Retail Focus: Predicting a Fashion for Good Future
I remember the first time I went to Las Vegas for work- it was hectic, hot, and overwhelming. At the age of 21, I was super lucky to be able to fly from New York to Las Vegas to work the biggest retail trade show around the globe, the MAGIC Trade Show. I was interning at Global Purchasing Companies, a boutique retail buying and strategy firm and it was my first opportunity to travel for work. My job was to assist my boss Mercedes with anything and everything imaginable- i.e. basically running around like a headless chicken (sorry for the visual). I helped collect line sheets, wrote orders with our independent retail clients, set up for the daily Retail 101 workshops that Mercedes presented, took trend photos around the entire show floor, sourced fabrics, and when I was able to, I scrambled to watch a couple minutes of the mini runway shows while eating lunch and snacks on the go. In a nutshell, working at the MAGIC trade show is completely awesome chaos.
Can you tell which of these awesome accessories are HGC approved- look good, do good, give back accessories? All bracelets below retail for less than $25 each and serve unique causes that give back. Check out the individual links to shop! Clockwise starting from bracelets: Greenola Style “Joyce” glass bead black/gold bracelet, Good Work(s) Make a Difference original wrap bracelet, Pura Vida 1Love.org braided bracelet, Bead Relief Hathaway Sycamores bracelet, Landfull Dzine upcycled Eco-Chic Star Studded bracelets
Not has much changed in a decade except that the show floor has expanded to two locations- at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center AND the Las Vegas Convention Center, which means double the sales floors to cover and spending way too much time on shuttle buses. Another thing that’s changed is that I’m now walking these floors on an exciting scavenger hunt to find the best look good, do good, give back brands to make sure you all have them on your radar! I found over 20 amazing brands which apparel, accessories and handbags, but narrowed down this list to 10 of my favorites. I’m excited to say that social giving businesses are here to stay and thanks to the world of fashion as a creative outlet – and to growing number of amazing individuals with the heart and soul to give back – I truly think we can make a huge difference in the world during our lifetime.
For now, I’ll include some links for you to check out, but stay tuned for more coverage of each of these individual brands in the form of interviews or feature posts coming soon:
1. The Base Project – HGC Approved: I love the unique designs on these cuffs, and I love the impact that the bracelets make. The Base Project is a socially-motivated fashion brand building a bridge between artisans in the developing world and the world of fashion. These beautiful bracelets create jobs and invest in community development projects in Namibia, Africa. The brand has partnered with two artisan cooperatives whose artists hand carve these bracelets as a means to support their family as well as community. The latest edition of these bracelets are available in silver and gold toned brass, shop here. I loved the Deadvlei, Namib Desert, Oryx Set so much, I had to include them in the 2014 HGC Fall Photoshoot.
Shop here: thebaseproject.com
2. The Neshama Project – HGC Approved: I was super excited to meet founder and super soul sister, Rachelle Tratt at the Pool Trade Show (a trade show within the MAGIC trade show)! Even though we spoke briefly, her positive energy made an impression on me and the beautiful blue Hamsa pieces did too! The Hamsa is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God, and or Universal Spirit. In all faiths it is a protective sign and brings its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.The Neshama Project’s mission is to have meaningful product as a tool to help support and spread the message of many organizations and people who are making the world a healthier, brighter, more Soulful place. 10% of each The Neshama Project purchase will go towards one of the organizations TNP supports. Click here to find out more about The Neshama Project’s mission.
Shop here: theneshamaproject.com
3. JOYN - HGC Approved: I love these handmade eco-friendly goods and I really love founder, Mel’s (Melody Murray) story! The JOYN story starts with a Ugandan orphanage and a very unusual honeymoon. Back in 1998, Mel and Dave Murray met at a small college in Arkansas. They married two years later and decided to spend their first summer as newlyweds working in an orphanage in Uganda. They knew they shared a passion to change the lives of people living in poverty. To read more about the full JOYN story, click here. Today, JOYN employs a diverse and growing team of Americans, Australians, Brits, Indians, Tibetans, and Nepalese working together in Rajpur. JOYN continues to sell beautiful products handmade by artisans who do 100 percent of the work, from weaving to block printing to stitching. This brings JOY to those who make the products, and JOY to those who buy them.
Shop here: joynindia.com
4. Greenola Style – HGC Approved: Yay! So happy to have met Liz and Jen from Greenola Style, a Chicago based, ethical handmade accessories brand, empowering artisans globally through Fair Trade employment. Greenola Style’s empowerment model is implemented holistically, providing their artisans with access to quality healthcare, design education, business training and community building. Find out more about the mission and impact here.
Shop here: greenolastyle.com
**** Buy my Greenola Style Joyce bracelet here: Joyce Bracelet ****
5. Nashelle - HGC Approved: I LOVE this new line from Bend, OR. Nashelle is dedicated to extending a helping hand to those in need, in the community in Bend and beyond. With every piece of Nashelle jewelry sold, the brand is able to give back to those in need…whether it be in the form of helping to feed or clothe a child, aid a family with unforeseen medical expenses, or supporting local schools. Find our more about Nashelle’s community causes here. By ‘paying it forward’ the Nashelle team hopes to encourage others to give what they can to their own communities, and continue a spirit that is generous in love in the global community that we all share. The dainty metal work is beautiful, AND this fashion feeds hunger. What’s not to love?
Shop here: nashelle.com
6. n:philanthropy - HGC Approved: This new brand is awesome apparel with purpose. N:philanthropy is dedicated to making a difference, not just in the way its designs make people feel, but also making a difference in the world. The brand was born from owner Yvonne Niami, who followed her heart to bring together the two things that mean the most – fashion and philanthropy. Proceeds from the collections are donated to support Pediatric Cancer and Animal Abuse organizations. Find about more about Yvonne Niami’s story here.
Shop here: nphilanthropy.com
7. Goodwork(s) Make a Difference - HGC Approved: I’m not shy about my love for words, and any chance I get – I’ll try to jewelry, graphic tees or journals with inspirational words and phrases on them. So it’s no surprise that I’d be in love with the Goodwork(s) Make a Difference wrap bracelets. Established in 2011, Good Work(s) Make a Difference® has been delivering fashion-forward, uplifting, and inspirational bracelets and accessories. The company contributes 25% of net proceeds to charitable organizations in order to make a meaningful impact in greater Los Angeles’s communities and lives. For more about the Goodwork(s) Make a Difference partnerships click here.
Shop here: goodworksbracelet.com
**** Buy my Original Wrap bracelet here: Original Wrap Bracelet ****
8. THINK apparel – HGC Approved: Happy to have met Mariel and Kandice from THINK! Love the positive message behind all of THINK’s active wear apparel line. Read more about Mariel from THINK Apparel on the blog
Shop here: thinkallways.com
9. Landfill DZine - HGC Approved: I’m so glad I found Landfill Dzine because I never would have thought that such gorgeous bags could be made out of materials such as cardboard, broken crates, or plastic irrigation hose. I’m in love with these Landfill DZine accessories which include upcycled handbags made from plastic irrigation hose that help farmers save the environment. Landfill DZine helps farmers recycle these materials which helps them keep millions of pounds of agricultural recyclable material from going to the landfill each year. Read more about Landfill DZine’s story here.
**** Buy my Eco-Chic Star bracelet here: Eco-Chic Star Studded Bracelet ****
10. Ethical Fashion International by Chan Luu - HGC Approved: In 2011, Chan Luu was invited by the Clinton/Bush Foundation to visit Haiti and help local artisans connect with the global market by increasing export sales. To promote this effort, she developed her own line, Chan Luu E.F.I. (Ethical Fashion International) in conjunction with ITC/United Nations. Today, the EFI line has two collections: Haiti Collection and Kenya Collection. To find out more about Chan, click here.
Shop here: chanluu.com/chan-luu-efi
Don’t forget to sign up for the HGC mailing list ( I promise to only send good things!) And follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more coverage of each of these individual brands in the form of interviews or feature posts to come soon. Meanwhile, check out some fun behind the scenes moments at the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas from last month: