How Give-Back Fashion Actually Works

Photographed by Thomas Slack.
The fashion world has long had an acquaintance-like relationship with philanthropy. But over the last decade, style-driven, socially conscious startups have become so mainstream that we’ve accepted the genre as a fact of life. And they're actually delivering on connecting their customers' credit-card swipes to serving the greater good, with results we can see IRL.

Yet, we’re mystified when it comes to how businesses like these actually work. So we asked the owners of four such Los Angeles-based brands the burning question: How are you giving away so much and still thriving?

Starting with TOMS, a name synonymous with the give-back movement, we found out what it takes to make that feel-good-fashion dream come true, from balancing a creative vision and charitable core mission to navigating operations in a foreign country (which, we learned, can get complicated real quick). Take a peek behind the sustainable, fair-trade curtain ahead, then roll up your sleeves to get involved — by which we mean, start swiping.

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