A time to act
Last year marked C&A Foundation’s fifth anniversary. While the foundation celebrated five years of working with courageous partners and beneficiaries, allies and changemakers to make fashion a force for good, it also took the opportunity to take a step back.
It took a long, hard look at its effectiveness as a philanthropic organisation, at the results of its work and what it could do to have an even greater impact. But it also took the opportunity to look outside the organisation and examine how the industry and the world beyond have developed over the past five years.
And this introspection led them to some harsh discoveries: despite their hard work and best efforts, there are larger forces at play. It only takes a glance at the newspaper to see that humanity has reached a tipping point. On its current path of production and consumption, the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality will not only endanger nature, but jeopardise the safety and dignity of countless communities around the world. And the fashion’s issues are not just industry issues. They are systems issues.
C&A Foundation came to the realisation that to make fashion a force for good, it must seriously and thoughtfully challenge the very economic system which enables it. It must question whether this system – and the market itself – can be a force for good. Now more than ever is the time for bold action.
And so, the team behind C&A Foundation launched a new foundation. Laudes Foundation joins the urgent movement to accelerate the transition to a just and regenerative economy. Armed with the conviction that the same human ingenuity that has lifted millions out of poverty can be applied to new ends, Laudes Foundation calls on it now to redefine the very concept of value and deliver its vision of global markets that value all people and respect nature.
Its mission resolutely practical: to support brave action to inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good. Laudes Foundation stands ready to work with industry to combine philanthropic purpose with the scale and reach of business, drawing upon the comparative advantages of both. In this way, it will work collaboratively to both influence capital so that investments encourage good business practices, and transform industry tackling their most pressing and systemic issues.
Laudes Foundation remains as committed as ever to transforming fashion, taking on and advancing the industry-changing work of C&A Foundation, which becomes its fashion programme. But it will expand its scope and apply its experiences to other industries, starting with the built environment. And importantly, it will work with financial actors to inspire change and align incentives, and foster new economic thinking and innovative business models.
As C&A Foundation retires and its team takes on the challenge to redefine value, Laudes Foundation is are conscious that this is the decade of delivery. There is no time lose. Organisations and individuals everywhere must now meet the moment by raising their collective ambition and committing to meaningful action and results. Join Laudes Foundation on its new and exciting journey on Twitter and LinkedIn and at www.laudesfoundation.org.laude