Sometimes I think fashion gets a bad rap. It is seen as superficial, ostentatious, superfluous and even selfish! Of course I don’t agree with these statements. For me fashion is art, creativity, inspiration, beauty and community (just to name a few things!). And guess what— fashion does give back! In fact, many designers donate large portions of profit or partake in a multitude of initiatives to impact the world around them. Additionally, there exist a multitude of non-profits that are using fashion to change community.
Don’t believe me? Check out these organizations:
Fashion Fights Poverty: According to their website, “FFPs mission is to raise awareness for initiatives that encourage and support creative, effective, and sustainable means of challenging poverty. We believe that the industries of fashion, textiles, and design offer unique and effective opportunities for designers, craftsmen and consumers alike to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through trade, skill-building and community empowerment.” They are a 501(c)(3) that achieves their goals by rewarding designers who have worked for fair trade, environmentally responsible practices and equal compensation.
Donate My Dress: This is a campaign that urges girls to donate their gently used special occasion dresses to others who cannot afford them. This group is part of the Hearst Teen Network and helps to organize dress drives throughout the country. I love this organization, because it is such a self-esteem boost for teens to be able to attend special events (prom, formals, sweet sixteens, etc.) in a dress that they feel great in!
Art For Progress: Okay, I admit it. This 501(c)(3) is not solely about fashion. In fact it works with several other art forms including, visual arts, music and film. The website explains, “AFP seeks to increase the visibility of talented artists, to raise the awareness of the importance of arts education in public schools, and to support those same arts through its comprehensive arts education program.” Currently based in New York the group looks to make the arts accessible to the youth as well as helping them to develop marketable skills.
I would love to know about more fashion organizations like these! Please feel free to share them in your comments….