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Aéropostale’s Charity Hits Milestone

In the just-ended campaign, Teens for Jeans and collected more than 1 million pairs, thanks to an extra boost from young Hollywood.

CHARITY BEGINS AT THE STORE: Teen retailer Aéropostale five years ago decided to invest in a charity that would resonate with its target audience, so it launched the Teens for Jeans campaign. Teens donated 100,000 pairs of jeans in the first year. In the just-ended campaign, Aéropostale’s Teens for Jeans and collected more than 1 million pairs. The garments will be distributed to needy young people in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. This year’s effort got a boost from young Hollywood. Demi Lovato filmed a PSA for the charity. Kristen Bell hosted a kick-off party in Los Angeles, where Cody Simpson performed an acoustic set.

Other celebrity supporters included Julianne Hough, Justin Long, the cast of “Pretty Little Liars,” Josie Loren, BooBoo Stewart, Cris Cab and Damien Fahey. “It’s a phenomenal feat,” said Aéropostale chief executive officer Thomas Johnson. “This is absolutely the largest jeans drive, ever.” The retailer offered a 25 percent savings coupon to everyone who donated a pair of jeans. About 12,000 schools participated. The school that collected the most jeans will receive a $5,000 donation from Aéropostale and a free pair of jeans for every kid in the school.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Scott Birnbaum, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce, said the Internet played a big role in the campaign. “All of the celebrities Tweeted to their fan bases, starting in January,” he said.

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