If buying clothing with compassion is your preferred way to shop, then you’re going to love the collaboration between Bloomingdale’s and UNIFORM.
You may have missed the launch party, but you’re just in time to shop the collection with compassion. Designed with men and women in mind, UNIFORM has stylish separates for both sexes, with many gender-neutral pieces that could be worn by anyone. What’s equally as awesome is what and who these clothes stand for. But before we get to the aesthetics, let’s talk about the heart of the business.
Founded by entrepreneur and serial do-gooder, Chid Liberty, UNIFORM’s clothing line has deep roots in Africa. According to the Wall Street Journal, Liberty was born in Liberia. He would leave as a toddler, not to return until 2009. Although many years had passed, his objective was clear: create jobs for women who were out of work due to the ebola outbreak, and do something about the low school enrollment rates in Liberia.
Prior to his 2009 excursion, Liberty worked in Silicon Valley, but what he really wanted was to make a difference. Liberty went on to co-found the business, Liberty & Justice, which is known as “Africa’s first Fair Trade certified apparel manufacturer, with a factory in Liberia and partnerships with others in Morocco, Kenya, and Ghana.” Once established, Liberty set out to solve other problems in the community. He noticed that many children were missing school in Liberia, having one of “the lowest school enrollment rates in Africa,” and that many women had suffered job losses due to the ebola outbreak.
His next venture, UNIFORM, was ultimately spurred by these two factors, morphing into a clothing company with compassion. It is Liberian-produced, the materials, like the organic Benin cotton, are locally sourced, and it makes sure to integrate the community into its day-to-day operations. Plus, for every article of clothing sold, the business will donate a free uniform to a Liberian child.
Furthermore, this company now boasts a 90 percent female workforce, a five-star GIIRS rating (read more about that here), and won the 2011 SVN Social Innovation Award. Liberty told the Wall Street Journal, “Through our factory, I’ve seen women open their first bank accounts, build houses, even leave terrible marriages. Witnessing that impact has been powerful.”
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Bloomingdale’s department store and UNIFORM celebrated their collaboration by holding a launch party. But don’t worry, you still have time to sign up for the web exclusive (www.shopuniform.com) that’s been extended to October 14th, so you’d better hurry! The retailer hosted the co-founder, Chid Liberty, as well as a big name from the music industry, Young Paris, who performed live at the event.
The clothing line is being sold at Bloomingdale’s and features “elevated essentials” for men and women, like reversible bomber jackets, African organic cotton tees, shirt dresses, sweatshirts, joggers, and banded collar button downs. The best part, aside from all the good this company is doing, is that every piece retails for under $100!
We have a little sneak peak of the menswear, which looks ridiculously good, and has a price point to match. And with rumors circulating that this is the softest t-shirt anyone has ever tried, or the one they’ve been looking for all their lives, then it’s safe to say that we’d really like to get our hands on one…or ten. Which, remember, also means ten uniforms donated to children in need!
Ok, ladies, whether you get this for the man in your life or not, this bomber jacket is not only great for him, but a great piece to snag for yourself! Sporty, utilitarian, and chic, this jacket, currently retailing for $85, would look awesome with distressed jeans, sneakers, and your favorite baseball cap.
Don’t know about you, but I love a good sweatshirt, and this heather gray colorblocked version is right up my alley. Retailing for $60, I would absolutely wear this, whether labeled “mens” or not. Great with jeans, leggings, athleisure, and more, this would be a fall/winter staple for sure.
And last but not least, is the organic cotton #worldsoftesttee. For a mere $35, you better believe I’ll be giving this t-shirt a go in my wardrobe. The crewneck top is perfect for fall layering, regardless of gender. Pair it with a flannel, distressed jeans, and combat boots for a trendy and edgy look for fall.
Clothing with compassion is where it’s at for us. What did you think of the Bloomingdale’s X UNIFORM launch? Are you eager to see the women’s line? Would you wear that bomber jacket? Share your thoughts with us on the EcoSalon Facebook page!
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Image of T-Shirts via UNIFORM