Fashion For Good

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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….



  1. I’ve really got to get around to donating my old prom dress one of these days . . .

  2. I love that you are looking into all the ways that fashion gives back. I’ve always been impressed by the way the fashion community bands together for special fund raisers in times of need; I do think it’s a giving community!

    xo Mary Jo

  3. I personally think this is a Fantastic Idea….. a simple little thing by donating something you don’t really have use for any more or because you are tired of it or simply….. to help! can make SUCH a difference to someone else’s life! Turn your ‘trash’ into someone else’s ‘treasure’! (Trash isn’t the right word, but I think you will all get ‘my drift’.

  4. I have considered donating my wedding dress to an event that happens around here once a year but haven’t quite been ready to part with it yet! I have a feeling I will be doing it soon though because I would love for someone else to benefit from it instead of it just hanging in my closet!

  5. Donate My Dress sounds wonderful! I really don’t think much about fashion… never have. For me, it’s just jeans and a tshirt. I did donate my old formal dresses to Salvation Army a while ago.

  6. Dress for Success is another good one! It’s an organization that helps underprivileged women “dress for success” by supplying nice outfits, suits, and accessories for interviews!

  7. Great way to look at fashion! For me, fashion is art too… but I understand how people can believe it’s superficial… however, if they knew about all the existing organizations to help people, I guess they would change their mind…

  8. It’s ashame that the main industry has cast a reputation of superficiality on fashion. Most of us aren’t in that spectrum, and it’s good to know that fashion does give back. I also think of it as art and creative expression.

    Shasie of Live Life in Style
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  9. Happyaunt says:

    We took former gowns to a camp for disabled children. We would help them make, what we thought would be, minor alterations. We removed sleeves, added sashes, adjusted length and did amazingly creative clothing with scissors and safety pins. The pride on their faces as they strutted (or were carried) down the red carpet with what they designed, was worth every moment. Fashion can make everyone feel good. Love that the world of fashion is so generous!

  10. I have heard of some of these and know of a couple of local similar organizations as well. Great post with a wonderful message. :-)

  11. What a great idea. We have something similar here called the Cinderella Project where people donate their gowns and local business donate their services like hairstyling, manicure, limo…..for girls who can’t afford to go to their prom.

  12. I’ve heard about projects like Donate my Dress. And when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was an organization that collected suits and other “interview” style clothes for men and women trying to get jobs. That way they could dress to impress… making the best first impression so that they had a better chance at getting employed.

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