As if I needed yet another reason to return to Paris, the recent opening of Merci, a charming new large-scale department store in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement, has me ready to throw caution to the wind and hop a plane ASAP. Merci's expansive warehouse space mingles dining, shopping, and lounging areas: it houses a flower shop, an Annick goutal perfumerie [my favorite!], a health-food restaurant, a second-hand book shop, and clothing showrooms featuring designer pieces [by designers such as Stella McCartney and YSL] sold at -- get this -- manufacturer's cost! All of this is punctuated by original art, sculpture, and furniture made specifically for the store. The most impressive thing about the whole endeavor, however, is that after paying overhead, all of the proceeds from Merci go to run a co-op for women in Madagascar. The owners, Marie-France and Bernard Cohen [the founders of the French label Bonpoint], aim to build a workshop for the women, “to give them style and patterns, materials and colors, to help them make items to sell in the markets and then maybe internationally.” Beautiful and ethical? This is an idea I can only hope we will see continue to grow. Merci, Paris!