Luxury fashion brand Gucci has founded a charitable effort called Chime for Change, bring together some of the biggest celebrities and activists worldwide to draw attention to the disadvantages women and girls face globally. The project is organizing a major concert event called “Sound of Change Live” in London this weekend that will be broadcast on primetime television networks in 150 countries. Beyonce will headline the concert and it will feature performances by Florence + The Machine, John Legend and Jenifer Lopez.
The founding directors of Chime for Change are Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, pop star Beyonce Knowles and actress Salma Hayek. The advisory board includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ariana Huffington, Alicia Keys and Julia Roberts. They also have media support from Facebook, Reuters and International Herald Tribune. The statements of the founding committee on Chime for Change’s website all reflect both the gratefulness for their privileges as accomplished women and the discomfort they feel for the disparity of others.
The initiative is indicative of the interesting position the world is in now, where women have achieved great strides in Western society but still suffer oppression in other areas of the world. Women of the rich world are in a position to speak up and make significant social change. If the concert reaches its ticket sales goals, it could fund 120 projects to promote education and community projects centered on empowering women and girls.
Gucci is working hard to create a strong image of corporate social responsibility after allegations of poor labor practices in China in 2011. Along with charitable efforts, the fashion brand has made all of their packaging recyclable, reduced transportation emissions by 30%, and all Gucci mannequins are made in Italy with recyclable and non-toxic materials. CEO Patrizio DiMarco says that companies are “rightly judged” today not only by quality of product but by socially responsible business practices.