Fashionable Wears: Look Good, Do Good
I have always been a fan of companies like TOMS that empower consumers to have a social impact. When you purchase a pair of their shoes, they donate a pair to those in need. And lucky for those in need, these companies are on the rise. These one-for-one model and similar campaigns are everywhere! Maybe it’s just because I’ve just become more aware or socially conscious myself, but I’d like to think that the movement is gaining momentum. Socially conscious promotions by companies such as TOMS, FEED, and Sevenly are demonstrating the amazing potential that I, as a consumer, have to make an impact.
Now here is something to chew on. It is possible to have your entire wardrobe consist of products that “do good”! I know it sounds crazy, but not only can everything you wear have a social impact, but it can still be the fashionable and stylish look you’ve always wanted to flaunt. Don’t believe me? Check out this sample outfit I put together from my soon-to-be wardrobe.
1. White Maxi Skirt from Indigenous
This white, elegant maxi skirt is from Indigenous. Indigenous has a clear mission: to elevate artisans in the poorest regions of South America to world renowned status in the handicraft textile market- all while preserving its rich cultural heritage. Indigenous works with several fair trade field organizing teams and quality control centers that coordinate over 300 knitting and hand-looming artisan work groups.
2. Black Tank from Pact
Tuck this sleek black tank with lace into the white skirt for a simple, sophisticated look. PACT supplies this tank and several other cozy and comfortable undergarment clothing. Each season, PACT designs a new collection of clothing inspired by someone doing something good- whether it’s about clean water, sustainable food, or affordable housing.
3. Gold Bracelet from Raven + Lily
Accessorize the look with this beautiful bracelet, which is handmade using recycled metals such as melted bullet casings and vintage coins. The company, Raven + Lily, empowers HIV+ women in Ethiopia by returning all of the proceeds to fund school scholarships and micro-enterprise training for women and children.
4. Sandals from Sseko Designs
Don’t stop with the bracelet. Complete the look with these unique Sseko Sandals. Sseko Sandals are produced in Uganda and provide opportunities to academically gifted women to attend University. Sseko also partners with an artisan group in Kenya who produce Sseko’s leather tote bags and clutches- just in case you want to go for all-Sseko accessories.
5. Warby Parker Sunglasses
Nowadays, you can’t leave the house without a pair of Warby Parker sunglasses. Warby Parker follows the “buy a pair, give a pair” model and even takes it one step further. Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring, who then train low-income entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and sell the affordable glasses to those in need. This summer Warby Parker hit the huge milestone of 500,000 glasses distributed!
6. Infinity Scarf from Connected In Hope
This lavender infinity scarf is the final accessory to this fashionable look. This scarf, supplied by Connect in Hope, was hand loomed by an Ethiopian woman named Gete (I found her amazing story on the website). Weaving creates a sustainable, predictable and fair-trade income for these women, and 100% of the profits from sales are reinvested in programs that benefit the women and their families.
I hate to say I told you so… But you CAN look good WHILE doing good. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Take advantage of the innovative companies starting up right around you and seize the fashionable opportunity to make a difference.