7 charitable fashion brands
These are the fashion labels you should be buying from this Ramadan.Neil Churchill July 9, 2014
The Muslim world is approaching the end of the second week of Ramadan, which means here in the Middle East you’ve probably heard and said the words ‘Ramadan Kareem’ more times than you can remember.
It translates as ‘generous Ramadan’ which is fitting, as one of the key principles of the Holy month is charitable giving.
That led us to thinking – what are the most charitable brands? As it turns out, pretty much every major corporation today gives financial contributions to a worthwhile cause.
But aside from some of the world's biggest givers - the likes of Pfizer and Wells Fargo, who shave off excess fat from their multi-billion dollar turnovers - we looked into the most charitable fashion brands – ones who are thinking where they can really make a change, rather than how much money they can throw at a problem.
For the third consecutive year, Davidoff Cool Water is renewing its partnership with the National Geographic Society as it furthers its commitment to preserving the world’s oceans. The fragrance brand has supported Nat Geo’s Pristine Seas programme since 2012, leading five expeditions to remote areas of the ocean, including places such as Pitcairn Islands and New Caledonia.
The online fashion giant has a side brand – ASOS Africa – which runs a Kenyan workshop where local materials are sourced, local workers staff the operation and employees are given a free lunch and child care. The initiative’s aim is to provide a sustainable business to the region with all sales proceeds from ASOS Africa going back into the local economy.
The trendy glasses brand has a simple but effective mission statement: for every pair of glasses sold, they give a pair to someone in need in India. Through a partnership with VisionSpring, every pair of glasses donated by the brand is sent to people in rural villages. The lucky recipient is also given a free eye exam before their prescription is matched to their new frames.
Flip flops perhaps aren’t the item of clothing you would assume were leading a charity initiative, but it’s the back story behind the brand that makes Gandys’ charity statement so compelling. The two British brothers who founded the company lost their parents in the 2004 Asian tsunami. From that tragedy – and a lack of flip flop options – came their idea to launch a company that helped other orphans around the world. Ten per cent of Gandys profits go to ‘Orphans for Orphans’ which supports projects to provide education and health for orphaned children.
The hugely popular shoe brand was launched after its founder witnessed first hand the lack of children with footwear in an Argentinian village. As such, its ‘One for One’ campaign issues a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of TOMS sold. The initiative has extended into the brands eyewear line, with sight-saving surgery and prescription glasses also offered.
Founder of the brand, Kenneth Cole is chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS and matches donations to the foundation dollar for dollar. He has used his position in the fashion industry to controversial effect at times, once leading the brand’s campaign “We All Have AIDS.” Cole is also part of HELP USA, which is the largest provider of jobs, homes and services for the homeless in the US.
By no means is this saving the biggest name to last, since 2005 Gucci has held an annual collection for UNICEF. The luxury brand creates a one-off capsule line to support children charities, donating 25 per cent of its sales. The Italian company has given over $9 billion in less than a decade.