Fashion Designer Rachel Roy On The Business Of Giving Back – Forbes

Cliff Watts

Rachel Roy

“Whatever your business is in, whether you work at a library or you work at a retail store, there is a way to incorporate giving back into your everyday work,” says Rachel Roy, founder of the fashion brand RACHEL Rachel Roy and the social enterprise, Kindness is Always Fashionable.

Roy’s social enterprise partners with local female artisans from around the world to create products that are on sold through her website. The proceeds are then donated to organizations that support women and children, whilst providing a livelihood for the local artisans.

Roy says that providing women with the opportunity to work ultimately creates stronger families and communities. “Not everyone can dedicate their lives to non-profit or for profit charities but each of us can dedicate everyday moments to giving back. Even something small makes a difference,” says Roy.

In this interview, Roy shares the lessons she has learnt building a global fashion brand and how her focus on ‘giving back’ is at the heart of her success.

Michelle King: How did you come up with the concept for ‘Kindness is Always Fashionable’.

Rachel Roy: When I started, Kindness is Always Fashionable, there was a huge flood in Pakistan and I just wanted to try and get some funds and goodwill over there – given the devastation. I am in the business of making things, so I started thinking about what I could make and sell in order to send the proceeds to the children in need. I basically got everyone in my blackberry to sign a tote that we designed. The idea was that when these totes would hang in my partner’s retail space, including Macy’s and Nordstrom, people would see that these celebrities or people in the fashion industry support Pakistan. It is not about anything political – it is about suffering.


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