It's easy to forget and overlook problems in our society and concerns about the environment when we're too busy chasing our day-to-day deadlines. Sometimes, it can feel like we just don't have the time and resources to participate in charities even if we really want to. Thankfully, there are fashion brands that give back to society through the support of their customers. When you shop these brands, you're not just satisfying your fashion taste, you're also extending a helping hand.
H&M Close The Loop
Amidst the world of fast fashion, H&M launches the "Close The Loop" campaign as a response to the growing textile waste happening. They believe that they can bring new life to your old garments. So instead of throwing those tattered clothing from your college days, you can bring them to any H&M store and you'll get a discount voucher on your next purchase. They have already launched collections by recycling the used garments they've collected. Some clothes that are not anymore suitable to be worn are converted to cleaning products and some are turned into new energy. Before you say that this another marketing tactic, however, H&M guarantees that they do not profit from the donated garments and revenues are either donated to charities or invested in studies for recycling innovation.
Kate Spade And Company Foundation
Kate Spade's Foundation focuses on helping women achieve their dreams through grants in three fields: the arts, technology and entrepreneurship. They partner with non-profit organisations that champion the idea of empowering women in their chosen endeavour. Through the years, they have helped hundreds of women. Be inspired by how Kate Spade's foundation has changed lives by watching these videos.
Levi's Waste < Less Campaign
When you think of denim, one of the first brands that comes to mind is Levi's. It's known for its durable, breathable and fashionable denim jeans. But recently, Levi's are starting to incorporate post-consumer waste materials into their iconic jeans. Why? Well, because they've acknowledged that resources are becoming more and more limited and they need to innovate to supply the demand. They found out that by incorporating plastic bottles in their products, they're saving resources yet retaining the quality. They claim that they have recycled 11.9 millions bottles for some of their products like their women's Boyfriend Skinny jeans. So impressive!
Uniqlo Factory Worker Empowerment Project
In the business of fashion, it's a sad fact that only the glamorous parts are celebrated — the designers, the models, the events. We often forget the people behind the stitches, the factory workers who mass-produce the designs that we wear. We've heard of sweatshop horror stories where labourers work in awful conditions, but that's not where it ends. Women who work in the garment industry often do not have access to education, thus, they face challenges with financial management and healthcare even in their personal lives. Since they're one of the biggest retail brands that utilises factories, Uniqlo launched a collection inspired by the Indonesian Batik and Bangladeshi traditional clothing to fund educational programs to empower women that work in their partner factories in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
While most brands launched initiatives, there are some brands that were launched for a cause. Rags2Riches is not just a brand but also a social enterprise. They want to "go beyond charity and beyond aid" and "create meaningful, high value, and sustainable trade." To produce these hand-woven products, Rags2Riches partners with local artisan communities in the Philippines by providing fair trade, skills workshop and other opportunities. Aside from that, their brand promises to create eco-ethical fashion using "upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics." Rags2Riches products are currently distributed in the Philippines, the United States, United Kingdom, the Benelux Union (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), and Switzerland. It's also available for international shipping to other countries.
(Cover photo from: @rags2richesinc)