Conscious Retailing | Donna Karen

Donna Karen, a name deeply embedded in the history of what we consider classic women’s business apparel is switching the focus of her fashion. Donna Karen recently announced that she would be leaving her position as chief designer of Donna Karan International to pursue her philanthropic passions.

At 66, the designer will fully step into a new entrepreneurial realm that is much less glamorous, yet far more meaningful. The Urban Zen Foundation is Karen’s philanthropic venture that aims to raise awareness and inspire change in issues surrounding health, empowering children and preserving cultures in developing countries.

Urban Zen features a line of artisan goods — including her own creations — that are all inspired by her travels and style philosophies.

For its latest project, the Urban Zen Foundation partnered with Haitian artisan and businesswoman Paula Coles and The New School’s Parsons School of Design to create The DOT Center (Design, Organization and Training). The project helps support the Clinton Global Initiative’s efforts in bringing vocational education to Haiti.

Why conscious retailing? Many entrepreneurs are recognizing the need to put people of profit. Although businesses have been giving back to the community for as long a commerce has existed, there is a trend coming about to do it in a more purposeful scale-able way.

We wish Donna Karen all the luck in the world, and will be watching her work. No need to worry about the Donna Karen brand as we know it changing anytime soon, Donna will still sit on the board in an advi