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PVBLIC Program Spotlight: The Fashion Impact Fund

Above: Custom Collaborative, Fashion Impact Fund Grantee Photo by: Camila Falquez

[New York, New York, March 1st, 2024] PVBLIC Foundation is honored to announce that the Fashion Impact Fund, which was launched in 2021 by Kerry Bannigan to advance women's financial independence, combat poverty and gender-based violence, and promote positive change within the fashion industry, is joining PVBLIC as an official program. The Fund supports fashion skills training initiatives led by women for women to achieve education, employment, and economic inclusion.

With only 2.1% of venture capital dollars financing female-founded companies and 1.9% of charitable giving in the USA being donated to women's and girls' organizations, the Fashion Impact Fund is committed to supporting female founders leading fashion workforce opportunities for women to access education, gain employment and achieve economic inclusion. Investing in fashion workforce development solutions for women can create lasting and transformative impact on their lives, communities, and the sector globally.

Kerry Bannigan, Managing Director, PVBLIC Foundation and Executive Director, Fashion Impact Fund shares “The Fashion Impact Fund’s integration into PVBLIC Foundation’s suite of global programs represents a significant milestone in our shared mission. This strategic move amplifies our efforts and broadens our horizons, creating a powerful synergy dedicated to fostering gender equality, economic inclusion, and social justice. As part of the PVBLIC Foundation, we are now better positioned to bolster our support for female founders and to enhance skills training initiatives that empower women towards achieving education, employment, and economic independence. Together, within this expanded framework, our commitment to transforming the fashion industry and uplifting women worldwide is stronger and more impactful than ever.”

“By welcoming the Fashion Impact Fund into the array of global programs at PVBLIC Foundation, we are not merely expanding our portfolio; we are deepening our commitment to transforming lives through the power of sustainable fashion. The Fashion Impact Fund’s focus on providing women with fashion skills training embodies our vision of economic inclusion and empowerment. Under the PVBLIC banner, this program will leverage our global platform to enhance its impact, supporting female founders and empowering women with essential skills for their economic success. This strategic integration signifies our dedication to driving positive change in the fashion industry and beyond, as we work together to uplift women’s voices and create equitable opportunities worldwide. The Fashion Impact Fund’s mission is now a fundamental part of our holistic approach to social impact, highlighting our resolve to build a more inclusive and empowered society.” Stated Executive Chairman, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova.

To date the Fashion Impact Fund has financed 11 female founders located in Africa, India, the United Kingdom and the USA; including Artisan Global [Uganda], Custom Collaborative [USA], Fashion Enter [UK], The African Academy of Fashion [Ghana], Remake [USA] and Saheli Women [India].

Highlighting the support received by the Fashion Impact Fund, Ngozi Okaro, Executive Director, Custom Collaborative commented "The fund elevates women, sharing the spotlight with the often overlooked. Their investment in Custom Collaborative is a testament to the leadership and team's commitment to supporting ethical fashion." Custom Collaborative, founded by Ngozi Okaro in New York, trains, mentors, and advocates for and with low to no-income and immigrant women to achieve economic success in the sustainable fashion industry and broader society. The program specializes in teaching women how to construct made-to-measure clothing and personalized accessories for all body types. The training includes extensive instruction in fashion business basics, including marketing, sourcing, ethical manufacturing, sustainability, and personal finance.

Artisan Global, founded by Devon Feldmeth, Ketty Promise, and Lauren Shipley, is a 501c3 nonprofit that was established to develop creative industries with local artisans and entrepreneurs in post-conflict Northern Uganda. Starting with fashion programs that launched in 2014, their main focus was to build accelerated vocational programs that would lead to job opportunities and address generational cycles of poverty that were exacerbated by the effects of war. The program aims to equip economically marginalized women with sewing, tailoring, design, and business skills to pursue sustainable income opportunities and use fashion to ignite community change in Northern Uganda. Lauren Shipley commented

"The Fashion Impact Fund is leading the way for women-led impact in the fashion industry across the globe. We strive to contribute to an equitable workspace, creating the opportunity for disadvantaged women to become leaders in the community. Together with the Fashion Impact Fund, we can accelerate new opportunities for women to be active participants in the economy."

PVBLIC Foundation is proud to expand its support of the work towards advancing women's financial independence, combating poverty, discrimination, and gender-based violence, while also promoting positive change within the fashion industry through the work of the Fashion Impact Fund.

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