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5 ways fashion retailers are making a difference

Fashion labels are always in the spotlight, and not always for the right reasons. But many of them are stepping up and making positive headlines — through making a difference in terms of the wider community and social issues. Lacoste recently announced that it would be adopting a temporary logo to help endangered species — offering limited editions of each animal in relation to how many of the species there are left in the wild. And, they’re not the only one.

Gucci and gun control

With the issue of gun violence and control continually hitting the headlines in America. Gucci has stepped up to show support for the worthy cause in recent years, donating half a million dollars in support of tighter gun control.

The fashion brand revealed that it would be helping the cause following a tragic school shooting in February this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that resulted in the death of 17 people. It’s possible that Gucci’s generous donation was motivated by the death of Gucci salesman, Javier Jorge-Reyes, and injury of Gucci store manager, Leonel Melendez Jr — both caused by gun violence.

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Discussing their involvement in the March For Our Lives campaign, a statement for Gucci said: “We stand with March For Our Lives and the fearless students across the country who demand that their lives and safety become a priority. We have all been directly or indirectly impacted by these senseless tragedies, and Gucci is proud to join this movement with a donation of $500,000.”

Through making donations to the cause, Gucci are making their opinion on gun control heard — commemorating the lives of those lost to gun violence and those who campaign for stricter laws.

Michael Kors and world hunger

It was in 2013 when Michael Kors began their Watch Hunger Stop movement to fight world hunger. According to the Michael Kors website, they’ve helped the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) deliver 15 million meals to children in need.

To celebrate five years of the campaign, Michael Kors partnered up with actress, Kate Hudson. There are many ways that people can donate — through the purchase of a timepiece, a Snapchat using a store geofilter or through posting a photo wearing a Watch Hunger Stop T-shirt. Each action donates a certain amount of money and corresponding meals to children in need — the programme supports 16 million children over 70 different countries.

Charles Tyrwhitt and vulnerable people

Charles Tyrwhitt, retailers of men’s shirts, have dedicated a lot of time and effort into helping The Prince’s Trust. This is a charity in the United Kingdom, founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales. It focuses on helping vulnerable people get their lives back on track and find work.

How did the brand support the cause? They released a special collection of scarves, ties, umbrellas and of course their iconic shirts — all dedicated to raising funds for the charity. Where each item in the collection is sold, £5 is donated to The Prince’s Trust.

There charity work extends further also. Employees at Charles Tyrwhitt are also involved with raising money. In fact, business founder, Nick Wheeler, raised over 100,000 when he completed an 874-mile bike ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in the UK. And, members of the company attend and recruit individuals through The Prince’s Trust ‘Get Hired’ Days. This is where young people who have been through The Trust’s programmes have found themselves ready to move into work and are actively looking for work.

Stella McCartney and sustainable fashion

Stella McCartney is well known for her work with ethical fashion. She continually makes a difference with regards to environmental fashion and sustainability. Using the latest in eco-friendly technology, she changes attitudes to sustainable fashion and demonstrates how eco-fashion can be done.

Stella doesn’t use leather or fur and instead innovates with new types of materials. Take her latest swimwear range for example, in partnership with Adidas. The swimsuits are made from Lycra Xtra Lite fabric, which is resistant to chlorine and uses recycled Parley Ocean Plastic yarn.

The fashion designer announced her partnership with Colorifix in April 2018, she is working closely with them to reduce the environmental impact of the dyeing process. They do this through isolating the DNA that creates colour in nature and uses 10 times less water than the traditional process.

Lacoste and endangered species

With global warming and animal endangerment at the forefront of many people’s minds, Lacoste decided to stand-up with their #LacosteSaveOurSpecies campaign. A part of this, they replaced their classic crocodile logo with images of endangered species on their classic polo shirts.

The movement began to represent the three-year partnership between Lacoste and the International Union for Conservation of Nature — whose mission it is to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature. The fashion brand offered limited editions of each polo shirt in relation to how many of the species there were left in the wild. The new logos were designed using the same green colouring and style as the iconic crocodile.

Why did they choose the animals that they did? The animals that were chosen were 10 of the most threatened species on the planet; the Vaquita, Burmese Turtle, Northern Sportive Lemur, Javan Rhino, Kakapo, Cao-vit Gibbon, California Condor, Saola, Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada Ground Iguana.

The limited-edition shirts went on to be released during the brand’s runway show at Paris Fashion Week and sold out immediately. The money from the shirts was donated towards the fight for wildlife conservation worldwide.


Jake Holyoak is the senior outreach coordinator at Mediaworks. Mediaworks is an award-winning digital marketing agency that helps brands succeed online.

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