The catalyst behind the Council for Fashion and Social Change (CFSC) is a fashion influencer and humanitarian, Katya Akuma.
With a mission to inspire the fashion industry to engage in projects that have a positive social impact on communities, the nonprofit organization focuses on creating impact through design. Formed in 2016 by Akuma, both the founder and the company promote successful sustainability through a collaborative ecosystem. With more than 12 years of experience working in the fashion industry, Akuma works to facilitate fashion companies drive towards social change in their communities.
Alumna of Parsons
An alumna of Parsons, the New School for Design, Akuma’s grassroots in social change stemmed from being selected as one of four winners of the Parsons Design Fellowship in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2015. Created by Donna Karan, the Urban Zen Foundation is a call to create a philosophy of caring; changing the health care system through the preservation of culture, integrative education, and healthcare. Akuma worked at the education center, Design Organization Training (D.O.T), for Haiti’s artisans and was inspired.
Carrying forth the social change, Akuma’s shared objective to create opportunities for design graduates seeped through the core of CFSC. Creating meaningful opportunities, CFSC facilitates the partnership between new talent and established fashion houses, allowing them to team up to develop limited-edition collections. Dedicated to driving a portion of sales towards non-profit organizations, CFSC provides services free of charge when collaborating with fashion companies and design graduates.
Covered by donations
CSFC covers operating costs primarily through voluntary donations and grants from foundations and supporters. Collaborations are based on social motives rather than profit motives and create a synergy in the industry that builds a bridge to support social change for charities and nonprofit initiatives.
Akuma and CFSC work with a vast portfolio of nonprofit organizations and charities to fulfill their vision. 100% of proceeds raised through fashion collaborations go directly to charities. By lending a helping hand, Akuma and CFSC contributes by supporting causes including health, human services for basic needs, civil rights, and advocacy. These aspects of humanitarian relief are the heart of the program, dedicated to pumping funds into the cups of those in need.
Highlighting some of the non-profits and charities in partnership with CFSC are The Y (National Office), Beauty for Freedom, Farm Aid, Population Council, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Pathfinder International.
CFSC also serves fashion companies by connecting them with talented design graduates from top design schools in New York and around the globe. As the supporting link between talent and top fashion brands, Akuma has placed design graduates at luxury brands such as Tadashi Shoji, Noon by Noor, and Mara Hoffman.
Pushing the boundaries
Pushing the boundaries of collaborative work, Akuma and CFSC set out to challenge fashion brands to create more collections that lead to a social change. Through CFSC, Akuma creates opportunities for fashion companies, nonprofits, and design graduates alike with a synergy that supports the fashion industry, always backed by a good cause.
Follow Katya Akuma on Instagram @katyaakuma and support Council for Fashion and Social Change on www.fashionandchange.com