Imperfectly Making a Difference

MADI Apparel is a for-profit company with a non-profit 501(c)3 subsidiary called MADI Donations. The two entities work together and separately to achieve our mission of imperfectly Making a DIfference in every area of our model. We will never reach perfection as an ethical fashion brand, but we believe in empowerment and kindness and we take a conscious intentional approach to everything that we do. We're focused on learning, listening, teaching and remaining transparent in our mission and motives. Scroll to read how we attempt this!

The Impact of MADI Apparel

  1. For every item you buy, we donate a pair of underwear to requesting organizations in need
  2. We provide employment opportunities and contracted work to locals in our community.
  3. All of our products are made locally in Kansas City
  4. We pay living wages and ensure safe working conditions for all members of our team - cutters, sewers, dyers, store employees, etc
  5. We source plant-based fabrics and materials as well as overrun fabrics from the waste of larger fashion brands
  6. Our packaging and shipping materials are plastic-free - we use biodegradable, compostable and recyclable materials

Scroll down for more details on our ethical impact!

Empowerment Event at Lotus House in Miami

In 2022, our team planned for months to pull off a special event for the residents of Lotus House in Miami - the largest women's shelter in the US.

In November of 2022, we traveled to Miami to help fulfill a big urgent need for the organization and provide new, clean underwear for residents.

We couldn't help but feel energized by the sunny skies, the lush plants and the beautiful residents of Lotus House.
Thanks to Imagine5, we were able to collaborate with local vendors to make this empowerment event one that we hope the women won't soon forget. Our goal is to provide dignity and empowerment through underwear donations and uplifting events that will contribute to self confidence and overall life rebuilding.

The Impact of MADI Donations, 501(c)3

We raise charitable funds to help us go even further with MADI Apparel's mission to Make a Difference

  1. Charitable donations help us get the new underwear donations in the hands of our partners, via covering postage costs or occasionally helping us travel in person
  2. When we visit our partnered recipients in person a few times a year (locally or traveling outside of our city), charitable donations help us provide an additional special experience for women and young women in these organizations. We call them "empowerment events", and in addition to providing a shopping experience for women to pick out new underwear donations to take home, we often bring professional photographers to take beautiful portraits of residents, makeup artists, flower bars, gratitude walls and more.
  3. Donations help us cover any set costs to bring local vendors along, but our MADI Apparel team members volunteer their time to plan and execute these events for our partnered organizations and their residents
  4. Sometimes, when we have a big request from perhaps a larger international non-profit with a large need for underwear, we use charitable donations to pay for additional pairs of underwear to donate (beyond MADI Apparel's buy one give one model)
  5. Funds from our charitable donors help us provide continuing education seamstress training to locals in our community. This helps advance the ethical fashion manufacturing in our community, provide sustainable and new job opportunities in our city, and provides job skill training.

Scroll down to learn more about our areas of impact!

eco fabrics, fair wages, clean dyes

Our sustainable and ethical approach

We're far from perfect, and as consumers, the most ethical approach to fashion that we can take is always reusing and recycling what's already made. If you find yourself in search of trendless lifetime basics that will last a lifetime, you've come to the right place. Our approach is to imperfectly Make a Difference in every area of our model.

The underwear we donate and the items we sell are all made ethically in Kansas City and truly made to last. We stand by our promise to source only long-lasting, plant-based and overrun fabrics, and we test them months before introducing anything new into our line. Your skin, your health and your comfort are our priorities, so natural and toxic-free dyes are our thing, too!

We also care about the people making these fabrics and sewing our products and how the factories we work with are treating the environment through non-toxic chemical fabrics and low waste values. We're part of only 3% of the world's fashion brands to pay a living wage to our sewers.

You've helped us donate over 9,000 pairs of underwear to requesting organizations

For every ethical womenswear, menswear and home basic you buy from us, we donate a pair of bamboo underwear (manufactured by us) to a woman in need. Why? Because underwear is the most needed and under-donated item of clothing. It's the only item of clothing that cannot be donated used, it must be donated new.

Organizations all over the world request new underwear donations from us on a weekly basis, and we consider it a privilege to learn about the good they're doing in the lives of women and to be able to donate such a necessary basic need to the women they serve. Through your orders, we've donated underwear to over 9,000 women in over 50 organizations and ten countries.

USA Underwear Drop-Offs

We receive weekly requests for new underwear from homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, sexual assault clinics, post-prison orgs, drug-free housing orgs, disaster relief orgs, and the list goes on.

We prefer to go in person for our underwear drop-offs and create a special experience for the women receiving the donations. We create a "shop" with various styles and colors of underwear donations that the women get to choose from. We like to say, "It's not just underwear, it's dignity!" We often partner with a photographer to take beautiful portraits of the women - sometimes the first professional photography they've ever received. Sometimes our team will join the women for dinner or paint nails for fun so we may listen and learn about their journeys.

International Donations

Kenya // Tanzania // Mali // Quito, Ecuador // Panama // Havana and Santiago, Cuba // Fonds-Parisien, Haiti // India // London, UK // Campbell River, B.C. Canada

Our team traveled in person to four out of ten of these international drop-off trips. We receive urgent need requests from organizations all over the world for new underwear, and we do our best to get donations in their hands as fast as possible. If we aren't able to travel in person, we partner with local organizations and individuals to safely carry these basic necessities to the requested recipients.

Taking Our Mission to the Streets

Founder Hayley wanted to symbolize how vulnerable women can feel when they don't have access to new, clean underwear. On Christmas Eve, she stood in her underwear in a busy shopping area in Kansas City, MO to raise awareness. 

a peak into our international drop-off trips

Serving Communities

Haiti: We traveled to donate 300 pairs of underwear to women in three remote villages and a birthing clinic where underwear is difficult to access but very needed for women's hygiene purposes.

Havana, Cuba: We traveled to donate underwear to homeless women and mothers in a maternity clinic where mentally or physically ill mothers-to-be can stay for treatment and areas of the city where underwear is often unaffordable on government wages and stipends.

Quito, Ecuador: We traveled to donate 300 pairs of underwear to three organizations with an urgent underwear request: San Juan de Dios, teens and staff at Henry Davis Orphanage and mothers learning job training programs to better their lives at an organization called Cenit.

Each quarter, we spotlight a different organization or a few who will receive the underwear donations that your purchase initiates. You'll learn about the organization in a card with photos that we pack in your online and in-store orders.

seamstress job training

Four lives changed

In 2016, we launched a seamstress training program through our non-profit subsidiary MADI Donations [501(c)3] to provide lifetime job skills training and opportunities to lift up women facing employment barriers and other life challenges. Through this program, four motivated women learned the tools to sew our challenging stretchy knit fabrics on industrial sewing machines. They gained a lifetime job skill, resume builders, career confidence, and through part time sewing work they earned income to afford big goals like improved housing.

Our Annual Fundraiser

Runway to Impact

Our annual fundraiser provides for MADI Makes - our 501(c)3 free job-training program for at-risk women facing employment barriers. Your dollars directly impact participants by teaching them cut and sew skills necessary to earn them contract sewing work. Once qualified participants graduate, our for-profit MADI Apparel hires the women as payroll sewers to produce our donation underwear.

Visit Our Flagship Store

Come visit our special events, outdoor concert series', and tie-dye workshops in our lush-vined and treed backyard space of our flagship store in the Kansas City Westside neighborhood.