5 1/2 TIMES FASHION, BEAUTY, AND ADVOCACY COLLIDED
Posted on October 10 2019
5 1/2 Times Fashion, Beauty, And Advocacy Collided
People regard the fashion industry from one of two main archetypes.
Andy from The Devil Wears Prada.
Holly from Breakfast at Tiffany's.
And sometimes even Damien from Mean Girls.
When it comes to the beauty community...well, fall down that particular Youtube rabbit hole like the rest of us, and form your own opinion from there.
Both industries have made invaluable contributions to fleets of prestigious charity organizations, and have achieved long-lived legacies in the history of national advocacy campaigns. Several products that were once the featured item of a campaign have established themselves as either cultural icons or cult favorites.
Let us explore some of the most transcendent moments of when fashion, beauty, and advocacy collided.
1. Breast Cancer Ribbon
The origin of the breast cancer ribbon is an example of why you should never apologize for being in a committed relationship with arts and crafts. A woman named Charlotte Hayey had several family members fall victim to breast cancer. This inspired the pin style of ribbon we know today. The ribbons were hand made in Hayey’s free time. She passed out these out to grocery store customers with a message attached, “The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.” News traveled fast. Eventually, Hayey’s concept inspired the brooch-pin pink ribbons that are now the national symbol for breast cancer awareness.
2. Livestrong Bracelet
I owned one of these as a youngin’. Created to buttress those affected by cancer in the early 2000s, these canary yellow silicone gel bracelets were what everyone and their third cousin twice removed was seen sporting that summer. Nike and its ad agency cooked up what would become the most prolific fashion-advocacy integrated campaigns of the time. To date, the money raised for aiding cancer patients is in the 470 million dollar range.
3. ASOS Made In Kenya Line
If the variety of cultures that inspire the latest runway trends are paid little to no respect or attention to in the fashion industry, the actual hands that stitch the clothing are universally unacknowledged. ASOS broke this mold with their Made In Kenya line. The line has achieved great change in the betterment of the lives of the Kenyan people. Machinists are receiving educational opportunities and obtaining health care. New jobs are being created in vast quantities in these Kenyan communities as well.
4. Warby Parker Buy A Pair, Give A Pair
Eyeglass retailers Warby Parker have had their buy a pair, give a pair program since the company’s birth. For every new pair of their glasses, another pair is donated to a visually impaired individual in need. As of now, the company has distributed over 50 million glasses to those who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise.
5. Put The Nail In It
In 2015, a campaign spearheaded by an east coast based organization advocating for victims of domestic violence, known as Safe Horizons came up with the idea to “end domestic violence by literally putting the nail in it.” A star-studded TV spot encouraged the public to paint their ring finger on their left hand a shade of purple and snap a photo to be shared on Twitter. The #PutANailInIt hashtag, a nod to the timely vow for putting an end to something once and for all, “put the final nail in the coffin” was an instant hit. The campaign was a nationwide sensation and huge foot forward in the direction of open discussions on domestic violence and abuse.
4. H&M Close The Loop
H&M ventured into the advocacy arena with the debut of Close the Loop, a line whose mission was to promote sustainability in fashion. The collection, partially made from recycled clothing H&M customers dropped off in-store in exchange for a store discount, preserved over 32,000 tons of fabric from wreaking environmental mayhem.
5. LGBTQ Rainbow
While not technically one specific fashion or beauty product, it is an advocacy symbol regularly used in fashion and beauty as representing the community. From makeup to flags, to clothing and accessories, and a Sia music video, the market is saturated by these tokens of pride.
Like Army Pink, TOMS was built around an advocacy mission. And much like Warby Parker, TOMS gives as much as they get. For each customer purchase made, a pair of shoes is gifted to a child in need. TOMS has helped better over 94 million children’s lives since its inception in 2013.
LipSense Shade: Army Pink
Yes, this Army Pink.
Network marketing company SeneGence International and Army Pink teamed up to release a lipstick through SeneGence’s signature product line, LipSense. The lavender-pink shade of liquid lipstick was created to raise profits for charities whose donations furthered the mission of peace worldwide. The shade became a cult favorite for everyday makeup lovers and YouTube beauty influencers alike. The shade initially amassed donations to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
Fashion and beauty can go hand in hand with charity and goodwill not merely gracefully but effectively. These collaborations had a massive impact on society by improving the lives of those in the present and future. They made their mark in pop culture history with innovative ads and bold mission statements.
It’s uplifting to know by purchasing a rubber bracelet or a certain shade of lipstick can change a life--or even save one. A beautiful thing born and bred in the industries of beautiful people.