Fashionable People Doing Questionable Things

Hi fashionable peeps!

Marilou’s pal “The Busy Neighbour” here dropping in while she’s out of the country getting some much needed R’ and R’, family time and love. Normally I post about my loco life schedule, but today I wanted to write on a different and more important topic.

In the 32 minutes a day I have to myself (at least that’s how it feels), one of the things I enjoy is reading fashion blogs and news sites, not just to see the latest styles, but to see what is happening in the politics of the fashion world. I am sure everyone reading this heard of Galliano’s hate filled ranted a few months ago and many of you also saw Kenneth Cole’s untimely use of a country in turmoil to promote his brand. Really Kenneth Cole? Using civil protests and the toppling of a government for your own sake? While left feeling disgusted at these events (and many other ludicrous comments by some in the fashion industry), I couldn’t help but wonder…is everyone in this field out of touch with what’s happening in the rest of the world?

With this in mind I wanted to do some work to find out who in the design world is doing interesting things to make our small globe a better place. So – I am sharing with you some work I discovered that I love, and think is important and helps show that you can both be fashionable, but contribute to making the world a better place.

Gucci, one of Unicef’s corporate partners:
In 2010, Gucci donated $1 million to celebrate five years in partnership with the United Nations organization. In the past they have also released special edition bags, donating 25% of the profits to Unicef. They have also done fundraising events, and have donated over $9 million since the partnership began.

Bulgari, supporter of Save the Children:

Bulgari has donated millions of dollars to Save the Children’s educational programs. The website donates a portion of sales from special edition rings to Save the Children’s programs. Their partnership began in 2009 and they’ve already donated $9 million.

More info available here:   

Ralph Lauren, partnering with the Michael J. Fox Foundation

Parkinson’s is a cause near and dear to my heart, so this initiative I find particularly great. Especially since Ralph Lauren is donating 100% of the net proceeds of two necklaces to Fox’s organization.
When purchasing products where a portion of the funds go to charity, it’s up to you to decide questions like – if you support the charity, would the charity benefit more if you donated to them directly, and what stipulations come with the funds attached to my purchase? Often these charitable campaigns spend millions on advertising, but only give a small and disproportionate percentage of the sales to the charity. You only have to look as far as the Gap’s (RED) campaign for criticism and to question the sustainability of initiatives like this.

Personally, I believe the decision ultimately comes down to you – if you’re already looking for a $60 tshirt, why not buy one where a percentage of the funds go to a charity doing great work? However, if you are looking to donate to a cause you care about, it’s wise to look into the most efficient way for the charity to benefit from your donation.

PS – Two fashion points to the first person that names what I am referencing in the title of this post – without the help of google!!! No cheating!

The Busy Neighbour

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