Combating animal cruelty in the fashion industry by Caitlin Boos
When one is asked to name an environmentally friendly, ecologically forward-thinking or perhaps even just a ‘not imminently threatening’ industry, it is highly unlikely that they are to answer back with, ‘fashion’. While it’s no secret that grand brands and famed designers have been notoriously cavalier about, and subsequently criticized for, killing and abusing animals for the sake of their ‘visions’; the tides have indeed begun to turn in recent years. Arguably most modern companies uphold some form of ‘cruelty-free’ policy, and, a majority of the industry dynamos are too, shying away from such practices given the current social climate.
What follows, are a handful of uber on-trend brands going above and beyond to detach themselves from the stigma surrounding fashion and animals, by partnering up with various charities and donating portions of their profits to the protection of vulnerable species around the world:
Ivory Ella – Make an Impact in Loungewear
For every piece of cozy couture purchased from Ivory Ella, 10% of the proceeds are donated to 'Save the Elephants'- a charity dedicated to protecting the titular gentle giants. The ivory industry is a century-spanning menace to elephant populations around the globe, with tens of thousands dying from trade poaching every year. Ivory Ella begs its customers to think compassionately when shopping, and encourages them to stay informed on issues like keystone species, elephant conservation and ecosystem destruction. Over the years, Ivory Ella has contributed $1.9 million to Save the Elephants and have since become tech pioneers of protecting the creature they so cherish.
TOMS – Kicks that Kickstart Change
Anyone familiar with ethical consumerism has likely become acquainted with TOMS given their you buy-we give donation policies. As of 2014, animal conservation has been added as another one of the causes they champion. The brand's 'Animal Initiative' program is made up of different partnerships meant to protect, conserve and raise awareness about various endangered species. The program's first venture was in collaboration with the Congo's Virunga National Park: for every pair of shoes purchased, a portion of the sales were given to the park to aid in their silver-back gorilla protection. By buying items exclusive to the initiative, you're supporting similarly at-risk species!
Critically Endangered Socks – Cozy Feet for Charity
Make no mistake, Critically Endangered Socks are far from the quaint little company so commonly associated with their merchandise- the business is fervently devoted to ensuring the world’s most at-risk species remain at peace in their natural habitats. All of their designs pay homage to a critically threatened species, with each created in partnership with a renowned charity known for and committed to fighting for the well-being of such creatures. A majority of the proceeds made from the socks are allotted to the different charities, and further used to help protect either the Borneo Orangutan, Sumatran Elephant, Amur Leopard, Sea Turtle or Maui Dolphin.
Miomojo – Buy a Bag, Join a Movement
Miomojo is precisely the Italian luxury handbag brand you didn’t know you needed until now: their products are stunning, their price-points are doable, and their cruelty-free approach is top of the line. The company has partnerships with many different animal rights charities- from established, global leaders to passionate, local initiatives- to save all types of creatures from whichever kinds of mistreatment they are facing. For every 10% of the item you purchased, Miomojo is helping to collapse immoral trades, ban harmful zoo practices, fund humane farms, and discover other ways of bettering the quality of life for animals who need to be in captivity.
NAKED SPECIES – Streetwear Taking a Stance
As described by the brand’s founder, Joy Corrigan, “NAKED SPECIES” infuses art and awareness into every piece, making ‘Basics’ not so basic.” Each article is hand-designed by the entrepreneur herself and a portion of all the sales go directly to the ‘Wild Tomorrow Fund’; a leading charity in conservation groundwork in southern Africa. The Wild Tomorrow Fund works to ensure the prolonged survival of gravely endangered species by replenishing their resources and reconstructing their natural habitats; two ordeals that are incredibly costly and thus require support from us! Shopping with NAKED SPECIES helps you do your part in keeping the Earth alive and well for all who inhabit it or, as Joy endearingly puts it, “protecting the many creatures that coexist on our wonderful planet."