Bel Esprit, the online showroom for international designers of ethical fashion, has relaunched Donate Design (www.donate-design.org), a program to support the development of sustainable businesses in the fashion and lifestyle industry in disadvantaged regions around the world.
Donate Design brings together industry professionals, experts in all sectors, students and volunteers to donate time and expertise to projects around the world that build and develop sustainable businesses to benefit disadvantaged communities. The Donate Design program specifically works with projects that engage the community in the development of the enterprise, rather than inviting established companies into an area to hire community members. The purpose is to create enterprise from the ground up, using the resources indigenous to the neighborhood, community and/or region to create a sustainable business that respects the environment and its inhabitants and allows the community to participate in the economy.
Projects considered for assistance must guarantee a minimum of 51% of indigenous resources used – labor and supplies, and must adhere to ethical and fair trade/fair labor principles. Projects are encouraged in all regions of the world, whether industrialized or developing. Donate Design is working to create ethical resources throughout the world to enable designers to produce locally, and at the same time, maintain their commitment to ecological and fair labor principles.
The Donate Design program seeks to further develop and build an ethical supply chain for fashion designers around the world that will meet the needs of all levels of business, from start-up to corporate. Donate Design is an extension of Bel Esprit’s Fashion (Re)Construction (www.fashionreconstruction.com), a new directory and resource for international fashion designers to ethically source suppliers and production. The directory is a free resource for both designers and suppliers, and Bel Esprit will assist designers in their sourcing as well as list the services of sourcing consultants in the directory. This open, free resource will make it easy to access suppliers, and thereby encourage designers to create a transparent, ethical supply chain. Established suppliers seeking to expand their businesses are encouraged to submit projects and reach out to industry professionals for advice and assistance through the Donate Design program.
Showroom International and the Bel Esprit Showroom are online showrooms for international independent fashion designers. The Bel Esprit Showroom spotlights designers who adhere to ethical principles in their business and collection. Designer look books, media kits and press photos are available to buyers, press and industry professionals 24/7. The showrooms provide marketing, promotion and sales assistance to designers, and work with designers and retailers to facilitate business. The showrooms partner with international fashion events to give designers opportunities to maximize their exposure.
With the relaunch of Donate Design, Bel Esprit becomes a full cycle service to the ethical community, helping to create and develop supply chain resources, promote suppliers and production to the industry, and an online showroom to promote the collections of international designers of ethical fashion. Potential projects, experts and volunteers are invited to contact Donate Design online to submit projects, and to register expertise and volunteer.
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