THE RISE OF THE "DO-GOOD" BRAND
The clothes we choose to buy and wear make a statement whether we like it or not. That’s why many consumers have turned to the “do-good” brand for their outfit of choice. The “do-good” brand ranges from those who donate part of their profits in a charitable effort to those who manufacture without child labor to those who use diverse models in ethnicity, sizing, and gender. Some of the more popular brands include Pangaia, Madhappy, and Reformation. Paloma Wool is a new name to add to this list. Producing geometric seventies-inspired sweaters, Paloma Wool consciously manufactures each sweater. Similar to older, more well-known brands like Reformation, Local production and minimal waste is the heart of the company’s mission, as each garment is made from low-impact dyes and sustainable fibers. Paloma Wool is unique as it does not donate to a cause by making the cause part of its mission. In comparison, Madhappy focuses on the donation side of the “do-good” cause by partnering with The Jed Foundation to provide suicide prevention awareness and mental health resources for teens and young adults in the US.
Due to the success of these brands and their ethical practices, it will be interesting to watch how bigger corporate companies react. On the one hand, fast-fashion brands like Zara and Forever 21 could start to replicate the “do-good” model. With lower prices and an ethical approach, a broader audience can be reached as more consumers chrome more conscious of the impact of their shopping choices. However, I believe this is an unlikely change, at least in the near future, as these companies rely on speedy practices to thrive; searching for ethically made fabrics and processes would be too time-consuming. If any change is to happen, these companies operators must feel a moral obligation to commit to sustainability and healthy working conditions. I believe that “do-good” brands must lower their pricing model to be more accessible to a broad range of people, so that together, we can hopefully mitigate some of the harmful actions of big corporate fashion brands.