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Charity can be creative and fashion-forward

This year we repositioned Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC), the flagship charity fashion campaign from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, because the competition in the charity T-shirt sector had grown hugely.

We needed to keep the campaign alive and remember fashion changes constantly and therefore so should we. We also recognised that consumers are less frivolous with their money now and think more about their purchases.

This year, for the first time we’ve moved away from selling the original Target logo T-shirt. FTBC has now become a campaign that asks retailers to sell their own product based around a theme, either designed bespoke or from their core range, that carries a 30% donation to the charity. This means the experts (the retailers) are given creative freedom to sell something they know will work for their consumers.

This year’s campaign was black and white, a huge trend for spring 09. The product on sale included a T-shirt from Topshop, an on-trend animal print top from Marks & Spencer, beautiful dresses from Coast, My-wardrobe.com and Laura Ashley, an easy to wear nautical T-shirt from Warehouse and 1980s leggings and River Island loose-fit tops. There were shoes, handbags and lingerie too.

The success has been phenomenal and more than £1.3m was raised from this year’s campaign to fund Breakthrough’s vital work. The retailers like the simplicity and creative freedom and the consumers feel better about buying something they are actually going to wear through the season, but that also carries a donation to charity. It’s feel-good fashion. Trends are really key as we want to retain our fashionability; it’s important that consumers buy the product and feel fashionable. We also need to offer something new each year and stay ahead of the competition.

  • Natalie Legg is Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer

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