Target Teamed Up With Social Justice Advocates Vital Voices to Launch Non-Profit Clothing Line -Here’s What Happened
In the fashion industry, a capsule collection is a small line of clothing that is manufactured and sold with a limited number of pieces, usually for a limited time only. The popular department store Target, along with selling many different brands, has its own flagship clothing line called A New Day. Recently, Target’s A New Day teamed up with a nonprofit organization called Vital Voices to promote female leadership and empowerment with their own capsule collection of clothes and accessories. Unlike the vast majority of apparel sales in the fashion industry today, the proceeds went directly to Vital Voices in order to support the movement. The collaboration marks an important milestone not just for Target and Vital Voices, but for the fashion industry as a whole.
What Is Vital Voices?
Vital Voices, in a nutshell, is a nonprofit organization which seeks to support and empower women leaders around the world in order to foster positive global change through community engagement. Their mission statement is as follows: “We search the world for a woman leader with a daring Vision. Then we partner with her to make that Vision a reality. Through long-term Investments that expand her skills, connections, and visibility, we accelerate her efforts, improving the world for us all.”
Vital Voices was founded in 1997. Over the past 20+ years, they have primarily focused on helping established female leaders make changes in the realms of human rights, economic empowerment, and political/public leadership. There is a strong emphasis on mentorship and other activities which they believe will empower, educate, and prepare the next generation with the skills they need to make this world a better place. Some of their signature programs include Voices Against Violence; the VV GROW Fellowship for female entrepreneurs; and The Global Ambassadors Program (with support from Bank of America).
Some of the visionaries who inspired the message behind the capsule collection and who are actively working with Vital Voices in order to make the world a better place include:
- Ariela Suster – She’s the founder of a company called SEQUENCE, which is an obvious homonym of “sequins”. SEQUENCE is located in El Salvador and manufactures trendy, fashionable accessories including jewelry and tote bags – which makes us sincerely doubt that the play on words is an accident. But it’s not all in the name of bottom-line financial profit. The company employs at-risk youths and teaches them marketable skills so that they don’t get bogged down in the cycle of poverty and violence which paralyzes so many communities in El Salvador today.
- Akanksha Hazari – Akanksha is the founder and CEO of m.Paani, India’s first and only mobile loyalty rewards program. Like most loyalty rewards programs, people who subscribe to the service earn points that they can trade in for goods and services from participating businesses, almost like an alternate form of currency. But this points exchange program isn’t just designed to benefit individual users of the service. Hazari envisions her platform one day being used for families and households to pool their points together and pay bills, or even for entire communities to pool points and pay for needed infrastructure projects.
- Jessica Hubley – Hubley is the CEO if AnnieCannons, a program and an environment in which human trafficking survivors can receive help and support learning programming. The goal is not only to help them realize their true professional potential, but to give them the life skills necessary to make it in a world where they would otherwise feel alienated and disempowered.
These are only a few of the entrepreneurs and innovators that give vital voice and the capsule collection a face and a spirit. There are many more women who are connected to the clothing line and to Vital Voices in general who are making a big difference in the world. And Target’s decision to partner with them is helping the organization make a bigger, more impactful splash in the global market space.
What Did the Line Look Like?
While the overall message of Vital Voices was heavily relied upon for the design and the aesthetic of the clothing line, the final product was largely the result of efforts made by Target and A New Day. The pieces were meant to convey a number of positive and inspirational ideas, including the belief that women can be beautiful and feminine but also take charge, lead – and succeed – at the same time. Between individual articles of clothing and different accessories, there are 25 pieces in total.
A few of the most popular pieces include the blush pink, long-sleeved sweatshirt with “i am a vital voice” printed on the front in all caps; a beige, sleeveless trench coat with the words “be courageous” stitched onto the back of the collar; and a collection of notebooks, handbags, and accessories with inspirational phrases and pictures emblazoned all over the place. Some of the pieces are in-your-face inspirational and make no apologies for their bold display of female empowerment. Other pieces are more muted in their expression and effortlessly blend into an everyday wardrobe, including the pleated red skirt and the denim jacket + jeans combo.
Due to the inherent nature of capsule collections, it is unlikely that these limited edition pieces will be available again – no matter how much of a demand Target may receive. This means that the clothes and accessories are essentially collectors items now. Target and Vital Voices have yet to publish data on how quickly the line sold out, how much they made in proceeds, and what sort of projects we can expect to see funded by the revenue. but one thing is for certain: less than 6 months after the collection started selling in Target stores and online, there are still resellers on sites like eBay trying to make a tidy profit off of the apparel.
At the end of the day, the collaboration between Target and Vital Voices created something that was beautiful, fashionable, and inspiring. It may only be a one-time thing, but it’s highly likely that other companies and organizations will jump on the bandwagon and make similar moves of their own. Personally, we here at LetsTalkBeauty hope that this trend catches on like wildfire. Supporting a good cause and shopping for new, trendy, fashionable clothing are each wonderful activities on their own; but when you combine the two, you can make both the world and your closet a better place all at the same time!