You know that feeling when wearing something that makes you feel really good? You just feel powerful, or pretty, or confident, or approachable? Well, what if you could add another layer to these feelings by knowing that you actually contributed to a good cause because of your clothes? By buying and supporting products from the constantly increasing range of charitable brands, you can add that layer of good feeling to your clothes while also contributing to these companies successfully making differences. Here we are highlighting five companies who have made it their mission to use the power of fashion to make a social impact in the world.
TOMS: This may be the the company that people know best, the pioneers in the charitable fashion industry. Although the brand has grown and increased not only their product selection but also their philanthropic reach, it all started with shoes. With a simple “one for one” policy, Toms started out with the business model of giving one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. Partnered with what they call “giving partners,” which are non-profit organizations from around the world, TOMS has worked to make this promise of “one for one” a reality. Since then, TOMS has broadened from selling just shoes to sunglasses, bags and apparel, while widening their impact to cover improved access to water, sight, safe birth, and bullying prevention around the world. Our favorite product right now are the new pale pink suede deconstructed alpargatas.
Love Your Melon: This brand sells its signature beanies and was started by two friends at the University of Saint Paul in Minnesota in 2012, with a goal to give a hat to all children battling cancer. Since then it has reached across the nation and 761 colleges have campus crews (Berkeley included!!). Each campus crew works to raise money to donate to Love Your Melon’s non-profit partners, who are working towards ending pediatric cancer. For each beanie sold, 50% of the profits also go to the partners, and for every hat bought, a child with cancer receives one in return. Our favorite product right now is the Flamingo Beanie.
Warby Parker: Warby Parker started on the simple platform that glasses are too expensive for the fact that they are an essential part of life for many people. One of the founders of the company lost his glasses on a backpacking trip and spent his entire first semester of grad school squinting because the cost of getting a new pair of glasses was worse than the agony of unclear vision. The company’s core value became accessible sight for everyone. Because of this, they not only created an inexpensive yet high quality product, they also partner with non-profits like VisionSpring, to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, one gets donated to someone in need. Our favorite product right now is the Bennet Sunglasses — Flash Mirrored Violet Lenses.
Roma Boots: Roma’s mission statement is plain and simple, “Give Poverty the Boot.” The company sells rain boots, and for every pair of boots sold, one goes to a child in need. Additionally, ten percent of all proceeds go towards funding educational initiatives through the Roma foundation, their own charitable organization. The premise of their company is not just to help the urgent and current state of poverty by providing boots. They also make a long term difference by providing education to eventually help end the vicious cycle of poverty. Our fave pick is the Roma Chelsea Lace Eggplant.
The Elephant Pants: Elephant pants, a common sight on the Berkeley campus, are not only cute and comfortable, but actually work towards a great cause. A portion of all proceeds goes to the International Elephants Foundation, which serves to four categories of focus: anti-poaching and security, habitat protection, finding a cure, and preventing human-elephant conflict. Our fave pick right now is the Seree Gray Cross back Yoga Crop Top.