Fashion with a purpose


Sasha Pivovarova photographed by Mikael Jansson for Vogue Paris November 2010 via fashioned by love brtisih fashion blog
Having a little cyberspace of my own is a pleasure. It’s a hobby, an emotional and beautiful outlet and, most importantly, a wonderful way to share thoughts and opinions on all things fashion. Yet there are moments when blogging seems like a frivolity and conversations involving bags and shoes – almost meaningless. It makes me quietly suffer until a project comes along that makes me realise, once again, that blogging can, in fact, make a difference.

design-up-asia-necklaces copy
A few days ago I heard of a new venture called DesignUp Asia, the Singapore-based jewellery brand launched in March 2013. The concept was visualised by the team of five strangers. They met at a brainstorming weekend competition challenging members of the public to come up with new and exciting business plans supporting the community. The judges loved the idea of an on-line jewellery boutique selling pieces made by single mothers and awarded the remaining trio, Kim Ong, Ho Yi Chuen and Anisa Johnny with a start up capital. Three months later the idea became an official enterprise and the unique mix of talents brought together by serendipity led to the most exciting and rewarding experience.

Suddenly women who never had an access to formal education or any luck of finding permanent work were given a chance to become a part of Designup Asia, learn to make professionally designed bijoux style jewellery from recycled and vintage materials and then work from home while looking after their young children.

Such an amazing and honourable way to give people hope, support, confidence and pride and, lets not forget, take care of the planet by making the business ecologically sustainable.

The founders call it “fashion with a purpose” – I think it sums everything up perfectly.

Photo source: DesignUp Asia official Facebook page, main photo Sasha Pivovarova photographed by Mikael Jansson for Vogue Paris November 2010


  1. fantastic pictures. love them - the first one is so nice.
    maren anita

    FASHION-MEETS-ART by Maren Anita

  2. It's projects like this one that remind me that fashion can indeed have a more meaningful purpose. I don't think I could blog about it otherwise.

  3. What a wonderful, and meaningful, project - I have seen similar things before but generally the jewelry being made is in the local, traditional style and thus has a much narrower customer range and lower possibility of being truly profitable for the women who make the pieces. I think it is all to easy for women who love fashion to fall into the trap of believing that their interests are frivolous, but that isn't the case, as this project proves. And more importantly, as someone very wisely once told me, frivolity is not a symptom of idiocy but an expression of joy :)

  4. Love it - love projects that give people hope, does something for the environment, and this is right on the money :) thanks for sharing love, happy weekend,

  5. Una bella azienda, ammiro molto queste iniziativa di portare speranza a le persone, grande post!

    New post on the blog:

    Baci baci J&J

  6. I didnt know this new venture, I think is a really good and nice cause, for Asian women and the environment in general! Kisses dear! xo

  7. What an amazing opportunity for those guys - they came up with an awesome idea though! I wish them all the luck in the world. xxx

  8. That is awesome! What a wonderful project. I'm for anything that encourages and helps women.

  9. Great post Natalia, I feel the same way about blogging too sometimes. Very shallow but then again i think that fashion wouldn't be fashion without a purpose. Thanks for sharing this to us.


  10. I love hearing about meaningful initiatives like this that provide opportunity and purpose for people. I hope it will be a great success. Thanks for sharing this and thank you for your kindness and support Natalia!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  11. Such an inspiring story!

  12. I love fashion for a good cause, we have something quite similar here, where underprivileged African women make beautiful traditional jewellery to sell at markets and tourist-aimed shops. They earn money from this, its a form of employment for them and a way to share their skills. This also looks like a great initiative as well.

  13. Wow Natalia I had no idea about this company being set up in my own home city!! Thanks for the heads up, will check it out immediately. Such a fantastic idea, the world needs more initiatives like this.

  14. Natalia, this is such a great story! It's great when creativity, talent and good causes can fit in the same project! Caterina