The sustainable fashion community is host to a number of companies that do some great work trying to make the industry a more honest and socially responsible place. The retraced editorial team wanted to share some of our favorite examples with you! 😃
"Best in Class" is a new blog series where we highlight some exemplary examples of companies implementing a variety of transparency and sustainability initiatives. This week, we're diving into the sub-topic NGO Partnerships. We associate transparency and sustainability with doing good, and we're happy to see brands use their power to be a force-for-good, and to help in areas where it's needed most. This week we share 9 fashion brands (in no particular order) with compelling and impactful NGO partnerships.
Lacoste is known for its polos with its famous crocodile logo, placed on the left side of the shirt, right above the heart. For their limited-edition polo collection in 2018, the crocodile gave up it's the spot to ten species threatened with extinction. The proceeds of this collection went to the International Union for Conservation of Nature to protect wildlife worldwide. The number of polos produced for each animal corresponds to the remaining population sizes in the wild, which is shockingly low. Although all the polos sold out quickly, you can still participate and donate to the Save Our Species program on Lacoste's website.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton has partnered with Unicef since 2016. The brand is committed to raising awareness and funds for UNICEF to support the most vulnerable children around the world. In continuation of its #MAKEAPROMISE campaign, Louis Vuitton has launched the LVforUNICEF collection. The newest addition to this collection is a Silver Lockit bracelet designed by Virgil Abloh. The Lockit is inspired by Georges Vuitton' tumbler lock, invented in 1890, to protect clients' most precious belongings. It symbolizes protection and care and seals the brand's promise to help children. Louis Vuitton donates $200 to UNICEF for each sale of the bracelet. Since the launch of the Silver Lockit, Louis Vuitton has raised nearly ten million dollars for UNICEF to help children at risk.
RAMÉ Ethical Wear is a brand that was born after the founder's - Marta Balagué Mas - sabbatical experience across exotic southeast Asia. RAMÉ is based on a fair trade commerce philosophy and offers limited collections to reduce overproduction. Indonesia is the world's second-biggest polluter and Bali, where the brand's production is based, has a huge waste problem. RAMÉ wants to move against this global problem by supporting R.O.L.E. Foundation and Bali WISE, two local NGOs on Bali. For each item sold, 5% of the profit will be donated to these organizations to reduce ocean waste, protect the environment, and empower marginalized women, as a means to develop sustainable communities in Indonesia.
British slow fashion brand Thought strives to be thoughtful in every way. Since Thought is catered towards dressing working women, it only made sense to collaborate with Smart Works, an impact charity that supports aspiring, out-of-work women – with interview training and head-to-toe dressing. Every season, Thought donates all unworn production samples and adds a selection of its current collection to enable Smart Works to set their clients up for success.
PacSun's elaborate Me to We campaign is aimed at driving widespread social change. The new sustainable collection connected to the campaign uses recycled fabrics, eliminates incremental waste and pollution, and helps to reduce PacSuns' carbon footprint. Moreover, with every Me to We purchase, you help change the life of a child or family in a Rajasthan, India. The project is in collaboration with the brand's charity partner, We Charity, and is founded on the pillars: education, water, health, agriculture, and opportunity. Essential resources are delivered that work to break the cycle of poverty and create real, lasting change in the community. When you buy a Me to We item, you can even see how your purchase contributes to this. In addition to this, the WE Social Entrepreneurs program addresses challenges faced by local communities in California by empowering young people to develop purpose-driven businesses with innovative ideas. Check out this awesome video that shares the personal stories of the teens involved.
French brand Sézane has its very own philanthropic program, DEMAIN, that has long-term partnerships with 3 NGOs to help children whose prospects are unfairly disadvantaged. On the 21st of every month, Sézane releases a special new design, from which 100% of the profits will go directly to DEMAIN's partners Le Voix De l'Enfant, Démos, and Sport dans la Ville. On the 21st of every month, 10% of Sézane profits that day will be donated to projects supported by DEMAIN. Furthermore, Sézane's charity boutique in Paris supports socially inclusive workshops and resells clothing items, of which all profits go to DEMAIN. So far, more than 3 million euros have been raised for the NGOs through the program. To increase transparency, Sézane has shared the balance sheet of funds donated to DEMAIN and its full impact.
As a female sportswear brand, Fabletics has a special connection with women. This is reflected in their partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign. Girl Up is an initiative that encourages girls to stand up for, support, and empower other girls all across the world. The initiative's actions are helping improve the lives of girls living in remote and economically disadvantaged parts of the world- where gender inequality is a serious issue, and being a girl is not easy. By raising funds and advocating for policy changes and projects that support skills development and leadership opportunities, Girl Up is all-in for girls empowerment. Fabletics has donated a portion of all proceeds from their limited-edition Demi Lovato and #GirlAlmighty collections to Girl Up's SchoolCycle which helps provide bikes to girls in developing countries so they can get to school and continue their education. Fabletics also works with Girl Up on a local level, starting at the Fabletics HQ, where the brand has hosted Southern California Girl Up Ambassadors for an empowerment and leadership building day.
Pala Eyewear, a sustainable sunglass brand, has its roots in Africa and has the goal of restoring vision in the continent. With every sale, proceeds go towards grants for eye care projects in Africa via NGO Vision Aid Overseas. Since launching, Pala Eyewear has changed the lives of thousands of sight-impaired people and enhanced their ability to earn an income by supporting them with a pair of prescription glasses. Things don't stop there. Pala Eyewear works alongside a Ghanaian-based NGO, Care4basket, to support weaving communities to make its protective sunglasses cases. The cases are woven by artisans from deprived communities using traditional methods and utilize plastic that would otherwise be wasted. The production process provides income to the artisans to help them empower themselves whilst upholding traditional crafts. See their whole story come together in this neat video.
H&M first joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund back in 2010 on an ocean-themed collection, and after that engaged in a partnership with the organization in 2011 to cover issues like water management and environmental strategies to make H&M's activities more sustainable. In 2018, H&M launched a sustainable kids' collection with comfy items made of organic cotton with illustrations of at-risk species such as tigers, elephants, and polar bears. WWF hopes the designs will help raise awareness among young consumers, with ten percent of each sale donated to the organization's endangered species program.
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