Olivia Wilde's e-commerce company is getting the attention of major players in fashion--but the actress-turned-activist remained mum at the opening of H&M's related pop-up shop on Tuesday.
Wilde, who co-founded the organization Conscious Commerce along with musician Barbara "Babs" Burchfield, is now the face of the retail juggernaut's Conscious Exclusive clothing line. Wilde, Burchfield, and several of the affiliated Conscious Commerce retailers were present, but neither of the co-founders would give interviews. Conscious Commerce is an e-commerce platform that partners cutting-edge retailers with smaller-scale charities so that a portion of all consumer funds goes directly to specific projects. The pop-up shop, based in Times Square, will be open though April 19th.
Wilde decided to "stop making bad movies," as her bio on the site reads, and instead set her sights on entrepreneurship. (She continues to work on smaller, independent film projects.) She was inspired to start her company through her work with director Paul Higgins on his charity Artists for Peace and Justice. In particular, she grew interested in what she calls the "for-profit philanthropy movement," as spearheaded by entrepreneurs such as Toms's Blake Mycoskie: "It's almost tricking the consumer into doing a good thing," she told Forbes in a video interview.
Inc. spoke with one of the Conscious Commerce retail partner, Caitlin Crosby, whose "Giving Keys" are featured prominently at the pop-up shop. Crosby, who is also a singer/songwriter, knew that she was on to something when her necklaces--engraved with words such as "Love" and "Hope"--began selling out faster than her music. The Giving Keys employs people who are transitioning out of homelessness.
"The H&M Conscious exclusive collection doesn't compromise on style," Wilde writes of the new collection on its website: "It's a collection of pieces that I want to wear that are all made from more sustainable materials. It's how fashion should always be." Sporting an all-white pantsuit and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, the celebrity touted the brand accordingly, even if only for the photographers.
This isn't the first time Wilde's company has attracted A-grade fashion brands: In 2013, it collaborated with Anthropologie to sell a dress designed by fashion designer Yoanna Baraschi, whose proceeds go to New Light India, an organization aiming to end poverty through education. In particular, New Light helps women in Calcutta who are in danger of entering the commercial sex trade. And as recently as November, the company partnered with make-up subscription company Birchbox to deliver items such as beanies and notebooks, promoting artisans in Uganda as well as public schools.
"To describe sustainability in three word would be responsible, necessary, and possible," Wilde said of the new collection in a video with H&M.