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With social conscience becoming an increasingly valued part of a brand, it was only a matter of time before charities decided to get in on the action. That way, they can finally make some real scratch.

UK Vogue is reporting Oxfam’s first designer boutique in London’s Westbourne Grove. An all-star team of British designers contributed to the store, which combines donated designer clothes with unique and reworked pieces from the London College of Fashion. Of course, it’s all sustainable and fair traded to within an inch of its life. After all, they’re still about fighting poverty.

It’s a branding move, plain and simple. As Greenery has become more popular over the past few years, most fashion brands have been left in the dust. There have been a few success stories, most notably on the younger end, but most established brands haven’t been agile enough to catch up. In fact, it’s unlikely that people will ever feel that they’re doing a good thing by buying Gucci. As a result, the market’s wide open for carpet-bagging brands like Oxfam—which has goodwill to spare—to step in as the humanitarian alternative to the big bad luxury corporations you’ve read so much about.

Which explains why Oxfam chose to go into fashion rather than prepackaged meals.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom