Like it or not, what you are wearing is making a statement about you. (Pro Tip: Burn the Mom Jeans people!). Possibly after seeing the success of fashionable social enterprise icons like TOMS and Warby Parker, the four brands I rounded up today want to empower you to make socially conscious statements with your fashion sense and cents. Now that’s attractive. Perhaps these stylish examples from Nordstrom, Target, H&M, and Kenneth Cole will inspire your organization to think about getting in the style game.
NORDSTROM LAUNCHES PRIVATE-LABEL BRAND TO SUPPORT WOMEN & CHILDREN’S CAUSES
Treasure&Bond is Nordstrom’s first-ever private label give-back brand. Recently launched (August 11, 2014), the collection offers a distinctive vintage-feel and affordable price point – presumably to appeal to the all-important, female Millennial shopper. Treasure&Bond will be available in the TBD department at 86 Nordstrom stores around the country and on nordstrom.com. Nordstrom will donate 5% of net profits to nonprofits that work to empower women and girls.
The first beneficiary organization is Girls, Inc., an organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls Inc. provides more than 138,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing programs and experiences and give girls the tools they need to boldly face challenges.
TARGET & FEED USA OFFER LIMITED TIME ONLY LINE OF 50 PRODUCTS TO FEED 1 MILLION PEOPLE
Target also hosted a line of social impact items via a partnership with FEED USA. The goal of the limited time offering was to raise enough money to provide meals for 1 million people. Target and FEED USA, however, did a much better job than Nordstrom of communicating the actual social impact of each purchase – as opposed to just indicating the donation portion of the purchase. They went as far as printing the number of meals provided by the proceeds from each purchase on the actual item as part of the design in addition to a clear explanation on the tag. This type of transparency and communication of actual impact are best practices you can take back to your organization. Take a gander at my previous blog post if you’d like to learn a lot more about this partnership as well as the important Aspirationals consumer segment: Target Launches FEED USA Collection: A National 1:1 Social Impact Cause Marketing Partnership “Targeting” Aspirationals
H&M AND DOSOMETHING.ORG LAUNCH “COMEBACK CLOTHES” CAMPAIGN WITH OLIVIA WILDE
H & M went a different route when it came to activating young, socially conscious consumers by launching “Comeback Clothes,” a recycling campaign tied to Earth Day. Consumers, with a particular emphasis on college students, are encouraged and incentivized to donate their old clothing so that the fabric can be recycled to avoid landfills. This campaign, in partnership with Dosomething.org, has A LOT of activation elements, including at-school and in-store recycling bins, a celebrity PSA, 15% off bounce-back coupon, a social media element with entry for chance to win a scholarship, a pop up sustainability booth in Union Square Park in NYC and even an interactive experience in mobile showrooms at 3 major college campuses.
The following are excerpts from the official Press Release (April 17, 2014) offering a more detailed description:
DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change and H&M, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, are teaming up with Olivia Wilde to get young people across the country excited about clothing recycling and sustainable fashion through a campaign called Comeback Clothes. The campaign encourages young people to give their old and worn-out clothing a new life through recycling.
From April 17 to June 20, young people can collect old and worn-out clothing in their schools and communities and drop them off in garment recycling bins at any H&M store. All brands and all conditions will be accepted. H&M will send these clothes to a recycling facility, where they will be given a new life. The vast majority of fabric can be recycled, yet 85% of all textiles end up in landfills each year–that’s 11.1 million tons, the equivalent of over 70 billion t-shirts.
All participants that send a photo of themselves dropping off their unwanted clothing to DoSomething.org will automatically be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship, and receive a 15% discount off their entire next purchase.
Actress, activist, and Conscious Commerce co-founder, Olivia Wilde recorded a public service announcement. And, to celebrate this partnership on Earth Day, H&M will have a pop up sustainability booth in Union Square Park in NYC on Tuesday, April 22. Vistors will be encouraged to recycle their old and unwanted pieces of clothing at the booth.
Following Earth Day, H&M will take this message coast to coast, popping up at 3 major college campuses. Volunteer students and H&M staff will bring students to an exciting and interactive experience in a mobile showroom where they can not only drop off their garments and learn more about the Comeback Clothes campaign, but also get stylized and star in their very own short video which will be featured on the H&M Loves Music Tumblr page!
KENNETH COLE FALL CAMPAIGN: LOOK GOOD FOR GOOD
Kenneth Cole has been committed to leveraging its brand to tackle social issues for over 30 years. This fall it has launched a new campaign, Look Good For Good tied to three company strategic focus areas.
Excerpts from the August 4th Press Release:
Building upon the company’s heritage of promoting “style with a purpose,” as well as Kenneth Cole’s personally vested interest in raising awareness for these causes, the new campaign will support specific charitable projects under three company pillars – Collective Health, Civil Liberties, and Artistic Activism. For the Fall ’14 launch, The Kenneth Cole Foundation will support projects through the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, HELP USA, and the Sundance Institute. As an extension of the campaign, Kenneth Cole enlisted three photojournalists to chronicle the work of each charity partner. The campaign is being brought to life digitally at kennethcole.com/ForGood that will feature exclusive photographer and video content from Haiti, Sundance and Help USA, as well as an interactive timeline meant to educate the consumer on the brands 30 year philanthropic history.
The advertising campaign will be supported by a robust national print, outdoor, digital, and social media plan.
In a strategic shift from raising awareness of social issues to encouraging action, the brand has teamed up with TakePart.com. The digital magazine and social action platform of Participant Media will produce original editorial pieces covering the impact of Kenneth Cole’s charity partner projects as well as enable visitors to take actions benefiting each nonprofit at TakePart.com. Directly integrated into each article, TakePart.com actions include signing petitions, pledging, donating, sending messages of support, and measuring the influence of social sharing. To further incentivize participation, Kenneth Cole will provide rewards for each action taken.
I hope these four socially conscious fashion brand partnership examples will inspire you to think creatively about how your organization could develop a fashionable “make it work moment*” for the greater good.
*You know I had to include a quote from Project Runway’s beloved fashion mentor Tim Gunn. It was a must.