Movember is about to begin: the month when chaps grow moustaches to promote awareness and raise funds for men’s health, in particular testicular cancer and prostate cancer. For a moustache-fancier like me, it’s a bit like Christmas. TOMS, the shoes and glasses brand, have partnered with Movember, and I attended the official launch party at The Hospital Club last night with Christie of From The Heart 90.
The concept of M0vember started in Melbourne, and has grown into a global campaign, raising money and awareness for men’s health. The charity encourages men to begin November clean-shaven, and then to grow a moustache for the entire month, providing a constant visual cue to promote awareness of the cause. Since 2003, Movember has raised £184 million. In 2011 alone, £79.3 million was raised, with 1.9 million entrants. We can all work together to make 2012 the most successful Movember so far, and you can do that by donating, holding an awareness party, attending Mo events, or by getting the conversation started with some moustache covered clothing.
I didn’t know much about TOMS until yesterday, when I started reading up a little on them ahead of the launch. I knew they produced adorable shoes and had just introduced a range of glasses and sunglasses, but I didn’t realise the brand had such an altruistic philosophy. TOMS have devised a concept called ‘One for One‘, whereby for every pair of shoes you buy, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. Since the concept was devised, over a million pairs of shoes have already been given away. Likewise, for every pair of glasses bought, TOMS donate a pair to someone in need. To further support Movember, TOMS have produced some limited edition styles of shoe, with a portion of profits going to the charity. It’s exactly the kind of approach that more brands need to start adopting – using their klout to benefit those in need, and I think TOMS are hugely admirable. You can find out more about them on their site.
We trotted along to The Hospital Club to get into the swing of things – quite literally in the case of our dancing. The night was 1920s themed, and as we stepped in we spotted men in waistcoats, bow ties, and hats, and women in flapper dresses and headbands. We also spied a wooden record player, crates of TOMS shoes, and some rather magnificent moustachioed barrels. After swiping some champagne cocktails from the bar, we were whisked aside by a photographer, which entailed dressing up like loons and posing. We then explored the venue a little and listened to the amazing Franky and the Jacks – a very talented AND handsome band. We also caught up with the gorgeous, charming and statuesque Sammy Aki, aka The Groom Style Consultant, who runs an innovative service that aims to raise the style stakes for grooms on their big day. As the band played on, we decided to shake a tail feather on the dancefloor, busting out some prime 1920s moves including a sneaky Charleston, before screen-printing moustaches on t-shirts and finally heading home.
So, what can you do? To get involved with Movember, visit their website, make a donation, grow a moustache if you’re a chap, or get your boyfriend to grow one. If you’re of the female persuasion, how about buying some merch? Or hosting a mo party? TOMS will continue their charity projects through Movember and beyond, so purchase any item to participate in their ‘One for One’ programme. Above all, be inspired, get involved.