Nowadays, fashion and philanthropy often go hand-in-hand. From designer collaborations with charities to co-branded shopping events, it’s fashionable to care about where the items in your closet come from and the impact they have made on others. These Miami-based Latin designers not only want to make their customers feel more beautiful, but also contribute to a more beautiful world. Be it working with artisans in developing countries to provide employment or donating to charitable causes, these stylish do-gooders prove that giving back is always fashionable.
Colombian designer Carolina Baena is committed to bringing change to her native country one pair of earrings at a time. Her bold and colorful statement pieces are hand-crafted in Colombia by single-mother artisans generating income and new jobs for poverty-stricken communities. The brand also partnered with MISIÓN GUAJIRA 3, a project led by a group of friends in order to help the people of La Guajira access clean drinking water by building a clean water well.
In 2015 Venezuelan sisters Claudia Giardinella and Flavia Giardinella founded this ready-to-wear brand which ranges from scarfs to pants and kimonos. The brand taps artists from the U.S. and Latin America to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are printed on high-quality silk. Each piece of "wearable art" (as the founders describe it), also comes with a certificate of authenticity that details the name of the artist, the print it based on and the artwork that inspired it. With each artTECA purchase, the company donates a percentage of sales to support art education programs in the community that remove barriers for low- income students and allow them to explore art.
Founded by long-time best friends and designers, Veronica Pesantes and Jonnyka Bormann (dubbed "the Onikas" in high school) this brand of dreamy ponchos, kaftans, sundresses and mala necklaces is sustainably sourced in Ecuador and India. Miami-based and Ecuador-born Pesantes works to guarantee ethical and sustainable practices among supply chains, by traveling to Ecuador to work directly with the workshop that handlooms their knits and collaborate with the weavers each season. In India, they work with a printing workshop that pays their artisans more than is required, and employs various generations of men. As an added bonus, the brand also has a zero-waste initiative making necklaces and tassels from all the leftover fabric from their designs.
SONDER AND HOLLIDAY
Started by Miami gals Lorena Miranda and Victoria Cuesta, this line of straw baskets, hats and fabric bands is sustainably sourced in Ecuador, Ghana and the U.S. "Sonder and Holliday is a direct result of my desire to create a fabulous line of travel and resort products with the intention of bridging the gap between their wearers and their creators," says Miranda. Using special promo codes on the brand's "Shop for a Cause" page on their website, they donate ten percent of sales to local charities including Overtown Youth Center and The Miami Learning Experience School.