Fashion can be dismissed as frivolous, but a surge in brands championing a cause turns this concept on its head. There are so many ways brands are giving back, whether it’s empowering men and women to go into business for themselves, supporting a trade steeped in tradition, or creating an accessible platform for artists to share and sell their work.
And it turns out it pays to care. According to Harvard Business Review, companies that practice “conscious capitalism” perform 10 times better than those that don’t. Check out how these three brands are giving back.
Warby Parker has distributed one million glasses to people in need. What you might not know is that the brand doesn’t donate glasses, instead it makes a monthly donation to its nonprofit partners, like VisionSpring, to help train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell affordable glasses in their communities. Warby empowers men and women to make a living, and offer glasses in local styles that look good and work for the wearer’s need. A good lesson in “teach a man to fish.”
The word “lemlem” means to flourish or bloom in Amharic, a language spoken in Ethiopia. Supermodel Liya Kebede started Lemlem in 2007 after discovering that traditional weavers in her native country of Ethiopia were losing their jobs due to a decline in local demand for their goods. Kebede wanted to preserve the art of weaving and inspire economic independence in her home country. Lemlem’s designs are modern, crisp and beautiful, and I’m eyeing one of those scarves.
Chicago-based BucketFeet works to support and promote artists around the world. The brand works with a network of 2,000+ artists in more than 35 countries. Each pair of shoes sports a design created by an artist within the collective. While shopping on the website you can read about the artist who created the design and purchase either the shoe or a print. This cheery summertime design was created by artist Asu Ceren from Istanbul, Turkey.