Frugal Lifestyle Guide 1

How Charity is Making Fashion more Inclusive

When we think of fashion we think about expensive clothes. Charity Fashion or Fashion outreach is something that most high end companies do but that there’s very little press on. Big name brands who work at consumer level often publicize their charitable endeavors but that is often just to improve their public image rather than actually helping people. Fashion is something people who are on the receiving end of charity rarely worry about. For those that are getting donated clothes the fact that they have a new winter coat is much more important than whether it’s last years or the year before’s fashion style.

The Big Brands

Most big brands do fashion shows and donate portions to charity. This is even a fairly common way of getting funds for most charities because the big name donors who can afford to attend such functions are often the same people interested in buying the high fashion on sale. While it is a little clique to say that, it’s unlikely the large donations these companies are after come from the average Joe. Most of these shows don’t use paid models, they use models who donate their time and may just be normal people. This means that people who normally wouldn’t get an opportunity to walk the runway are in the spotlight, and designers are having to accommodate that with their clothing.  While that’s great, it’s also nothing new.

Small Town Fashion

Groups like Fashionista Roanoke are challenging that. This small town initiative believes in fashion for all. There’s no model requirements, there’s no photographer requirements, there’s simply events to bring fashion into the community and include anyone who wants to be involved no matter their level. Amateur photographers shoot alongside seasoned pros, professional models walk the catwalk with a mom whose kids are waving from the audience and a guy who hobbles a little from a birth defect. Everyone is included and does what they want to.

The best thing about this isn’t just that everyone is included but that it’s also bringing the local community together. They go to local schools and do fashion drawing classes, they go downtown and model for the local small businesses who can’t really afford professional product shoots, and they also do money raising for other charities within the community.

In fact, there are now several similar groups all over the country in small towns aimed at doing nothing more than giving back rather than making a “brand image” better.

Future of Fashion

Most fashion companies are coming to the realization that while their products look great on runway models the average person isn’t buying it. the average person is what drives sales and their disillusionment with fashion has left many companies looking at a bleak future. Charity outreach can only save them so much which is why their desperate attempt to reconnect with the everyday person is coming in the form of giving back. Companies are beginning to look more at ecological impacts and providing 0 carbon footprints,  using recycled products and thrift upcycles. High fashion is still unobtainable, but they’re starting to realize that the average consumer isn’t as far away as they once were, which makes them willing to step outside a little more to snag another customer.


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