Fashion makes a difference: How labels support charitable causes – words Al Woods
Lately, an increasing number of fashion labels have been stepping up to fulfil their corporate and social responsibilities.
With news of how fast fashion is polluting the environment and harmful unethical practices by brands, brands and designers must take the initiative to combat these issues and work towards becoming more ethical. With renowned designers such as Gucci campaigning to tackle societal issues, we ask – who else is making a difference? Here, we explore how fashion labels have been supporting charitable causes:
Stella McCartney – Sustainable fashion
One of the key talking points in the industry at the moment is the harmful environmental effects of fast fashion. Using the latest in eco-friendly technology, Stella McCartney changes attitudes to sustainable fashion and demonstrates how eco-fashion can be done.
Instead of using materials such as leather or fur, McCartney uses a range of technology to design new materials. Take her latest swimwear range for example, in partnership with Adidas. The swimsuits are made from Lycra Xtra Lite fabric, which is resistant to chlorine and uses recycled Parley Ocean Plastic yarn. Stella announced her partnership with Colorifix in April 2018, she is working closely with them to reduce the environmental impact of the dyeing process. They do this through isolating the DNA that creates colour in nature and uses 10 times less water than the traditional process.
Lacoste – Save Our Species
In 2018, Lacoste stepped up to help endangered animals around the world with the Save Our Species campaign. As part of this, they replaced their classic crocodile logo with images of endangered species on their classic polo shirts. The campaign was started to mark a three-year partnership between Lacoste and the International Union for Conservation of Nature — whose mission it is to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature.
So, how did Lacoste choose which animals to feature? The animals that were selected for the campaign were carefully chosen from 10 of the most threatened species on the planet; the Vaquita, Burmese Turtle, Northern Sportive Lemur, Javan Rhino, Kakapo, Cao-vit Gibbon, California Condor, Saola, Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada Ground Iguana. The limited-edition shirts were unveiled at Paris Fashion Week and sold out almost instantly. The money from the shirts was donated towards the fight for wildlife conservation worldwide.
Charles Tyrwhitt – The Prince’s Trust
Men’s suit specialists Charles Tyrwhitt have raised money for the Prince’s Trust charity. This is a charity in the United Kingdom, founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales. It focuses on helping vulnerable people get their lives back on track and find work. The brand released a special collection of scarves, ties, umbrellas and of course their iconic shirts — all dedicated to raising funds for the charity. Where each item in the collection is sold, £5 is donated to The Prince’s Trust.
The brand have supported the charity for several years. In fact, business founder, Nick Wheeler, raised over 100,000 when he completed an 874-mile bike ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in the UK. And, members of the company attend and recruit individuals through The Prince’s Trust ‘Get Hired’ Days. This is where young people who have been through The Trust’s programmes have found themselves ready to move into work and are actively looking for work.
Michael Kors – Watch Hunger Stop
In 2013, Michael Kors began the Watch Hunger Stop campaign. According to the Michael Kors website, they’ve helped the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) deliver 15 million meals to children in need.
The label teamed up with actress Kate Hudson last year to help children in Cambodia. There are many ways that people can donate — through the purchase of a timepiece, a Snapchat using a store geofilter or through posting a photo wearing a Watch Hunger Stop T-shirt. Each action donates a certain amount of money and corresponding meals to children in need — the programme supports 16 million children over 70 different countries.
Gucci – Tighter gun control
Gucci hit the headlines in 2018 when they donated half a million dollars to support gun control. The brand announced that it would do so following a tragic school shooting in February last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It’s possible that Gucci’s generous donation was motivated by the death of Gucci salesman, Javier Jorge-Reyes, and injury of Gucci store manager, Leonel Melendez Jr — both caused by gun violence.
Talking about the March For Our Lives campaign, a statement for Gucci said: “We stand with March For Our Lives and the fearless students across the country who demand that their lives and safety become a priority. We have all been directly or indirectly impacted by these senseless tragedies, and Gucci is proud to join this movement with a donation of $500,000.”