Every color of the shirt corresponds to a cause and for every sale 10% of the profit goes to the association that defends it: sage green renovates houses with Just a Change; Blue cleans the oceans with the Clear Movement; Mustard protects the Asian elephant with the Elephant Nature Park.
The brothers Afonso and Francisco Soares created ivory during their first term in prison in Portugal. First with the #FlattenTheCurve line to combat the growth of the pandemic in March 2020 when we didn’t yet know what to expect. Then they realized that they could do more and with ten new colors came ten new causes.
“Ivory comes from the enormous influence of our parents,” says Francisco, the older brother, 23 years old. “I remember when I was very small and it took my mother dozens of minutes by car to sort out the garbage. There has always been a lot of respect for the planet. “The brand’s jerseys travel to those who buy it in compostable packaging,“ food for earthworms, ”made from leftovers from corn production.
“When I was 15 and my brother 13, we lost our father and found he donated part of his salary to charities every month. Nobody knew. I remember telling my mother that if she made money, she’d donate too, ”Francisco recalls. From April to December 2020, Ivory donated 2,500 euros to partner associations. It is planned to add another zero to the value in 2021.
On October 10th, World Mental Health Day, Ivory, in collaboration with Active Minds, launched an awareness line on the subject with the message “You are not alone”. “You are not alone in this fight that seems lonely,” reads the brand’s Instagram page. People who ordered the t-shirt multiplied, took a picture and posted it on social media to share about their own mental health experiences. The messages in Ivory’s mailbox were so numerous and so intimate that they hired a psychologist to respond to those who wrote them requests for help.
Ivory / Cafuné photography
“I was struggling with fear two years ago, but the worst part was believing that no one else felt like I was going to go crazy, and I only asked for help when I was already desperate,” said Francisco. “The taboo is absurd, there is no point in not talking about it.” Dissatisfied, he decided to make mental health awareness a priority, making way for the topic on the brand’s social networks.
Ivory’s organic cotton and recycled polyester t-shirts and t-shirts are made in Bangladesh, a name that “sounds the alarm”. They do this for two reasons: because they wanted to carry on Ivory’s message at an affordable price and because they trust the work of the Fair Wear Foundation, which runs the clothing factory. The Fair Wear Foundation and its members establish a Code of Labor Practices that defines, among other things, the prohibition of child labor and forced labor, fair wages and fair working hours, and a safe and healthy working environment.
Ivory now wraps up next summer’s collection with news for the mental health line and is preparing to address the issue of gender inequality. The prices of the pieces vary between 19 and 44 euros and can be purchased through the website. “Our success no longer leads to profit or the number of donations. Today we feel that ivory is much more about awareness than solidarity. “