WNY business helping those affected by Australia wildfires with ‘Be Kind’ clothing

Local News

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Halfway around the world, Australia is on fire. Reports say as many as 20 million of acres of land has burned in the country, and at least 24 people have died. Hundreds of millions of animals have also perished in the flames. And a WNY business owner is stepping in to help.

Julia Hardick owns Vintage Chameleon, an online clothing and jewelry store. She started the business about ten years ago, when she was just 15.

“I started Vintage Chameleon when I was in high school because I loved dressing kind of crazy, and I could never really find clothes in stores that suited me,” Hardick said.

The business has changed over the they years, but today she sells vintage flannels, some vintage denim, hats, jewelry and more. And she likes spreading kindness through her merchandise.

“I get flannels that are pre-loved; they’re all completely one-of-a-kind, no two are the same, and I print on the back of them,” she said. “Each design is completely hand-drawn by me, and everything revolving around positivity, and happiness and good vibes.”

And she’s now spreading those good vibes about 10,000 miles away. For the month of January, every ‘Be Kind’ flannel she sells, she’ll donate $5 to the WIRES Wildlife Rescue. She’ll also donate $2 from every hat she sells.

“I’m a very big advocate of animal rescue, so that kind of speaks to me.”

It’s estimated about 500 million animals have died in these fires. The Koala is especially at risk because it’s a slow-moving animal, and eats trees which have leaves that are highly flammable. The WIRES Wildlife Rescue is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization, and is helping to save these animals from the horrific flames.

“It seems so devastating to be here, where everything is great, and their world is shattering in front of us,” Hardick said.

For more information on Vintage Chameleon, click here.

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