Rachael Russell Saiger is a founder of nonprofit charity Style Saves, where she works with kids and teenagers of various ages to secure outfits for back-to-school and prom. With background in fashion industry she holds the position of Miami-based fashion director of Miansai and working at Style Saves by raising funds to support underprivileged students globally through a number of fashion focused fundraisers and give-back events.
You created Style Saves back in 2011, how did you start and what
inspired you to create your own organization?
The idea for Style Saves came about in 2011, when I was taking my little brothers back-to school shopping for new outfits and school supplies. At the time I was a stylist and was always trying out different philanthropic opportunities but never really connected with one or felt like I was utilizing my skills or resources. While I was out shopping with my
brother, I started to think about the kids I went to school with who weren't able to buy new supplies or clothes for the upcoming school year and realized that styling kids for back-to-school would be a great charity. I think everyone can relate to that anxious, excited feeling you get when it’s time to start the new year and what it would mean to give everyone an even playing field by providing them with the fundamental necessities they need for the academic year. Helping others has always been really important to me and I’ve always felt that fashion could serve a greater purpose
through philanthropy. It was a really simple idea and because people could easily connect with the cause and they naturally gravitated towards it.
How did your experience in the fashion world help you establish Style Saves?
Being an insider in the fashion industry, I was able to recognize an opportunity by creating Style Saves, which really saved the way for fashion companies looking to give back. We’ve given them a network to distribute excess inventory in a really impactful way. I like to think that we opened their eyes to the influence they have. When you have a big platform, it comes with responsibility. Speaking up for those who can’t should always be a priority. The fashion industry has a huge voice, the supplies and the financial means to really make an impact on the world.
How is Style Saves impacting the community currently?
Style Saves began with the idea to unite fashion with philanthropy. Combining a talented, diverse community with a shared love for humanitarianism, the organization aimed at inspiring a fresh generation of movers and shakers. Together with our fashion fundraisers, we host yearly events for the kids, including Project Prom, Back to School, a Holiday party, as well as trips aimed at disaster relief to make sure people in those affected areas have everything
they need. So, what really sets us apart is our charity through fashion concept and to find a way people can identify themselves to feel inspired to get involved and to give back.
What plans do you have for the future of your organization?
While our main giveback anchor events are back-to-school and prom in Florida, we're always working on different projects in various cities- we just can't say no! We provide students with coats and cold weather accessories in Brooklyn, NY and have recently added Disaster Relief to our scope of givebacks. This year we focused on the devastation in the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, Houston, and Malibu. In addition to our work in the US, we also have been working on a range of international service trips for the past several years in Haiti, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Cuba and South Africa.
What keeps you going?
We want to help more students and spread this community of movers and shakers as wide as we can. There is no greater feeling than helping others. Truly the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way. Style Saves started by dressing 50 kids for back-to-school, this year we hit our target of 7,500 and next year, for our 10th year anniversary,
our plan is to reach 10,000 students. We will continue to grow locally, expand globally, and of course being that helping hand wherever we are needed.
How can our readers get involved?
Follow us on Instagram at @stylesaves. We are always posting about what events we have coming up and where/when volunteers can get involved.