J.Crew's latest launch for its Garments for Good program looks to Canada for inspiration.
Garments for Good is a charitable program J.Crew started a few years ago to create small capsule collections that celebrate, bring awareness and raise proceeds for different causes. Since starting this initiative they’ve partnered up with many worthy causes such as Edun; a global fashion brand that promotes trade in Africa, Buglife; a charity devoted to the conservation of many species of bugs—including bees, and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; an organization that rescues and protects elephants and rhinos in East Africa. For the brand’s latest cause, they looked north and set their sights on Canada.
To coincide with the upcoming Out of The Depths: The Blue Whale Story exhibition opening March 11 at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, the American fashion brand is partnering with the museum and launching a new set of T-shirts and accessories as part of the brand’s Garments for Good Program. This limited edition of custom designed men’s, women’s and kids’ tees, tote and bandanas feature hand-sketched (the original design was actually painted) whales by Somsack Sikhounmuong, J.Crew’s head of women’s design, who also happen’s to have grown up in Oshawa, outside of Toronto.
“A colleague had heard about this exhibition and she said, ‘there’s this project we’re thinking of working on with this museum up in Toronto called the ROM,’ and she pretty much had me at the ROM,” jokes Sikhounmuong. “We were looking for our first Canadian charity to work with and what better one to do than to do it with the ROM,” he adds. He also admits that he grew up as a whale nerd and recently had the chance of going whale watching. “It’s an out of this world experience. Nothing is more humbling than being on this tiny little boat out in the ocean and all of a sudden these huge majestic whales pop up,” says Sikhounmuong.
Ranging in price from $16.50 to $59, half of the retail price of these styles will be donated to the ROM’s Blue Whale project. This is a research based charity that investigates the rapid disappearance of whales, due to noise and water pollution, ship collisions and climate change.
The full limited-edition collection launched on March 8, and it will be available at jcrew.com and at stores across Canada.