Fashion and Philanthropy: Interview with Fashion Project’s Anna Palmer

For as far back as I can remember, I’d set my heart on a career in fashion. In 1992, I packed one (very large) suitcase, bought a one-way plane ticket to JFK, and moved to New York City to embark on some life that would connect my love for publishing with fashion. Undoubtedly, I would work at Conde Nast on Vogue or something just as fabulous.  Alas, I got my start in publishing at Ziff-Davis, instead-where I began a career in publishing, but on titles that covered the world of personal computers (as they were called back then). Not exactly Vogue…but, ultimately, it did lead me to launching Third Sector Today, so it was definitely the right choice!

Fashion as a force for good

So let’s just say that I was more than a little intrigued when I heard about Fashion Project-with its tagline: “Fashion as a force for good.” It may be decades later, but I find myself finally entering the fashion world! Well, sort of. O.K., I’m actually just connecting with it….but just the same, I’m rather giddy over it.

Fashion Project, co- founded by Ann Palmer, is a web-based social enterprise that started with the realization that the value of donated clothing and accessories is more than $13 Billion a year. Palmer and her partner Christine Rizk, built this platform that allows for guilt-free shopping: You’re re-purposing great clothing, at a great price (or clearing out your closet), and money is going to a great cause. Win-Win-Win! (Want to get started shopping? Start here)

Launched in 2012, Fashion Project has become a major player in the fashion world, powering the clothing donation program for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, partnering with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to give back to amfAR, and launching in-store donation programs with Nordstrom, Helmut Lang, Joie, Milly and Elie Tahari. Fashion Project is also a part of the exclusive Neiman Marcus InCircle Program.

Take a listen to this 7 minute interview with Anna to find out more about what inspired her work and her thoughts on where philanthropy is going. You’ll also get to hear about Fashion Project’s launch of an My Fashion Project, a tool that can be used by nonprofits for creative  and stylish fundraising.


Want to learn more? Anna will be speaking at MCON 2015 in Chicago, IL June 24-25.  Third Sector Today is proud to be a partner of MCON2015 and we hope to see you there!

In the meantime, maybe you want to bid on a celebrity clothing item?