Eight Brands With a Cause to Look Out for in 2017

With the power of social media nowadays, many young fashion-forward thinkers are using their entrepreneur skills to create really unique platforms for their pieces, whether it be to support a great cause or dive into a life-long goal of creating a brand that holds a special meaning. Here are some of the top brands that are taking social media by storm who are worth following in 2017.

1. The Giving Keys

Instagram: @thegivingkeys, Facebook, Website.

The Giving Keys is based out of LA and was started by Caitlin Crosby, a singer, actress, and songwriter. The Giving Keys officially took off in 2009 after Caitlin had a bunch of keys made with inspirational words on them to sell as merch while on tour, as well as giving them to people who were struggling with all kinds of personal issues such as break ups, fights with friends, job loss, or any kind of illness. She hired a homeless couple, Cera and Rob, to help her craft her keys. She used the funds she made from selling them to help pay for a home for Cera and Rob. In 2010 her website launched which holds all the stories of the keys being passed around the world. The necklaces have taken on a “pay it forward” attitude and one is encouraged to embrace their word and then give it to someone who needs the message. The best part about purchasing a custom necklace is you’re supporting job creation. So, what will your word for 2017 be?

2. Here Comes Trouble Apparel

Instagram: @herecomestroubleapparel, Facebook, Website.

Here Comes Trouble Apparel was started and run by two Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni, Sam Roston and Mitch Finn. Here Comes Trouble is a small clothing brand that is focused on preserving endangered wildlife. They work with a charity called Wildlife Preservation Canada and a portion of all the profits are donated to the foundation to help save endangered species all over the world. All their comfy clothing is printed in Toronto, Ontario with a clever logo. You should definitely check out their website and order yourself a cute tee to support animal conservation projects worldwide.

 

3. Revival Apparel

Instagram: @revivalapparelofficial, Facebook, Website and Blog.

Revival Apparel was created two years ago by Wilfrid Laurier University student Dorian Wilson as a way to make a difference in the world through simple yet trendy button up tops and dresses. Dorian has a real passion for social justice and he uses his business skills to make an impact around the world. I reached out to Dorian for some more information about what he does, and he told me, “[he] was inspired after learning about social ventures, which are basically businesses which try to address social problems in the world. The awesome thing about businesses tackling social issues is that, unlike charities who may have trouble increasing donations, a social venture's impact can be infinitely scalable. The more they sell the greater their impact.” One third of all profits is donated to a charity that is selected and represented on the garment. For example, one of the things they do is use their funds to send Vitamin D to northern remote communities that experience long periods of darkness. This period of darkness has led to Seasonal Affective Disorder and an increase in suicide rates. Dorian has some great advice for everyone: “Many of you are trying to figure out what to do once you graduate; just remember, if you can find a way to bring value to people's lives, the money will take care of itself.” Their fall collection sold out completely but they are coming out with an all new and exciting line up for the spring!  Be sure to check out their new line and support a cause that you stand for!

4. Royal House

Instagram: @royalhousefam

Royal House Family was created by Jalal, now a Wilfrid Laurier University Alum, in 2011 for a group of local club promoters. However, due to the popular request for clothing with this very powerful logo, it turned into a lifestyle in 2013. The Royal House’s mission is “to build a family of Kings and Queens who inspire each other to reach their full potential in life,” whether that be through writing, music, public speaking, or social ventures. The founder, Jalal, has been writing music since he was 11 years old. “Music is the only reason I'm alive to be honest. I just released my first video in 3 years,” Jalal says, repping the RHF logo in the video. He has gained a lot of positive attention through social media and uses the platform to continue to spread his message of inspiration through the original and creative Royal House logo.

Photo courtesy of Kha Vo of Kha Vo Photography

5. Tentree

Instagram: @tentree, Facebook, Website.

Tentree has had a huge social impact as a lifestyle apparel brand that was created in 2012. The company is based out of Saskatchewan, Canada, and is quickly spreading all over North America through their engaging social media platforms. For every item purchased, 10 trees are planted in an area experiencing deforestation. Over 10,113,070 trees have been planted in partnership with not-for-profits, including the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Other than supporting the environment through tree plantings, you are also providing local workers in the targeted areas with a full days’ work. Taken directly from their website, “by combining social and environmental consciousness with lifestyle apparel, Tentree allows consumers to have a direct impact on the environment and communities worldwide.” With a huge variety of clothing options as well as bags and hats available, Tentree is a brand that should definitely be put on your list for that next shopping spree.

6. Love Your Melon

Instagram: @loveyourmelon, Facebook, Website.

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand that was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota by Zach and Brian. After purchasing a Love Your Melon product, 50% of the profit is given to a Love Your Melon non-profit partner such as The Make A Wish Foundation and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, who directly work in the field of pediatric oncology fighting the battle against childhood cancer every day. Along with every purchase, a hat is given to a child battling cancer in America. These hats are super stylish and perfect for the cold fall and winter seasons in North America.

7. Popping Bubbles

Instagram: @poppingbubbles, Website.

Ariel Tweto (@arieltweto) is an indigenous Alaskan. After producing and starring in a hugely popular show on the Discovery channel, she started a non-profit organization called Popping Bubbles. Popping Bubbles is working to help address the increasing suicide rate in the north. Directly from the Popping Bubbles website, they work to, “support communities from within to create programs and networks that foster the unique needs and wants of individuals.” Some of the things Ariel and Popping Bubbles does for these communities in the north is they run motivational speaking tours, create and oversee community support groups, and build extracurricular opportunities. Their mission is to “pop the social and physical barriers that prevent people from living happy and successful lives.” Their website is loaded with tons of information about the organization plus it brings awareness to suicide and suicide prevention. Their clothing is super cute and spunky with two motivational slogans: “today is the day” and “life is tough but so are you.” Check out their social media sites and learn more about how you can help this cause with a purchase of a new tee.

8. Express & Escape

Instagram: @express.and.escape, Facebook, Website and Blog.

Based out of Mississauga, Ontario, this clothing brand is taking the city by storm with a very important message. Express & Escape is an up-and-coming clothing line that was started because of the social media generation we live in. Social media can have a negative effect on today’s growing youth that can lead many to serious mental illnesses such as depression or anorexia. Through different mantra designs on their t-shirts as well as maroon and grey toques, Express & Escape represents social and self-acceptance of mental illnesses by ending the stigma surrounding mental health and producing confidence within the wearer. They are using their social media platform to spread their message of being a mental health advocate by sharing the stories of those who have experienced and are experiencing mental health illnesses. E&E is creating a safe environment throughout the city for those who need a helping hand. Follow them on their journey of creating acceptance and be sure to check out their new pieces as well as their new fitness collection as a lot of people use fitness to cope with mental illness.

 

I always feel guilt-ridden after going on a big shopping spree and spending money on so many over priced items. After finding these amazing brands that promote great messages and are really making a difference in the world, I will definitely be adding many new pieces to my wardrobe this new year and I won’t feel guilty at all!