Guest post by fashion blogger Morgan, whose website can be found here.
I believe each of us has something unique we can do to make this world a better place, but I also believe that good can be compounded when we work together toward a goal. Since I love fashion, I’m always searching for good I can do that involves fashion. Sometimes I look for ways I can personally give to a cause. Other times, I like to give back by supporting companies that are socially responsible.
One of my favorite organizations to support whenever I have the opportunity is Vital Voices. This non-profit organization partners with over 1,000 experts who donate their time to provide training and mentorships to women emerging as leaders in countries across the globe. Since their founding in 1997, Vital Voices has worked with over 14,000 women, all of whom have returned home to mentor over 500,000 other women and girls in their own communities.
When I’m able to, I like to purchase eyewear from Warby Parker like these women’s sunglasses. Not only does this company provide fashionable eyewear at lower prices than their competitors- they also give back by donating prescription lenses to those in need every time they make a sale. This operates through non-profit partners like VisionSpring, who also train women in low-income areas to become entrepreneurs to start their own business selling affordable glasses.
I enjoy supporting those who help women worldwide succeed in all they do, but I especially like to support companies that do good here in the United States. Every handcrafted item from WORN is made in the USA by refugee women. The company formed as a way for refugees in the United States to supplement their personal income, and I also love the gorgeous scarves and delicate hats they offer.
Being aware of where your clothes and products come from and how they were made is an important part of being a responsible consumer. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that killed over 1,120 garment workers (who were overwhelmingly female) has brought this issue again to our global attention. Calls for building reforms, new minimum wage laws, and better working conditions have been issued by human rights groups, retailers, and the U.S. government, but change feels far away. I like to stay up to date by following the Clean Clothes Campaign, an online organization that seeks to improve global working conditions in the garment industry. You can sign their petition to improve Bangladeshi conditions here. You can also follow the provocative work of Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez, whose street art has been making waves in Madrid.
I believe there are always ways that we can channel our passions in various fields to improve conditions and opportunities for people across the planet. I love fashion, but I try to always remember the importance of being a responsible consumer and to extend support to retailers who try to give back, especially to women.