Making The Case for Charitable Fashion

Making The Case for Charitable Fashion

Recently we marked a one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown. While I can’t say that the pandemic was a blessing, it did provide a turning point that led Maison Noelle to become a charity-driven line. 

I realized that to some who know me and my background of working in luxury fashion, the decision might seem a little strange. When you start your career in luxury fashion, you’re sort of expected to stay in that lane. That was what I believed, when I first came up with the idea for a line.

Last year, when the pandemic hit, I saw what it did - not only to our health and economy, but how it led to increase in human trafficking, domestic violence and homelessness.

I started exploring the possibilities of what Maison Noelle could become. Does the world really need another luxury brand? Or can a fashion line be something else - a vehicle for charity and compassion?


Charity in fashion is not really a new concept. Fashion brands usually engage in charity in the context of special projects - not on a full-time basis. Once in a while you probably notice some fashion brands launching graphic t-shirts or limited edition accessories for a charitable cause. 

While graphic t-shirts and limited edition accessories may be effective in delivering a specific message, I sometimes wonder what happens to them afterwards. Will someone wear them all the time, or just a few times? I myself have previously bought graphic tees to support charities, and since I am not a graphic t-shirt type, I rarely find the occasion to wear them.

But then I thought: What if you don’t need to buy a specific t-shirt or accessories to support charity? What if you can build your wardrobe while supporting charity at the same time?

That was how I decided to build our collections based on charitable causes, rather than following the seasons. Project Freedom is dedicated to supporting trafficking survivors, while Project Love and Agape are dedicated to supporting women shelters. I am hoping to launch additional projects in the near future, in support of substance dependency treatments and mental health.


I had many doubts about pursuing the direction of fashion for charity to support human trafficking survivors and homeless shelters for women. I worried that others would find the realities of trafficking and homelessness too disturbing or triggering, as they often intersect with other issues such as substance dependency and mental health. 

And as a startup, I knew we are a long way from being able to make significant financial contributions as do large corporations.

In the midst of my doubts and fears, I often found encouragement in the example of Mother Teresa, who never let her circumstances prevent her from reaching out to the ones in need. Despite losing her father when she was eight, raised in a family without wealth, living in a foreign country away from her family, and even when she was in poor health towards the end of her life, Mother Teresa never ceased trying to help the poor and the suffering.

I find myself returning to her words, time and time again:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”


Thank you for your love, support, and generosity.
Together we all can do small things with great love.


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