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14 July 2017

British brand Made By Riley proves that fashion really can make a difference, meaning shopping with a clear conscience is a reality

Ethical is the new black

We all have the power to make positive change, whether in big or small ways, and small actions can make big difference. That’s the governing ethos for Riley Uggla and Rayna Barasch, the partners behind ethical fashion brand Made by Riley.  

Riley says: “The two of us share a strong sense of responsibility to give back and we wanted to be involved in something that helped people to do that through their everyday actions. People will always buy clothes – why not buy clothes that contribute to important causes?

Made by Riley began life in 2015, founded by entrepreneur Riley after she had studied fashion at Istituto Marangoni. Devised as a loungewear brand that’s ‘good for the soul’, it combines Riley’s love of easy, understated fashion with her philanthropic drive and establishes a clothing collection with a cause.

It was the powerful ethos of giving back that inspired the seasoned business consultant Rayna Barasch. After a serendipitous encounter in early 2016, Rayna joined Made by Riley as Riley's business partner. Having worked at Diane Von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren before establishing her own successful fashion consultancy in 2012,  Rayna was driven to use her wealth of experience and knowledge of the industry to build a brand that encouraged awareness and raised social consciousness.

Rayna says: “We want to change the way that people think about giving back. It’s not just about donating profits – we see Made by Riley as a platform for people to align their actions with their values and to encourage others to do the same.”

Made by Riley collaborates with different charities on its ‘Gives Back’ pieces, donating a percentage of all profits back to the non-profits. Partnerships so far include the NSPCC, Human Rights Watch, Trekstock, Maggie’s Cancer Trust and Space for Giants. 

In each case the key to the clothing is subtlety - T-shirts and jumpers aren’t emblazoned with the charity logos or slogans, rather they feature a positive quote or the sketch of an elephant’s face. The brand embodies effortless, chic off-duty style, combining soft fabrics, neutral palettes and classic silhouettes, and has won celebrity fans including Fearne Cotton and Nicole Scherzinger.

It’s loungewear that looks great while helping to do something great by supporting a non-profit. And this is no gimmick - the charities partnerships last a lifetime rather than just one season.

Ethical is the new black two ladiesMade by Riley also partners with charities to support additional fundraising efforts, whether by supporting existing events or hosting unique events that help a charity to reach a greater audience. Coming up soon is an event for TrekStock which sees them join forces with Another Space to do a big TrekCycle fundraiser. 

Recently Made by Riley also supported March for Giants, a global campaign to raise awareness of the poaching crisis run by their charity partner Space for Giants. A digital elephant branded with the Made by Riley logo paraded around the world on some of the biggest digital advertising billboards to highlight the crisis currently facing elephants. A planned T-shirt collaboration is due to launch later this year. 

Embracing the idea that we all have the power to make an impact, Made by Riley was founded to help us do just that, encouraging us to take an active role in improving our immediate and wider communities.

Prices range from £40 – £110. For more information visit www.madebyriley.co.uk or follow @madebyriley on Twitter

By: EMMA LEDGER
PUBLISHED: 24 MARCH 2017
INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

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