The fashion industry is vast. Right now, I’d say the brands that are doing exceptionally well are either designer, selling sex, or selling a luxurious lifestyle. And of course they’re doing well. In a capitalistic world, consumerism wins. We want to be rich, we want to be hot, we want to appear as if we have it all! And I’ll be honest, I fall for it too. I love some of those brands; we grew up with these brands. Just because their marketing campaigns and goals are mostly about profit, doesn’t mean they don’t have some nice ass shoes #amirite?
Because yesterday was the first day of Fall, it marks the first day of new trends. Which means what?
It’s time to justify buying new clothes. And although I’ve posted some of my Fall Favorites, I also want to take the time to acknowledge some brands that restore humanity in the world and give you some perspective on how your apparel can support a greater cause. I find these brands inspiring because the people behind them aren’t just thinking “how do we make people need this product so we can make millions”, but are also thinking “how can we make this world a less shitty place?”
So here are 5 brands that I’ve chosen with different causes, local and global. There are so many more brands with a philanthropic voice, but the ones I chose really resonate with me or I feel that you, my audience, would enjoy.
Everyone knows Toms. They were the bees knees in my high school days and continue to grow with their philanthropy and products. Did you know they sell coffee now too? I’m sure everyone also knows about their One for One program which provides a pair of Toms to someone in need with each purchase. But that’s not all their doing anymore. They also provide sight, water, safe birth, and anti-bullying programs. They provide hundreds of jobs for people through their giving projects and provide funds to start ups who also want to make a difference.
2. DUDE. be nice
I was graced with the opportunity to intern with DUDE. be nice for a Summer and it’s a lifestyle brand that really stuck with me. The message of the brand seems simple but it’s perfect; it’s a small reminder to all of us to choose to be positive and kind. On a larger scale, DUDE. be nice gives back to the community by helping schools show their appreciation for someone special in their lives. The CEO, Brent Camalich, meets with the students to devise a special surprise for this generous person. Working locally to create a positive environment is important with the next generation growing up in a time where you can easily be exposed and tormented with a click of a button. Here’s an example of what DUDE. be nice has done:
3. The Giving Keys
The concept that The Giving Keys created is pretty cool. “Embrace your word, then pay it forward to a person you feel needs the message more than you”. It’s a small (/pricey) gift that means a lot and brings people closer because it’s another way we can be there for someone even when we don’t have the words. They also employ people coming out of homelessness. I love the idea of helping those who come from a seemingly perpetual and difficult situation. Sometimes people need a giving hand to get back on their feet – there’s no shame in it.
4. Sseko Designs
Many African countries deal with corruption and are stuck in the poverty trap. Sseko is a brand based in Uganda providing employment opportunities and scholarships for women who want to continue onto university. They also partner with other organizations in Africa to help grow their economy. We have a lot of equality to fight for at home but these women need more help than we do. Companies like Sseko provide hope and more importantly, a chance to live above the poverty line.
5. Purpose Jewelry
“Purpose jewelry is handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. 100% of the proceeds benefit International Sanctuary, a non profit that provides holistic care for young women rescued from sex trafficking.” How great is that?! The charitable part, I mean. They have helped over 300 women in Mumbai and Orange County. Purpose was created by International Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to providing mentoring programs, dental/health care, and much more to women in need.
I don’t want anyone to feel guilty for not putting any thought into what you buy. If you like it, buy it. But maybe from time to time, we can make the switch and wear something with meaning. These products would make great gifts. If your friend is passionate about a cause, look it up, maybe there’s a brand with the same passion.
There are so many ways to be a part of a cause. If you don’t have time to volunteer or don’t want to strictly donate, then buy yourself a shirt and someone will do the dirty work for you.
So happy Fall, happy shopping, happy helping 🙂