We have had so much fun this month showcasing some of our favorite charitable people and brands that of course our GuyTalk columnist Will had to get in on the action, too! He tracked down two very special brands, one at home in Chicago and one with an international flair, to get your guys in on the philanthropic act…while look good doing it! Take it away, Will!
There’s been a definite trend in the world of branding in recent years, especially in the clothing and lifestyle category.
No matter how much consumers like a brand or its product, they want more than just the physical item: they want to feel good about their purchase on an emotional level. In short, consumers want to buy into brands that do good things for the world and aren’t just a drain.
While all companies are adopting responsibility and ethics into their business models, many emerging brands are being born out of responsibility themselves, flipping the model on its head. In fact it could be argued that some businesses today are charities first, and businesses second.
So in honor of Lux’s charity theme this month, here are two guy-centric brands that have a great sense of style—in both the clothing they produce as well as the way they do business.
Sportswear and charity often go hand-in-hand these days—linking professional sports to charities is a great way to put those in need into the spotlight. But where most sports/charity partnerships involve national involvement, 26Shirts.com takes a more local approach.
The premise is simple: each shirt is available for two weeks (2 weeks a shirt, 26 weeks a year, hence the name) and is aimed towards helping a specific local charity, family, or cause. This contributes to the company’s ideals of letting patrons see the faces of those they are helping, complete with photos, bios and even thank you videos from past recipients reaching back out.
As of the end of October, they had raised $50,745 for those in need – a number that only continues to rise as more and more are joining the cause – including professional athletes.
What’s in it for you?
Well if it’s not enough to help someone out of the goodness of your frozen heart, the designs are crafted by talented local artists (who are also featured on the site) and are completely, 100% one-of-a-kind. Each design features some of your favorite local teams and athletes, complete with colorful phrases and inside jokes.
The greatest part about these designs is their originality. As any Chicago sports fan knows, it’s extremely disheartening to find an awesome sports tee only to see 12 other goons at the game wearing the same one. Wearing one of these limited edition beauties helps a great cause, showcases the work of a local artist, AND gives you some impressive gear to sport around town.
To quote co-founder Del Reid: ”It’s all about using your powers for good.”
KorBáta is a one-of-a-kind fusion of style and culture that ties (note the pun) a modern, gentlemanly look to a tradition that’s hundreds of years old.
Founded by two entrepreneurs of Guatemalan decent, Jennifer Menegazzo and Diego Arias, the artisanal company started as an effort to preserve Guatemala’s rich weaving history as well as the heritage of the Mayan people along with it, all the while providing work for those in the most rural areas of the Guatemalan countryside. Quite the trifecta.
In a similar fashion to European tapestries or Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Mayan weavings serve as a way to tell stories, record history, and preserve culture of the people who weave them. Each woven thread plays a particular part in reflecting something about Guatemalan people, culture, and terrain.
What’s in it for you?
All KorBáta ties are 100% cotton, 100% handmade, and 100% unique— each and every pattern is woven by hand only once, meaning that no two ties will ever be the same.
Combine that with generating jobs and helping to preserve an ancient culture rich in artistic skill, and you’ve got something of true value. In a way, you could even say that each KorBáta tie is hundreds of years in the making.