Photo of influencer Meghan posing in an #Unignorable t-shirt and blazer with her hair tied up.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Brooke Schaal

Style for a cause: fashion that gives back

5 influencers in Toronto and the GTA show us how they wear their hearts on their sleeves—so to speak

An amazing sense of style inspires others. That’s especially true when what you wear supports—and spreads the word about—an amazing cause. At the heart of the fashionable items shown here is the belief that supporting communities can be regularly woven into anyone’s sartorial expression. Whether it’s a striking lip colour that helps fund Indigenous education, or an eye-catching T-shirt that shines a light on important local issues such as homelessness (and goes with everything in your closet, BTW), there are plenty of ways to dress up and make a difference. Here, five of Toronto and the GTA’s chicest influencers style themselves with socially conscious gear and share how they speak up and make a difference in their communities. Giving back has never looked so good.

Photo of Maya Ziv posing in her motorized chair dressed in black with red lipstick

Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that lets users rate a location’s accessibility

On Instagram: @maayanziv

“Inclusion and the celebration of diversity are the issues I think about all the time. I try to keep things really simple on purpose, from what I wear to how I engage with people. I hope that simplicity allows others to be less intimidated and feel fewer barriers to be a part of something. As someone living with a disability and also building a company that’s focused on bringing people with and without disabilities together, that level of inclusion is something that I’m working towards.”

Wearing: Cheekbone Beauty Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Autumn, $29.

Supporting: First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. With every purchase, Cheekbone Beauty donates 10 per cent of profits.

Photo of influencer Brigitte wearing a

Brigitte Truong, TV host, producer and vlogger

On Instagram: @brigittetruong

“Causes that aim to foster, educate and support the younger generation resonate most with me. I spent a lot of time working with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in my 20s, which is where I learned the importance of mentorship. Sometimes children need to be inspired by an older confidant to aspire to be someone great. I think we’re living in an empowering time right now where millennials are valuing community and positivity, and I’m super optimistic that we’ll see more and more partnerships between generations that will result in some really powerful stuff.”

Wearing: Peace Collective Home is Toronto Varsity Crew Neck in Forest Green or Black, $65.

Supporting: The Breakfast Club of Canada. With every garment sold, Peace Collective donates two meals to a Canadian child in need.

Animated gif of Meghan swishing back and forth with the tassels of her pants moving back and forth

Meghan Yuri Young, editor, founder of mental health advocacy site The Sad Collective

On Instagram: @meghanyuriyoung

“A general sense of giving back and awareness is important to me. It’s allowed me to learn about so many incredible initiatives happening in our city and around the world, from Skylark Youth and Sistering (both United Way-supported agencies) to Human Rights Watch. I’m particularly drawn to the mental health and youth communities, having volunteered for Children’s Book Bank, Lane6 and SOS Children’s Villages Canada. Yet that doesn’t stop me from supporting other crucial causes that are brought to my attention as I become more philanthropically involved in Toronto.”

Wearing: United Way #Unignorable T-shirt, $30, and custom sneakers.

Supporting: United Way partnered with Pantone to create a custom unignorable colour to draw attention to local issues like social isolation, poverty and domestic violence across Canada. Toronto designers The Peace Collective showcase the arresting shade on a T-shirt, with sales going to support United Way’s awareness-raising Unignorable campaign.

Photo of influencer Amanda posing with her hands on her hips dressed in leggings and a sweater

Amanda Blakley, travel writer, founder of BoobyBall annual fundraiser in support of breast cancer research

On Instagram: @amandablakley

“As a Torontonian and an entrepreneur, I definitely like to support fellow entrepreneurs: labels that are started by friends of mine, or accessory lines that have been founded in Toronto or in Canada. It extends beyond my wardrobe and into my home as well. That’s a big part of it, supporting local artists and creatives who are putting their products out in the marketplace here.”

Wearing: Yoga Culture leggings in Fragmented, $94.

Supporting: An eco-conscious, Ontario-based, woman-run brand that donates funds to yoga education and development projects.

Photo of Chief Lady Bird dressed in black posing with her hand on the strap of her purse.

Chief Lady Bird, artist and activist

On Instagram: @chiefladybird

“I wear my heart on my sleeve by advocating for my kin on social media. I often post about the realities of mental health as an Anishinaabe woman; I am honest about the impact that settler-colonialism has had on me and share my coping mechanisms and self-care strategies. I also fight like hell to counter the vicious anti-Indigenous narratives that are prevalent in the online sphere. I am transparent, I am hopeful, I am angry and I am loud… And I just hope that my community knows how much I love them.”

Wearing: SheNative Dream Clutch, $150, and Fringe Earrings, from $25.

Supporting: An Indigenous-run, Canadian company where all employees are Indigenous women and which facilitates a positive perception of Indigenous cultures.

Photo of Chief Lady Bird dressed in a Black Sabbath t-shirt and red earring holding three feathers, which she had recently been awarded

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