Wearing clothes that are made in the U.S.A. is almost a political statement these days. President Trump makes a point of highlighting any news that manufacturing jobs are being moved back to the United States, even though both his and his daughter’s eponymous lines are not made stateside. Ashley Biden, daughter of former VP Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, launched a clothing brand that's actually made in the U.S.A. And she takes it a step further by donating proceeds to underserved American communities.
[Melanie Mignucci| February 10, 2017 |Teen Vogue]
Ashley's line, called Livelihood, is produced exclusively for the e-commerce site Gilt, which has previously partnered with philanthropic initiatives like (RED). With her day job as a social worker in Delaware, she was able to see firsthand how communities suffered from a lack of resources. In fact, the two ZIP codes that will benefit from the first round of funding are Anacostia, D.C., where Ashley was first posted, and Wilmington, Delaware, where she was born.
With the proceeds, Ashley says, community boards will be created to decide what initiatives need the funding the most. “I want a janitor, a school teacher, the local pastor, whomever is involved in the community to sit at the table and to pick the projects for economic development," she tells Teen Vogue. Economic development could mean anything from “education, community centers, literacy programs, tutoring, or workforce development,” she adds.
At the NYC launch Monday night, which also marked Joe Biden’s first public appearance as a former VP, Obama’s BFF praised his daughter’s initiative and vision: “My daughter Ashley’s commitment to public service, her commitment to trying to change the world for the better, is more intense than even mine has been,” he said.
Another facet of Livelihood, aside from the apparel, will be an interactive website, where visitors can learn about models of change that work to reduce poverty in all areas of the country. “We're going to be talking about policy reforms needed, such as campaign finance reform, tax revisions, [and] minimum wage,” says Ashley. “We're going to be talking about the importance of civic engagement participation. Because many people don't believe understand governance, and how it's set up. [Livelihood] is encouraging people to get involved on a local level.”
The website will also link to Gilt, where you can buy men’s, women’s and kid’s hoodies for $79 to $99. And you can rest assured: everything is made in the U.S.A.