With the holidays upon us, our thoughts turn to giving, receiving, and giving back. Here at The Underwear Expert, there’s not much that makes us happier than when we see an underwear brand that does some good in the world besides making a great product. Whether they support charities at home or people abroad, several companies have made our “nice” list this season. We’ve compiled seven of our favorite underwear brands that support charities so that you can plan your purchases according to the causes that are most important to you. Change your underwear and change lives at the same time – that’s not a bad way to make a difference.
Pact invests a portion of its revenue into a partnered social enterprise and works to build awareness among customers. Most recently, sales from Pact’s Warmth Collection will support Veronika Scott, an entrepreneur in Detroit who provides coats made from sleeping bags for the homeless in her community.
Jeff Denby, PACT’s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, said “We all need undies and we all need socks. When you give PACT, PACT will give back to communities and projects across the nation that are giving love and warmth to our fellow citizens.”
Denby added, “As a nation we’re facing uncertain political and financial times, but despite this, positive change is being created by citizens who are doing good work every day. “We traveled from Detroit, to Austin, to Portland Oregon and everywhere along the way we found these social entrepreneurs having profound effects on their communities. PACT calls these people Changemakers. This collection is about celebrating these individuals and the spirit of doing good through the things we do every day.”
Vancouver based Naked partners with local nonprofits to fund neighboring and global outreach initiatives. The underwear brand has worked with the Burn Fund, the Hospice Society, Big Brothers & Sisters and Pacific Pathways Development. Most of these organizations support global programs but their efforts have also been geared toward local events in Vancouver. Globally, community development is the foundation of the Project World Citizen Society, which gives children in Ghana the opportunity to receive a university education.
“I believe giving back should fit into everyone’s business whether the themes of the charity are aligned with the product or not,” said Joel Primus, founder of Naked. “We are so fortunate here. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot and if through the work we do at Naked we can help never see some of the horrible things I’ve had to see again I know we will have served a far greater purpose than underwear.”
Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy of the East Coast, 2(X)IST launched its first ever pop-up shop in New York City’s Times Square, in which 100% of profits go to the American Red Cross in Greater New York to help restore the region and provide for those affected by the storm. 2(X)IST will also continue drops of basic essential pieces including the brand’s signature crew-neck t-shirts, long underwear and henleys to those communities hit the hardest. The store will be open through December 24th.
“We owe so much of our success to the city that built us,” said Joey Harary, Chief Executive Officer of The Moret Group, parent company of 2(X)IST. “Our personal relationship with New York reminds us that while the Hurricane may be out of sight, it’s not out of mind nor are its effects any less real. We are devoted to continuing the relief efforts and bringing holiday cheer to those who need it most.”
Bluebuck, a UK- based underwear brand, partnered earlier this year with Rugby star and gay rights advocate, Ben Cohen, to release a line of men’s underwear, in which proceeds went to Cohen’s charity, the StandUp Foundation. This organization is dedicated to combatting bullying, especially the bullying of children who might be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Launched in 2010, Bluebuck is an underwear brand with a conscience. With environmental concerns at the forefront focus of their production, Bluebuck aims to represent the rugged outdoorsman, and all that he appreciates.
“Ben’s love of outdoor sports and dedication to his StandUp Foundation makes for a perfect match with Bluebuck’s values of outdoor adventures, men being men, and climate friendly production.” Bluebuck said in a released statement.
Papi is involved in various causes, especially HIV and AIDS awareness. The brand most recently held an event for MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, which supports innovative projects in areas in need of funding creative leaders to help prevent the spread of HIV last October.
In 2009, Papi and HIVictorious partnered to create the “What If It Were You?” HIV / AIDS awareness campaign using posters created by high school students. These thought-provoking posters of encouragement will be on display at select Macy’s stores.
HIVictorious is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. Bob Bowers, the Founder and President, is a 26-year survivor of the disease. He lends a very powerful and frank voice in the fight against AIDS. Through his outreach, students readily connect with Bob and appreciate his honesty and willingness to empower others with knowledge and hope.
2. Bayou Beau
Houston, Texas-based Bayou Beau offers a Charity Collection of colorful trunks, which support various gay-related causes. Bayou Beau donates 10% of proceeds to charities that support, educate and celebrate the LGBT community that include the PFLAG Scholarship Fun, AIDS Foundation Houston and Outreach United, which promotes tolerance, understanding and awareness.
1. Pants to Poverty
Pants to Poverty goes beyond just giving to charities. The British brand has set up its company to help lift Indian cotton farmers and factory workers out of poverty. The brand creates organic underwear that is made by workers who are paid fairly. Today, Pants to Poverty supports over 5000 farmers in India. The founders would love to spread out and try their business model in other countries as well, creating high quality products from organic farms and giving people a chance to earn a living wage. The name “Pants to Poverty” is an English phrase that means “poverty is terrible.” Pants is also the British word for underwear.
Photo credit: Pact, Naked, 2(X)IST, Bluebuck, Papi, Bayou Neau, Pants to Poverty