Social Good: Why Giving Back Never Goes Out of Style
| By: Mae Johnson
That’s right, if there’s one trend that will likely outlast the fashion seasons, it’s the idea of giving back to the community. Many luxury fashion brands are well aware that, in today’s enterprising world, it is no longer enough to be a trendsetter. Instead, consumers demand more. They want companies that are ethical and socially responsible. They prefer to support businesses in which giving back is part of their brand DNA, the likes of TOMS whose “one for one” business model has helped sparked a charitable movement not only in the fashion world.
Why is Giving Back Important?From a bottom line standpoint, there are many benefits for businesses to give back to their communities, and there are several research reports to support this. According to Project ROI, employee engagement increases up to 7.5% and employee productivity increases at 13% when a company has a well-designed corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. The data further suggests employee turnover decreases by 50% while revenue increases by as much as 20% as a result of having a CSR program. Millennials are considered a big market driver behind the giving back movement. According to a Cone Millennial Cause study, 56 percent of millennials are likely to refuse to work for a company that is not socially or environmentally responsible. In contrast, 79% are likely to purchase a product from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible while 66% will recommend products or services if a company is known to be charitable. Given all these data, it is not surprising that the fashion world is taking notice and luxury brands are ramping up their charitable initiatives.
Luxury Brands With Giving Back InitiativesIn the world of haute couture, there is a certain expectation from high-end consumers for upscale brands to use their global presence for the greater good.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton responds to this challenge through a partnership with UNICEF. Earlier of 2016, the brand launched a global initiative to help raise funds for children in need through their silver Lockit pendant and bracelet, which was inspired by George Vuitton’s original lock design from 1890. With the trending #MakeAPromise on social media, Louis Vuitton encouraged its luxury-loving clientele to get involved and be part of the giving back initiative. But Louis Vuitton is not the only brand to give back specifically for the benefit of children. Jewelry designer David Yurman once partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to help raise funds for children’s hospitals across the U.S.
Another luxury brand that gives back is Christian Dior, which donated a percentage of the proceeds of their “We Should All Be Feminists” tee to Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization founded by artist Rihanna which supports global education. The statement shirt was part of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first Christian Dior collection for Spring-Summer 2017. Another brand that deeply cares about women empowerment is Chanel. Through Fondation Chanel, the luxury house brand supports innovative development projects geared toward the advancement of young girls and women.
Similar to Christian Dior which partnered with a celebrity, popular shoe designer Christian Louboutin created a limited-edition shoe called the “Marchevekel” to benefit Bring Change 2 Mind, a charitable organization founded by actress Glenn Close in 2010 to help raise awareness and understanding about mental illness.
But while supporting children’s and health causes are important, some brands focus their giving back initiatives to the environment, such as luxury brand Hermes which partnered with conservation charity Panthera to launch the Robert Dallet Initiative for Wild Cat Conservation. The late French artist Dallet, whose work had graced Hermes scarves in the past, is honored by the house brand with the release of a new Dallet scarf last year.
We Are Giving Back TooThere are many more haute couture brands that are actively giving back to the community, and some give back because it’s simply the right thing to do. Here at coutureusa.com, we try to be a force of positive and believe we can make the biggest impact by giving back to our own Tampa community so we support local fundraising and awareness efforts of organizations like the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Westchase Charitable Foundation and Hope Children’s Home. As a brand, we, too, believe that giving back will never go out of style. In your own little way, how are you giving back and making a difference?
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