Spearheading conscious consumerism in the region, born amidst the global pandemic, and giving back to both community and charities, The Giving Movement is the UAE’s home-grown streetwear brand that defied all odds. With their simple philosophy “Small acts multiplied by many people can transform the world”, the brand has just dropped its latest collection entitled ‘The Earth and The Crayon’. Team Grazia caught up with founder Dominic Nowell-Barnes to learn more about this unique brand and its mission. Inspired by Dubai’s energy, stories, and mélange of old and new cultures, Dominic set out “to create lounge and activewear that people are most comfortable in and that is sustainable from all aspects of design and manufacturing, and that puts Dubai on the fashion map, but with a new positioning…streetwear that gives back.”

For a brand that’s born and bred in the UAE, it was key that the materials were all sourced locally. “The UAE has a premium level of materials that are aligned with our brand messaging such as being recycled and eco-friendly,” explains Dominic. Local sourcing means that autonomy can be maintained over the production process more so than if international suppliers were engaged. It also enables The Giving Movement to support local small businesses, creating a virtuous circle of supply, production, and demand in the UAE economy.

Ethical production is a key issue that modern fashion brands must address to attract and retain a new breed of eco-conscious consumers. “‘True cost’ is a term that is being referred to more and more in fashion. It’s the idea that whilst you might be able to buy a T-shirt for Dhs5 or Dhs10 from fast-fashion brands, often when the supply chain is looked into, it might be at the cost of unethical practices such as forced labour, or even child labour.” By producing their items locally, the brand can keep a watchful eye over production.

Founder Dominic Nowell-Barnes

The Giving Movement approaches conscious consumerism from all angles. “Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, so when choosing the fabrics and our packaging, I wanted to make sure that we’re only using materials that don’t harm our planet.” The brand uses two certified sustainable fabrics for their collections, eradicating the harmful repercussions on the environment. Softskin recycled polyester, made from recycled plastic water bottles, is used for the activewear, whilst certified organic bamboo is used for the loungewear. Attention to detail is visible in every aspect of the brand’s sustainable stance, where even the packaging is made from plant starch, which, unlike plastic, is 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable.

The use of sustainable materials, the manufacturing process, the fair trade stance of the company, and the teams tasked with bringing the products to life are all key factors which help drive consumers into a conscious mindset. This positivity in turn is what will save our planet. The Giving Movement goes one step further with its feel-good factor by incorporating these practices into the shopping experience. For every item you buy, $4 [approximately Dhs15] is donated to their partner charities, Harmony House and Dubai Cares, who share the same focus as the founder. “My goal, even before deciding to produce clothes as part of The Giving Movement, was to focus on the major challenges we face in the world today. If we can provide the basics for those most in need, such as food and education, this offers them the best chance of breaking out of poverty.” Why $4 you may wonder? Because $4 is enough to provide food and shelter for one week for a child in need.

Rapid growth seems to be weaved into the fibres of the brand. Being a self-professed e-commerce brand at heart, The Giving Movement recently went live on Ounass. They are now also retailing at THAT Concept Store in Mall of The Emirates and are about to launch across 28 retail stores in collaboration with Al Shaya. The only logical step would be global expansion, of which Dominic excitedly proclaims “The Giving Movement will definitely be going global and it is already in our plans for the near future! We have customers purchasing from us from all around the world and being available in their countries will be amazing for both them and for us – 2021 will be a big year for The Giving Movement and we are all incredibly excited!”. shop now

Photos: The Giving Movement