Ashley Biden, daughter of former Vice President Joe and Second Lady Jill Biden, has dedicated her life to social work. She's the executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice; she has 15 years of experience in social justice under her belt. And, now, she's the founder of a fashion brand.
Of course, given Biden's history with social reform, it's not a line that simply pays lip service to its charitable bent — it's very much the core of its business. First off, 100% of the proceeds are donated directly to two communities identified by Livelihood, where a board comprised of actual residents will decide how the funds are allocated to a series of projects focused on education, workplace development, and job placement. The first towns to benefit from this are two close to Biden's heart: Wilmington, Delaware (where she was born) and Anacostia, District of Columbia (where she got her first job as a social worker). Fellow Wilmington native Aubrey Plaza models the lookbook. We're guessing it's only a matter of time until we see Joe and Jill Biden rocking their own hoodies.
Take a sneak peak at the Gilt x @Livelihood2017 Collection launching tomorrow, Feb. 8th. With each hoodie purchase, two communities (starting with Wilmington, DE – Aubrey Plaza & Ashley Biden’s hometown – and Anacostia, D.C.) will receive funding for programs like education initiatives, vocational training, and job placement services. All in a day’s work at @Livelihood2017. #GetInvolvedInYourHood #LinkInBio to shop for a good cause
Livelihood isn't just about hoodies, Biden underscored; it's about encouraging folks to go out and engage with community. In tandem with its e-commerce launch, the brand is rolling out its own website, on which it'll keep tabs on its local projects and share updates from its communities, as well as offer resources to those looking to get involved in the issues they care about in their own towns. "People get to see what they have invested in," she explained. "Not only do they get their favorite hoodie, but they get to see where their money’s going."
In the last few months, we've rediscovered how our clothing can be a vehicle for our political beliefs — be it through the hidden meaning of our color choices or through much more explicit declarations of where we stand. Livelihood's beliefs are pretty clear; you can find them laid out on its website, in fact. For Biden, the most important thing about using clothing as expression is "being comfortable in your own skin." That way, it helps you feel centered and ready to act — the important thing, though, is making sure you take that next step. "That’s not where it stops — there has to be action," she explained. "That is what, hopefully, [Livelihood] is encouraging people to do."