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Kurt Geiger Launches The ‘Kindness Foundation’ In Support Of Young Creatives

Kurt Geiger announces the launch of the ‘Kindness Foundation’, a charity dedicated to giving young people, no matter their background, opportunities, support and the resources needed to enter the creative industries. The primary aim is to make creative roles more accessible for young individuals, particularly those from marginalised communities who are often prevented from considering a career in their field of passion due to existing systems of discrimination.

Kurt Geiger’s Kindness Foundation states it has joined forces with a number of social impact initiatives and charity partners, across both the UK and US, who work with young people aged 13-25 to provide practical career support and opportunities. Founding charity partners include Accumulate – The Art School for the Homeless, JE Delve, a grassroots youth charity founded by the late Jamal Edwards MBE, Arts Emergency, an award-winning mentoring charity and support network, Art Start, supporting historically marginalised youth, and Gurls Talk, a non-profit promoting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women.

Kurt Geiger’s Kindness Foundation

Neil Clifford, Kurt Geiger’s Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Kindness Foundation, says:

“Kindness has been at the heart of Kurt Geiger from the very beginning; in fact, we say we’re ‘kind by design’. We’ve learned so much through this journey and decided it was time for us to formalise this part of our identity by establishing the Kindness Foundation. By setting up this fully independent charitable vehicle to be more strategic and wide-reaching with our impact, we’re fully focused on our mission of designing a better world. We’re really excited for this launch and are looking forward to seeing the opportunities it brings to aspiring young creatives.”

Members of the Kindness Foundation board include two independent trustees, Bernadette Hagans and Jeremiah Emmanuel BEM. Bernadette is a charity campaigner, model and cancer survivor who had her leg amputated at twenty-two years old to save her life, and Jeremiah is an entrepreneur, community campaigner, ambassador and author who, at seventeen, was the  youngest Black British person to receive an honour from the Queen in 2017 for his community work. Both share a mutual passion for uplifting the next generation, and their support is instrumental to the long-lasting impact of the Kindness Foundation.

Neil Clifford, Kurt Geiger’s Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Kindness Foundation, says:

“Welcoming Bernadette and Jeremiah as independent trustees on our foundation board was very important to us. Not only did it feel particularly befitting having them back after their participation in our People Empowered campaign two years prior, it felt key that we were able to learn from their knowledge and draw on their genuine passion for supporting the next generation. With them as members of our foundation’s leadership, we are confident the impact we can make will be deep and enduring.”

Kurt Geiger endeavours to raise £1 million annually to be re-deployed into the charity programmes to support young individuals. The foundation will be funded through the purchases made by its customers; for every eligible online and in-store purchase, Kurt Geiger will donate £1 to the Kindness Foundation. It will also be funded by the new Kurt Cares Loyalty programme, designed by Kurt Geiger to cultivate a stronger sense of community within the brand’s customer base. The loyalty programme is open for all customers to join and, for every purchase made by a member, Kurt Geiger will donate between £1-3 to the foundation, depending on each member’s loyalty tier level. The higher the level of the customer, the more Kurt Geiger will donate on their behalf.

Peace And Love Kensington

The Kindness Foundation’s strategy will include conserving some funds as a crisis response stream that enables to quickly respond to national and global emergencies. This builds on the philanthropic work previously undertaken by Kurt Geiger, including its response to the Ukraine crisis, where it pledged a donation of £50,000, in addition to funds raised from the sales of the ‘Peace And Love Kensington’ bag, to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. The Kindness Foundation’s crisis fund will further enable action to be taken with even greater speed and impact for any future catastrophes.

The Kindness Foundation reflects the brand’s ‘kind by design’ ideology and its lifelong vision for a more diverse and inclusive world within and beyond the fashion industry. The launch follows other kindness-driven initiatives by Kurt Geiger including: pledging £300,000 to footwear specialist college, Cordwainers, in 2013, helping to support emerging footwear designers through a bespoke mentoring programme; supporting Save The Children through a donation of 10% from all Kensington bag sales over Christmas in 2017; giving 20% of all gift card purchases made during the Christmas period in 2018 to the British Red Cross; and supporting the NHS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, launching a fundraising ‘We Are One’ collection, delivering 3500 £100 gift cards to 70 critical units in the UK, offering 50% off Kurt Geiger products to NHS and other initiatives that amounted to £1 million worth of support for the NHS.

The Kindness Foundation launches in September 2022 and will be accessible through Kurt Geiger’s global website.

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