And how you can contribute yourself
A while back, we rounded up the most ethical fashion brands, in other words the ones who recognised how important sustainable fashion is to their consumers, such as ASOS, Monsoon and Stella McCartney.
Now we thought we'd take a look at the charitable fashion brands that give back, whether it's by donating proceeds of their sales to charities, or getting involved in projects like girls' education. Scroll down to find out how your favourite high street and designer brands are making a difference, and to shop items that will help.
Following the success of its La Femme t-shirt last year (where all profits went to UN Women, United Nations, working to protect women’s rights since 2010, setting up projects to educate and create awareness about women’s political and economic autonomy), and to mark its 5th anniversary, Sézane has launched Demain. The charity initiative will help Sézane raise funds of over 1 million Euros in 2018, to go towards concrete projects that will improve access to education, culture, and equal opportunities for children around the world.
On the 21st of each month, a new design will be introduced, the profits from which will go directly to the partner charities for DEMAIN. In addition, 10% of sales that day will be donated to the projects supported by DEMAIN.
Shop now: DEMAIN t-shirt for £37.50 from Sézane
Maje x Greta Bellamacina x Women for Women International
Maje has just opened their new pop up on Regent Street and to celebrate, Maje has collaborated with British poet Greta Bellamacina on a selection of limited edition holiday gifts embellished with her handwritten poems, that will be available exclusively at the Regent Street store. All profits from the sales of these items will go to Women for Women International.
The secret's all in the name here - 90% of Ninety Percent's proceeds go towards charitable causes and the craftsmen in Bangladesh and Turkey behind every piece. Launched in 2018, their minimal collection is full of wardrobe staples you'll be reaching for again and again. Plus, they're big fans of unfussy material like jersey so casual chic dressing has never been easier.
Shop now: Deep V Plaited Jersey Maxi Dress for £160 from Ninety Percent
H&M Conscious Collection
While we’re on the subject of sustainable fashion, H&M’s Conscious Collection is all about creating clothing using recycled fabrics. 26% of H&M’s clothes are now made with sustainable materials, with a goal each year of increasing that number.
Shop now: Bonded dress for £149.99 from H&M
ASOS Made in Kenya
For its Made in Kenya collections, ASOS’ design team partners up with the SOKO Kenya initiative, a charity whose goal is to produce ethical fashion while tackling social issues such as unemployment, prostitution and AIDS. The SS17 collection saw drawings from a local primary school printed on kimonos and t-shirts.
Farfetch, Chinti & Parker and Women 4 Women
This triple collaboration between e-tailer Farfetch, Chinti & Park and the non-profit Women 4 Women is dedicated to supporting women everywhere in the name of gender equality. The four piece collection is pretty chic too, we're big fans of the sweater below.
New York designer Coach, known for its bags and accessories, has a partnership with the charity Step Up, which fights for teenage girls’ right to education in under-resourced communities. The Coach Foundation hopes to put thousands of teenage girls in touch with powerful women to mentor them.
Kate Spade New York
Kate Spade New York has taken a different approach to the ‘per-product donation’ with its On Purpose initiative: it has actually fully integrated ethical suppliers in its production chain. The Rwandan supplier, ADC, is owned by its own employees, and provides full-time employment for more than 150 people who work eight-hour days, five days a week, 12 months a year, with competitive salaries and benefits like three weeks of paid leave, sick days, paid maternity leave and health care. 99% of those employees are women aged 18-60.
TOMS is well known for its One For One initiative: for each pair you buy, they donate a pair to children in need. But what you might not know is that the brand also helps restore sight to those with impaired vision, provide safe drinking water and a safe childbirth for people in over 70 countries around the world.
YOOX x We Are Handsome
The exclusive collaboration was launched on YOOX.com; the YOOX Loves The Reef swimwear collection is an exciting charity project aimed at supporting the preservation and restoration of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. The project comes to life on YOOXYGEN, YOOX’s socially and environmentally responsible destination.
Matt & Nat Hope Initiative
Vegan bag company Matt & Nat has teamed up with several charities with its Hope bag. The idea? For every bag you purchase, 100% of the proceeds go to a charity that you pick from the dropdown on the product page, which include Water.org, Girls Action Foundation and Friends of the Earth.
Shop now: Hope bag for £50 from Matt & Nat
Astley Clarke’s Gurl Talk
Astley Clarke have teamed up with British model, feminist activist and muse Adwoa Aboah to create this pendant, designed in-house for Adwoa’s Gurl Talk charity, which provides an inclusive platform for young women to openly address their experiences and issues in a safe environment. It features the red enamel Gurls Talk lips logo, decorated with a cultured white sapphire tooth stud, and the charity name in its 18 carat yellow gold vermeil chain. 100% of the proceeds go to the charity.
And while there may be a misconception that charity fashion isn't stylish, we think the above will prove you wrong, and these are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more international brands out there that give back.
Which are your favourite charitable fashion brands? Do share them with us on Twitter @MarieClaireUK
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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