Fashion and Philanthropy

Jan 11, 2013

Fashion is known as a industry that takes a lot. Whether creating the newest and greatest design or, sometimes even looking for the most amount of money, the fashion world was never too concerned with those who were lacking. Think of having a hundred pairs of shoes while someone else has none!

In recent years things have been changing though. The fashion community has started to think about the global community and how it can help. Through philanthropic designs like TOMS shoes, Out of Print Clothing book cover T-shirts and FEED Bags the fashion world has turned over a new leaf which aims to help those in need.

TOMS: Shoes and Eyewear

Blake Mycoskie is an American entrenpunuer who was traveling in Argentina when he noticed that a lot of kids living in areas that needed help didn’t have shoes. He wanted to do something about it. He got an idea to ensure that these kids would have shoes for a long time. Originally called Shoes for Tomorrow, TOMS was born. Apparently “Shoes for Tomorrow” didn’t fit on the label so Balcke shortened it to TOMS. Blake designed the shoe after a traditional Argentine shoe called the “alpargata”.

Then he devised the “One for One” business model, which means that for every one pair of TOMS purchased a pair of shoes will go to someone in need of shoes. TOMS has now given away over a million shoes to people without and has sold over a million shoes to fashion forward buyers.

With the success of shoes, TOMS is now branching out into eyewear. For every pair of glasses, sunglasses or regular glasses you buy someone will receive an eye exam and a pair of glasses or corrective vision surgery.

TOMS EyewearTOMS Now Offers Eyewear!Courtesy of

Out of Print Clothing:

Out of Print Clothing takes book covers, usually ones that are out of print, and puts them on T-shirts. Now you can sport great books- from old classics to favorite moderns to wonderful kid’s books- on your shirt! The artwork is always unique though recognizable.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerEvery Shirt Purchased is a Book DonatedCourtesy of

Out of Print wants to celebrate and pay tribute to literature even when you’re not reading it. Along with their great fashion, Out of Print realizes that there are many parts of the world where people don’t have books to read so they work alongside an organization called Books for Africa. For every item Out of Print sells a book is donated to Books for Africa who then distributes the books to schools and community centers across Africa who are in need of books. Sport your favorite book, look great doing and help someone read!

FEED bags:

In 2003, Lauren Bush, a model and activist, was traveling throughout Asia, Africa and South America with the United Nation’s World Food Programme. There she learned the extreme need for food all over the world. Three years later she started the FEED Project. She sold bags designed after the burlap bags she saw used to distribute food rations.

Colorful FEED bagsThe line of FEED bags has expandedCourtesy of

For every bag a set amount is donated to relieve hunger in communities that need food. FEED has many different bags for sale now along with clothing and accessories. It all goes to feeding people.

Have Your Say

Do you have a pair of TOMS, what about a book shirt or a FEED bag? Or do you have another fashion and philanthropy forward accessory? Tell us about it in the comment’s section below!



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What Do You Think About When You're Clothes Shopping?

  • I'm thinking about whether the pearly top or the sheer button up will go better with my studded pumps.
  • I think about where the material is sourced and if it's been ethically farmed.
  • I think about color and shape and if the material is organic or if my purchase helps out a charity all the better!
  • I think about how much money I have in my wallet and if I can even afford it.

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