitable donations as gifts. Make sure to match the organization to your giftee’s interests, whether it’s local public radio or international aid.

6. Discover a hassle-free way to volunteer. A quick search on a site like this is all you need to find a local place that needs an extra set of hands for just an afternoon.

7. Double up on basics. If you’re out shopping for essentials—from socks to pantry staples—pick up some extras and drop them off at a shelter. (Simpler still? See if your grocery store has a donation bin. Most do, near the checkout counter.)

8. Make that workout extra worth it. If you’re already planning on sweating, download an app like this. For each mile you walk, ride or run, they’ll donate to the charity you choose from their list.

9. Skip one of those fancy afternoon coffees. Apps like this show the impact that a dollar amount could have for nonprofits that provide clean water or medical supplies—and then allow you to donate directly in the app.

10. Make an emergency kit for someone who could use it. Stock a plastic bin with essentials like batteries and a flashlight and drop it off with a housebound neighbor (you can find other ideas here). 

How to do well year-round? Recycle your old jeans at any Madewell. We’re turning them into housing insulation with the help of our friends at Blue Jeans Go Green™. Find out how it all happens here.

Photography by Jennifer Trahan.