NEW YORK -- Environmental causes are reaping some benefits from the philanthropic impulses of the apparel industry.
Ecological concerns are often overshadowed by other charitable endeavors in the fashion business, especially those that hit closer to home, such as AIDS and breast cancer. Still, several firms are doing the environmental thing and getting promotional mileage as well.
One of the most dramatic examples is Jantzen's tie-ins with various organizations promoting clean and safe beaches.
"The people at Jantzen feel if we're going to be in the swimwear business, it's important for us to help provide for safer and cleaner beaches," said Jay Titsworth, president of Jantzen, a division of VF Corp.
Last week, Titsworth was at the Herald Square flagship of Macy's East to present a $10,000 check from the company to Clean Ocean Action, a New Jersey-based coalition of businesses, educators and citizens working to clean up the New York Bight, the area of water from Montauk Point on Long Island to Cape May, N.J.
The presentation was part of an early evening fashion show of Jantzen swimwear. In addition to the check, Jantzen and Macy's will each donate $1 from every sale of Jantzen's Clean Water collection merchandise from May 7 through 21.
The Clean Water collection is a line of sportswear, swimsuits and beach accessories created by Jantzen; proceeds help raise funds for beach and waterway cleanups.
Jantzen also joined forces last month with Clean Ocean Action, Monmouth Cablevision, the Asbury Park Press and community residents for the Jantzen '94 Beach Sweeps, a clean-up effort on the beaches of New Jersey's Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. Jantzen, based in Portland, Ore., says it currently supports cleanups and environmental efforts in more than 125 cities nationwide, in partnership with 17 retailers and more than 400 stores.
Another clean water alliance has been made by denim company Faded Glory with the Izaak Walton League of America's Save Our Streams program. This program is a hands-on river protection and restoration program.
The company promotes SOS through its national ad campaign and in-store displays, and has produced a brochure telling consumers how they can contribute to and get involved with the program.Faded Glory's ads and hang tags ask consumers to write for the brochure. Prominently pictured on the brochure is Faded Glory spokesperson Luke Perry, of TV's "Beverly Hills 90210," who discusses SOS on the firm's TV commercials.
For the past two years, Guess Inc. has sponsored the Environmental Media Awards in Los Angeles, paying tribute to people and companies in the media that promote environmental awareness. Through this involvement, Guess donated thousands of trees to a local conservation group called Tree People.
The EMA awards are presented at a gala party, and at the event last September, Guess had pledge cards placed at the dinner tables and asked those in attendance to help Tree People with additional funds.
The effort raised $50,000 for the group on top of a $15,000 contribution from Guess for the tree-planting, according to a Guess spokeswoman.
It resulted in a massive tree-planting on May 7, where 200 employees, friends and family members of Guess, Tree People and Chevrolet Motors -- another contributor -- planted 380 trees in the fire-damaged Circle X Ranch State Park, in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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