ELEGANT DISRUPTION Smart, sexy, and never self-​​righteous: how one luxury startup does social responsibility right

November 3, 2014

By Jenni Avins:  In today’s fash­ion indus­try, a social mis­sion is a highly effec­tive brand­ing tool. Eye­wear com­pany Warby Parker, which con­tributes a pair of glasses to some­one in need for every pair it sells, sold half a mil­lion pairs of glasses in 12 months. In August, Bain Cap­i­tal bought half of the Toms shoe com­pany, which also works with a sell-​​one-​​donate-​​one model, in a deal that val­ued the man­u­fac­turer of cot­ton slip-​​ons at $625 mil­lion. For brands at the higher end of the mar­ket, sell­ing socially con­scious ideals is a more com­pli­cated chal­lenge. The lux­ury realm of Louis Vuit­ton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Her­més favors the idea of heritage—and specif­i­cally of the Euro­pean per­sua­sion, at that. Self-​​righteous star­tups need not apply.

But three years ago, a new lux­ury label called Maiyet qui­etly appeared, with sophis­ti­cated, stream­lined ready-​​to-​​wear; weighty gold state­ment jew­elry; and bohemian leather san­dals. As fash­ion was turn­ing to min­i­mal­ism, Maiyet looked just right, and the brand—with a mis­sion that had as much to do with social good as it did with aesthetics—was wel­comed into the fold.

To read the full arti­cle, visit Quartz.