How Fashion Companies Use Branding to Support Nonprofits

Iyanna Fairfax
Trending Writer

Donating time, money, or reposting graphics on social media are just a couple ways that someone can support an organization in need, but businesses in 2021 are taking donations to a whole new level.

In the current era of online media and advertising, there has been an influx in the number of people giving back to charitable organizations in response to COVID-19. Although corporate America has been giving back to nonprofits for years, COVID-19 has fueled the need for public outreach. The act of giving back to small foundations has become a part of the policy for many corporations. Popular brands like Toms, Gymboree, and Etsy have successfully used their platforms to uplift these nonprofits.

Model sporting an ATHLETA face mask (Photo curtesy of Getty Images)
Model sporting an ATHLETA face mask (Photo Curtesy of Athleta; Getty Images)

According to the Nonprofit Source, up to 49% of nonprofit navigators have identified corporate donating as a stimulant for growth in their company. The reports go on to explain how collaborating with these foundations can be beneficial to both parties. Research shows that in 2018, 80% of workers believed that business partnerships enhanced the public outlook of the brand. It is evident that the correlation between businesses and giving back has increased because consumers want to donate and shop. By marketing ways to shop and give back simultaneously, the nonprofit organizations develop a broader audience of potential donors.

Businesses have gotten creative with ways to incorporate support for nonprofits. The pandemic inspired companies that sell face masks to donate products for people in need of masks within the healthcare industry. ATHLETA, a popular yoga apparel brand owned by GAP Inc., donated 100,000 masks to major healthcare organizations to support essential workers.

Ivory Ella Infographic (Photo curtesy of

Another instance of creative donations is Ivory Ella’s campaign for “Save The Elephants,” where 10% of all purchases directly fund their nonprofit partner. These are just two examples where businesses used their branding in fashion to become pioneers in aiding nonprofit organizations. In 2019, studies show that “75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations annually”, according to

While the number of businesses that give back has increased, there is still more that large fashion corporations can do to help. Studies by  also found that 250% more small businesses are giving back to nonprofit organizations than large corporations. Even though small businesses have less funding than their largely funded counterparts, they are still able to give back in meaningful ways. While it may be a part of an agenda to push sales, they are still doing work for their community.


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