When I think of designers, I marvel at their creativity, their innovation, dedication to hard work, and the persistence to overcome challenges and adversity. I admire their tenaciousness for life, art, and the desire to help people identify through fashion. I resonate with their vulnerability to showcase their designs before the world, and share their inspiration behind their collection.
While all of this intrigues me, it is when I come across a designer who creates a collection with the bigger picture in mind that I become empowered by their story. What does it mean to “be mindful of the bigger picture?” It is simply seeing the world through a different lens, a transformed perspective where it’s not “me,” rather “we.” If designers choose to use the “bigger picture” lens when designing their collection, then they can build an even deeper story allowing the customer to connect on a more meaningful level.
As the designer thinks about choosing their cause partner, they must first ask the question, why? Why is the idea of giving back and helping society important to me? What drives me to become part of the solution in someone else’s story? Once one understands the “why” then one needs to evaluate “where” they can be of help. The where is determined by our experiences, the discovering of real needs in the world or that simple tug at the heart. When we can have these conversations with ourselves and discover the calling, then we can bridge the gap between our company and our cause.
Here are 5 tips to designing your collection with the bigger picture in mind:
- Choose a cause you are passionate about. Think about your upbringing, your family, your values, and be honest about what is important to you.
- Look for synergy between your cause and your company. What similarities do you have in common? Compare audiences, age groups, interests, location, etc.
- Write down ideas on how your collection and cause partner can have a united voice, and how you can reach people in creative and innovative ways.
- Decide your “give back” approach. Will you focus on eco-friendly or sustainable materials? Will you donate a portion of your sales or work with artisans from remote villages and teach them new skills? Will you dedicate a specific piece from your collection to a cause or consider only using local materials?
- Share your story. Be vulnerable. Be real. Genuinely express the “why” behind your devotion to a cause.
As Editor-in-Chief at Lifestyle + Charity Magazine, I am always eager to discover these stories and share with our readers in hopes to inspire and empower them.