Those deeply embedded in the fashion industry know it’s not all glitz and glam. The insiders know what is takes to run a huge fashion house and what goes into creating a brand. These same people know the downfalls of the industry; case in point Amanda Munz who saw hundreds of samples being thrown away. That sparked an idea in her not only to make use of those samples, but start a great cause.
Amanda Munz is the Founder of The Fashion Foundation, an organization combining online shopping and a way to provide school supplies for children. The FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) graduate decided not to get a “real job” upon graduating and wanted to eliminate the fashion industry wasting clothes. Munz also wanted to give women an opportunity to clean out their closets for a good cause while enhancing education birthing The Fashion Foundation.
“It started with me and one of my friends, typical start-up, sitting in our bedroom, brainstorming.” Although Munz does 90% of the work, she has a dedicated team of volunteers who support the dream and overall goal of the foundation. 6 New York City schools have received donations from The Fashion Foundation to date.
Like all business owners, there’s that moment when we start to question if living an entrepreneur life is the right thing to do. Munz had a break out moment partnering with fashion brand Nine West that reassured she was following her purpose. “I had met one of their girls at a networking event and we casually spoke via email. Three months later she emailed me saying ‘we have some samples that we need to get rid of. If you can come here tomorrow and pick them up they’re all yours.'” Of course, Munz cleared her schedule to go there and was instructed to bring a U Haul. Spectacle, she didn’t tell anyone and to her surprise when she picked up the bags it was more than her car could hold, but she stuffed it with Nine West handbags for her foundation and in that moment she knew she was doing something right.
“I would take from anybody. Anybody who is willing to give us,” Munz said about accepting donations. “If I could get Michael Kors to donate it would be unbelievable because Michael Kors sells out in minutes when we put up something on our website. But anybody who is willing to donates samples we happily take.”
Growing a business hasn’t been easy, but Munz learned some life hacks along the way saying, “It’s ok to Google stuff like I do it all the time. If I have to figure out like what form I need to fill out for New York state I will literally plug it in to Google and it gives me my answer. I now own that and it’s ok to do that.”
She also offers up advice to those starting a nonprofit organization. She said, “You have to figure out where your heart really lies. I was getting job offers when I was about to graduate FIT and I declined them because I knew I couldn’t work 16 hour work days to make shoes for someone. So as cheesy as it sounds, I did take the leap and declined those offers. I’m watching all my friends that are now buyers at Macy’s and big time planners, working in show rooms and they’re making nice salaries and I’m over here starting a charity. I sacrificed and it’s OK to sacrifice if you can do it, but if you can’t put the time and effort into it, it’s really hard to balance things.”
With the new year right around the corner, The Fashion Foundation has a big goal on the horizon. “I want to be in a magazine.” More exposure for the brand means more supplies for the foundation. Munz wanted everyone to know something as simple as liking a photo, following them on social media, and purchasing a small item on the site helps the brand more than you know.
“One designer handbag at a time” Munz is making a difference not only in the fashion industry, but in the way unused clothes will be handled moving forward. You too can help out by donating clothing and accessories to the cause that will be sold on the site or provide monetary donations. All proceeds go directly to supplies for schools in the New York City area.
Be sure to follow TheFashionFoundation on social media: @thefashionfoundation on Instagram, @fashfoundation on Twitter, and search TheFashionFoundation on Facebook. Find out more about this amazing foundation at TheFashionFoundation.org and shop on the site updated frequently.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! Just for you GGB readers, when you shop at The Fashion Foundation now through Monday, November 30 you’ll receive 25% off your entire order upon checkout, so act NOW. Use promo code: ggb25 and get that holiday shopping done early.
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Photo: The Fashion Foundation