Fashion for Charity

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love fashion.  I also love giving back to the community.  Luckily, many of my favorite designers help me combine both interests.  Here are a few who are doing great work:

1. Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren has The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention which is a partnership with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  The center, “is a community based center for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through new models of patient care, research, education and outreach designed to address the unique needs of the community.”  The center is located in Harlem and hosts events and presentations geared to, “improve community understanding about cancer risks and preventions by reaching out to individuals, community leaders, community groups and religious institutions.”  Ralph Lauren also has The Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation which includes the Pink Pony Fund.  The Pink Pony Fund, “supports programs for cancer screening, early diagnosis, education, treatment, research and patient navigation.”  Further, “its mission is to reduce disparities in cancer care in medically underserved communities and ensure that treatment is available at an earlier, more curable stage.”  10% of each Pink Pony purchase is donated to the Pink Pony Fund.

2. Diane Von Furstenberg: Diane Von Furstenberg supports the non-governmental organization (NGO)The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network.  Vital Voices’ mission is, “to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.”  Vital Voices trains and mentors emerging world leaders around the world so that these women can return home to train and mentor women in their communities.  In a letter explaining her association with Vital Voices, Diane Von Furstenberg writes that she was inspired to join Vital Voices because her mother, a holocaust survivor, taught her that “‘fear is not an option'” and encouraged her to be fearless in the pursuit of her dreams.  She writes that, “when I see a woman who has been touched by Vital Voices, fulfilled and confident as she betters the world around her, I know I am paying forward in the best way all that I learned from my mother.”

3. Kate Spade: Kate Spade partners with Women for Women International, a nonprofit that helps women in countries where war and conflict have devastated lives and communities.  The nonprofit enrolls women in a one-year program where they learn job skills and receive business training in order to earn a living.  Kate Spade is working with Women for Women International by teaching women in Bosnia, Rwanda and Afghanistan to make Kate Spade’s designs.  The women are paid fair-market wages for their work.

4. Tory Burch:  Tory Burch, “believes that one of the most powerful ways to create chance is to economically empower women.”  This belief inspired Tory Burch to create The Tory Burch Foundation, “a non-profit 501(C)3 organization that provides economic opportunity to women and their families in the United States.”  The Tory Buch Foundation has partnered with ACCION USA to “provide the loans and financial services small business people need to succeed.”  The partnership, “helps women access financial tools which improve their lives.” I was amazed to find out that 100% of all Tory Burch Foundation purchases benefit the foundation.

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