Fashion Philanthropy: Fashion Is More Than Just A Pretty Face
Fashion philanthropy has made its mark in the fashion industry for years now. Brands such as, Este Laude, Alex and Ani, TOMS, BCBGMaxAzria and even Ralph Lauren have become well known for their efforts to help charities. Fashion has always been targeted as the industry that is full of negativity including, being strictly skinning, askew a portrayal of women, materialistic and even child labor sweatshops. That is not what the industry stands for. Fashion philanthropy is another great reason why the industry exists today.
While some may assume that brands do it for popularity or to bring in more sales that may not exactly ring true. The brand TOMS alone was created solely for the purpose of the “One for One” campaign to bring shoes to children in villages across the world. After visiting a village in need of children’s shoes, founder, Blake Mycoskie, decided that he would create something to match every pair of shoes for a child in need; this has been a very successful brand. Consumers not only love the comfortable shoes but their purpose.
Although not all companies are into fashion philanthropy for being noticed, they do help their sales when it comes to consumers purchasing more based on their fashion philanthropy, which in turn helps the charities greater. There have also been companies that have been vindictive in using fashion philanthropy as a way of damage control. American Apparel in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy, let all who were “bored during the storm” in the states of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, take 20% of any merchandise they bought considering they may have lost a lot during the storm. This is an example of using fashion philanthropy in a ruthless way. Not only were the consumers in the state suffering, American Apparel offered just these states a charitable 20% off for 36 hours which was great, but with the intent that they were bored during the storm just to gain back any lost revenue in those areas.
Fashion philanthropy can be a great thing for any brand or company but it can also cause backlash for the company depending on how the company approaches philanthropy. Fashion philanthropy offers a great service to the charity it is helping but also for the company, sales and employees of the company. It helps provide concrete support wherever it may be needed even if it is with fair wages, sustainability, personal experience, and allows the customers to give back at an affordable price. The benefits are undeniably large for companies and their chosen charities so allowing the industry to be seen not only for body types and expensive products is an influence for those around it, who question it.
Signed Opinionated Fashionisita- Giving to fashion