Fashion as a Force for Good

We love our socially conscious partners and what they are doing to create and affect meaningful change. One of these amazing partners is Union & Fifth. In fact, it's how RBRW Founder and CEO Jacquelyn Aluotto and I met, when I was working with U5 at Fashion x Houston last year. Union & Fifth's Founding Executive Director Christena Reinhard, one of our Socially Conscious Fashionistas, conceived of a campaign to help victims of Hurricane Harvey while we were in the midst of the storm. Please read her message below.

The task of connecting with great philanthropists and organizations seemed daunting when we started Union & Fifth. Thanks to the generosity of JP Morgan Philanthropy Center, we started connecting with incredible people in Houston. Through the warmth and genuine enthusiasm for the Union & Fifth mission, we met Houston philanthropists Debbie Pakzaban and Anika Jackson who quickly connected me with their networks filled with strong women with hearts the size of Texas.

We were overwhelmed with the response – Houston women shopped and cleaned out, but more importantly, they supported their community in a variety of ways – including through Union & Fifth. We gleefully sent a disproportionate number of checks to Houston area non-profits with each distribution. And now it is our chance to return the favor. Houston is overwhelmed; overwhelmed with water, evacuees, and donations of used clothing that are piling up in corners of evacuation centers. We all want to help. It is human nature. It is also human nature to let the things that don’t affect us directly fade from our focus. It’s not that we don’t feel horrible, but we really don’t understand the magnitude of the impact. This is the largest water disaster in the history of the US, we have no concept yet of what it will take to get things “back to normal” or if, in fact, it will ever get there. The long term need is for consistent money and a plan.

Union & Fifth fundraising is not a quick “text to donate”, rather, it is the longer game. We don’t issue checks daily. We do it two times a year.