Brands That Gives Back

31 Jan

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear of fashion brands giving back, is Toms.  Toms motto of “One for One”, meaning for every pair of shoes they sell they give a pair to a child in a developing country, caught on like wildfire and shot the brand to popularity in recent years.  It’s always refreshing to see successful companies giving back to the world, while at the same time involving their customers in the process.  Buying that new pair of shoes or shirt always feels a lot more rewarding when you know you have helped someone in need at the same time.  Believe me, I know from selling about a million (okay, maybe not a million, but it seemed like it) pairs of Toms at my last job.  When the occasional customer would come in not knowing about the Toms philosophy, it was great to see how excited they would get knowing that by buying a pair of shoes for themselves, they would also be responsible for donating a pair to a child who desperately needs them.  Giving back always feels good, and it’s a great idea for fashion brands to incorporate the idea into their business.  So that got me thinking, what are some other brands, besides Toms, that use their platform to support causes and give their customers a chance to be involved?

Marc Jacobs came out with these cute graphic tees ($35) in which 100% of the proceeds are given to Aid for AIDS Intl (AFAI).  The shirts feature drawings made by children living with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean.  What a great opportunity for the everyday fashionista to be the proud-owner of something Marc Jacobs at an affordable price, while at the same time supporting an amazing cause.  By supporting this charity, the brand not only got great feedback from both the press and the public, they expanded their customer base by making them affordable and by being proactive in supporting AFAI.

Another philanthropic brand, Krochet Kids International, not only has great apparel, but is entirely devoted to empowering women in Northern Uganda and Peru.  Each hat that Krochet Kids Intl. sells is handmade by one of 150 women in either of the two locations, and includes a tag with that woman’s name on it.  The owner of the hat is encouraged to head to the website, and has the opportunity to personally thank the woman who made their hat.  What a great idea!!  Not only do these women have jobs to help support their families, they are given an education and mentorship in order to lift them out of poverty and end their dependence on outside aid.  Krochet Kids Intl. has also recently joined the Instagram sensation, providing a place for customers to share their new apparel.  From a PR perspective, they have done a great job using social media to involve their customers with their cause by including them in every step of the process.

These brands, and many more, have taken a great opportunity to give back and involve their customers in their business.  By using social media they are keeping the world updated with their progress, and showing them how their customers have made an impact.  I think it’s a fantastic way for fashion companies to build on connections with consumers and expand their customer base, while at the same time providing help to those who need it.

 

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