Shopping with a conscience – it’s now easier than ever before. Danielle Wilkins reports on the labels using fashion for a good cause
As the festive season approaches, and we begin to think more about buying for others, rather than ourselves, it’s natural to get into the spirit of giving back. What’s wonderful is that right now, there are more brands than ever out there that want to make a difference to society, and are doing so on a daily basis, whether it’s contributing to beating world hunger, empowering fellow mothers to care for their babies, or something else a little closer to home and their hearts. These are the companies that combine making people look and feel good, with doing good.
Whether you’re in the market for toys and gifts or clothing for the whole family, these are the babywear brands proving that giving back will forever be in style.
From Babies With Love
Working alongside the charity SOS Children, From Babies With Love supports orphaned babies around the world. SOS Children allows toddlers who would have otherwise been left to fend for themselves in slums to be cared for and educated in a family environment, and From Babies With Love founder Cecillia Crossley donates 100% of the company’s profits to help make that happen. Shop the boutique’s collection of babywear and gifts, from organic cotton babygrows, hats and t-shirts to beautiful muslins and prints.
Perhaps one of the better-known philanthropic fashion brands, TOMS’ one-for-one initiative means that for every footwear purchase made, the label will donate a pair of shoes; prescription eyewear or sight-saving surgery with all eyewear purchases; a week of clean water for those in need with all TOMS Roasting Co products; and, lastly, with every bag purchase, vital materials to help women in need give birth safely.
Tao & Friends
This cool label only debuted earlier this year, but has since become known for its fun and stylish animal prints. Purchases of the brand’s super-soft organic cotton clothing sees €1 per item sold go towards chosen charities. For this year, it’s The Winnicott Foundation, which looks after premature and sick babies, helping families with little ones in neonatal units. Originally formed to help with the neonatal unit at St Mary’s Hospital, London, the charity is now supporting several across the capital.
In 2011, Rockin’ Baby debuted its Mother to Mother campaign by donating its signature slings to mothers in Haiti, ensuring those who were living in desperate conditions could still help their babies to feel safe. Since then, the baby brand has partnered with Child Fund to launch the like-for-like Child to Child initiative – manufacturing and donating an identical quantity of clothing to children in need with every item of clothing sold.
The Fmly Store
Founded by Molly Gunn – aka mama blogger Selfish Mother – in the hope of using fashion as a force for good, The FMLY Store has, you guessed it, something for everyone. The online shop’s slogan t-shirts and sweaters raise money for a range of charities, including Mothers 2 Mothers, an African organisation empowering local mothers living with HIV, and Women For Women UK. And for Christmas, Selfish Mother has teamed up with Save The Children to create a collection of slogan sweaters especially for Christmas Jumper Day. Fash-pack, eat your heart out.
Inspired by her travels to Udaan Ghar, a shelter for underprivileged girls in India, Chloe Hoole launched Darlo to help make a difference to the lives of children in developing countries. Her work with the charity Project Crayons means every Darlo purchase donates a week’s worth of meals to a child in India, freeing up the charity’s finances to focus on education and health. What started as a selection of baby vests in 2014 has flourished into a growing collection of organic cotton sleepwear, joggers and blankets in bright and beautifully simple designs.
Finn + Emma
Toddler brand Finn + Emma is already known for its sustainability, and this season the label has teamed up with eco online store Natural Baby Shower to offer a new initiative for the festive season. The One For One campaign means that for every hand-knitted Finn + Emma toy sold until December, Natural Baby Shower will donate a like-for-like toy to mother and baby refugee charities across the UK for Christmas. naturalbabyshower.co.uk/collections/finn-emma
Frugi, the label which offers organic clothing to children and new mothers, recently announced its three chosen charities to be supported as part of its Little Clothes, Big Change project. These include Anna’s Hope, which offers rehabilitation to children with brain tumours; Pump Aid, an organisation dedicated to providing clean water to African families; and The Sick Children’s Trust. With every online purchase, the brand will ask customers to select the charity that resonates with them most.
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