If you're looking to update your wardrobe for spring and support a good cause at the same time, then look no further than Bicester Village's newly opened DO GOOD pop-up boutique, which you can visit until 21st April.
It offers incredible new and pre-loved pieces by high-end and designer brands including Rixo, Borgo De Nor and Joseph, as well as a curated edit of items donated by influencers and celebs including Erican Davies and Michelle Dockery.
Sales from the pop-up will go towards supporting four charities: Brides do Good, IntoUniversity, Smart Works and World Connect, all of which fight the barriers that continue to affect gender equity and cultural progress.
We sat down with Chantal Khoueiry, who leads the DO GOOD initiative, to chat about it all.
Please talk us through this new pop-up. How did you curate the brands?
Guests visiting Bicester Village are invited to step into our world of DO GOOD through immersive and informative installations. They'll be able to learn more about our DO GOOD programme and the impact of our partner charities. We've designed an immersive and colourful environment to encourage our guests to spread the message through powerful, Instagrammable moments. The boutique is as vibrant as the charities we support – we've installed a massive pink earth in the middle of the boutique to represent our key message, to unlock the future for women and children wherever they are born.
The DO GOOD pop-up exists to do good. So we've consciously curated some of the best brands whose products are true to this mission, be they donations of fabulous new and pre-loved pieces or those that promote sustainability through innovation.
We're delighted to welcome back Smart Works, renowned for their exceptional selection of incredible donations of new and pre-loved pieces. You'll discover well-known brands such as Free People, Ghost, Cefinn, RIXO, Borgo De Nor, Seraphina, Joseph and you might find a treasure generously donated from the wardrobes of stylish fashion insiders including Isabel Spearman, Kelly Eastwood, Erica Davies, Simone Powderly as well as from the actress we all know and love, Michelle Dockery.
And this year, we've introduced the innovative sustainable brand Ecoalf, which uses breakthrough technology to create clothing and accessories made entirely from recycled materials with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled products. Ecoalf uses as few natural resources as possible (materials, energy, and transportation). At the DO GOOD pop-up, we're introducing a special capsule from the very cool 'Because there is no planet B' collection.
Does the Do Good initiative support different campaigns throughout the year?
The Bicester Collection believes in a world where every woman, every child, wherever they are born, can have a future where peace and security, health, education, and economic opportunities are a right – not a privilege. We’ve been consciously promoting women’s empowerment, unlocking the future for women since our very beginning, through every facet of our organisation.
We launched DO GOOD in 2019; it is a year-round commitment, a global programme designed to harness a sense of purpose and belonging amongst our colleagues and guests.
Together with our ten charity partners, we can respond nimbly and effectively to various cultural and humanitarian challenges faced by marginalised women and girls worldwide, such as health crises, water shortages, child marriage, gender-based violence, education and workplace inequality, conflict, and war. Across the Collection, we bring the purpose of DO GOOD to life through a series of innovative campaigns and retail stories designed to engage our guests in our mission and raise awareness, engagement, and funds to support our charity partners to continue their critical work and unlock the futures for millions of women and children worldwide.
Please talk us through the Unlock Her Future campaign
Our commitment to Unlock Futures is more significant than a campaign - it is a movement because advancing the progress of women's rights must be a lifetime commitment if we are to effect real and sustainable progress. We focus on three key areas; we unlock the future for women and children by supporting ten charities that promote and progress the self-empowerment of women and children both locally and globally. The 10 Charities working with DO GOOD are: Adream, Brides do Good, Charity Water, IntoUniversity, Make-A-Wish, Seriousfun, Smart Works, Women for Women International and World Connect. We understand that not only is achieving gender equity one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but it is also fundamental to the future of humanity's progress and well-being.
We unlock the future for emerging talent by partnering with organisations to identify, develop and mentor emerging talent from the retail, fashion, and hospitality industries to advance their careers and businesses. And we unlock the future for our local communities by engaging with them to positively impact their economic, social, cultural, and environmental development.
Throughout the year, we will be launching global quarterly campaigns to Unlock Futures: last month, Fidenza Village in Italy launched NFTs by women artists, with all sales going to Make-A-Wish Italy, and in April, we will be launching a DO GOOD pop-up in Ingolstadt Village, Germany in support of Women for Women International. Looking ahead to the summer, our campaign will be sure to make you smile, watch this space!
What can customers do to support this?
There is no doubt that in 2022, women worldwide are facing some of the most challenging times in our history. Women live through untold unrest and economic instability, not to mention the fallout from a global pandemic, forecast to set the progress of women and children back more than two decades.
We’d love as many guests as possible to visit the DO GOOD boutique at Bicester Village. We’ll be there until 21 April; join us to learn more about each of our charities and support them by either donating money on the tap to donate units or by purchasing the incredible product. Then, take a picture in front of the earth and post it on Instagram with the #LetsDoGoodTogether, tagging Bicester Village, and for the first 10,000 posts, we will donate £1 per post to our charity partners. And if you’re unable to visit the Village, please engage with The Bicester Collection and our charity partners on social media and help us raise awareness so that we can unlock futures together!
Bicester Village has also collaborated with renowned graphic design artist, Karan Singh, who has curated an interactive art trail across the Village, across the facades of the buildings, which are captivating. The artwork will be running throughout the summer.
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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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