“Raise money through fashion?” you say. Surely that doesn’t work? After all, fashion is about spending money on yourself, whereas charity is giving money to a good cause. Opposite ends of the spending spectrum. But you might be surprised at quite how connected the worlds of fashion and charity actually are. As Fashion Week 2018 ends, we investigate how fashion and philanthropy can be the perfect combination. Plus, we’ve got 5 big ideas for turning sartorial style into fabulous fundraising opportunities for your cause.
It begins right at the heart of fashion design, with several of the leading designers supporting various causes close to their hearts. Gucci’s support of UNICEF, and Ferragamo’s regular auctions of celebrity-signed handbags for Global Giving are just two of the big name fashion design partnerships with major charities. Retailers too are showing off a sense of community, with ASOS, Top Shop and H&M all showcasing charity designs with a percentage of profits going to causes they support. And then there are ethically produced clothing ranges that support communities establishing themselves in disadvantaged parts of the world.
So the worlds of fashion and philanthropy aren’t so far apart after all, and you too can leverage that relationship to raise money for your charity. Here are 5 great ways you can use fashion on a local level to fundraise for your cause:
If your supporters are crafty, why not create your own product to sell at gift fairs and online? There’s a real interest in custom made clothing and accessories in the fashion world right now, so if you can produce a quality handmade item, you could establish a regular income stream for your cause. Hold a one-off sale, or set up a website for online sales. Here are some ideas (see our Christmas guide for seasonal makes):
Mount your own fashion challenge like this one from Knickers Model’s Own. Caroline started raising money for Cancer Research UK by dressing herself in charity–shop clothing for an entire year, posting her outfits on social media and asking for donations to her Just Giving page. She ended the year with a book deal, having raised thousands of pounds for charity. Why not recreate her initiative for your cause?
One of the easiest ways to stage a fashion fundraiser is to hold a bring-and-buy sale for your supporters. You could even put items together to style a look so that people are tempted to buy the whole outfit! Make it sociable and serve refreshments to raise more money from the event – you could even combine it with a bake sale!
We predict that the worlds of fashion and philanthropy are set to collide even more often in the future, with big initiatives like the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange gaining much acclaim. So now is the time to think about how you can make fashion work for your cause!
Let us know about your fashion fundraising ideas and adventures, and send pictures so we can share your work with the rest of our community here.