Sheepishly awkward, athletically inept, and easy to find eating my lunch in the art room, I did not rise to high school fame. At 24-years-old, I could care less about my high school years, so why dedicate a post to school essentials?
As a social do-gooder, there are some staunch inequalities between brands that gain attention and those that need it. We all know brands that are socially responsible for the sake of building community trust, but little do we hear about brands built completely on charitable pursuits. More brands are creating philanthropic fashions that can restructure the lives of others. From the bags to school supplies, achieving socially conscious style is simple.
The Bag: stone + cloth
To carry not only knowledge, but the future of another human being is an inspiring motivator we should instill into the education system each day. It took the highest peak in Africa to make Matthew Clough, stone+cloth’s founder, realize his mission to educate the world’s youth. After finding out that the Tanzanian man who kindly helped him climb to the top of the peak was so impoverished that he could never send his children to school, Clough was astounded by the scarcity of opportunities and the emergent social issues. The statistics weren’t pretty… they still aren’t. Over one billion people in the world cannot read a book or sign their name. More than 130 million children don’t even have access to an education.
Joining efforts with Knock Foundation, a nonprofit near the foothills of Kilimanjaro, stone+cloth provide school scholarships to children in need. Stone+cloth’s trendy utility bags make it simple to “carry an education” for someone else on your shoulders.
The Eyewear: Warby Parker
Debunking the idea that style comes with a price tag, Warby Parker is known for vintage-inspired designer eyewear at a ridiculously affordable price. If you work in fashion, you might know a thing or two about Luxottica – basically, the monopoly that makes nearly all designer lenses at an astronomical price. Warby Parker not only gets that vision is a neccessity, but gives back to those who are struggling far more than students on a budget.
So how does the donation process work? Step 1: You buy awesome glasses that make you look wonderful. Step 2: Warby Parker makes a monthly donation based on the number of glasses sold to their nonprofit partners. Step 3: Sweet aforementioned nonprofit partners then train men and women in developing countries to give eye exams and sell affordable glasses to their communities. Step 5: Yay, you! You helped give someone a job and/or vision. It may sound controversial to ask people in need to pay for their eyewear, but it’s actually helping these countries grow and become economically independent. Warby Parker realizes that donating is not a solid solution, but creating jobs is.
The styles are stunning, the brand is socially conscious, the idea is progressive – basically, there’s no comparison. Visit a Warby Parker location or opt for home try-on, in which you’ll have five frames of your choice delivered to your door step for free.
The Writing Essentials: Denik
What started as a grassroots movement between a group of college friends, has transformed into a social game changer that aids up-in-coming artists and global education. Simple notebooks embellished with impressive artwork have the power to inspire and educate a worldwide audience. Who would have known? The creative patterns and clever designs from unknown artists around the world make the notebooks appealing and coveted. A portion of each book sold is used to build schools in impoverished countries. Curators and creatives, this one is for you.
Do you have a favorite brand that gives back? Share your social good style!