We’re living in an age of brand awareness and an increased appetite for brand accountability. Wanting to know where our money goes, what brands do with their profits to better the world, and whether any number of social impact campaigns actually do what they intend to is an increasingly normal part of living in an information and digital age.
So when we first heard about new perfume brand Divona and their social impact component, we knew we wanted to support them. Divona was created by Kayte Torreao and Mylene Paquin, both based out of California. They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their first line, featuring 12 fragrances based around the theme of identity.
The perfume isn’t just about personal beauty, it is essentially giving the buyer a simple way to empower other women in the world. You choose your fragrance on the Divona website, and after purchasing, it prompts you to vote on how you want your social impact participation to be directed. Your vote helps determine which items, from 14 social impact retail partners, will go into a care package worth between $300-$500 each, helping women who are struggling in areas of poverty, abuse and human trafficking.
They have partnered with two non-profit organizations, Redefining Refuge – An anti-trafficking organization in Florida, and Canadian Women’s Foundation – An anti-abuse and anti-trafficking organization in Canada. The care packages include basic necessity items like toiletries and socks as well as items like journals, candles and bracelets to remind the women who receive them they are loved and valued.
Both Kayte and Mylene created Divona with this aspect as a prominent feature, as opposed to just a gimmicky or marketable afterthought, based on circumstances they had both been through in their respective lives.
“Personal experiences of abuse and trauma left us wanting to reach out to women who have suffered similar situations as well as feelings of powerlessness…We have both lived through abusive relationships that stripped us of our sense of identity, freedom, and safety due to verbal and psychological manipulation as well as toxic environments leading to domestic servitude,” Kayte told us in an email.
“For Mylene, she has personally lived through abusive relationships that stripped us of our sense of identity, freedom, and safety due to verbal and psychological manipulation as well as toxic environments leading to domestic servitude. I have close relatives who live day in and day out in poverty, such as women having to leave their families behind to become nannies or maids in a foreign country that has led to repeated and daily rape and abuse. Because of these experiences, we got a small taste of the horrors that these girls and women have faced. It’s because of this that our mission was built around helping these women in any way, even something as small as a simple care package that uplifts the receiver knowing that women around the world care.,” she added.
The social impact component was something they wanted to do right, and give buyers a chance to connect with the mission by allowing their vote to direct where the impact is felt most. They carefully selected the partners based on their active and direct support of in the lives of vulnerable women and girls through education, safe housing, counseling, employment, and more.
“We saw that most social impact companies didn’t provide people with direct connections with the people they were supporting. We didn’t want to create just another perfume company – we dreamed of creating a perfume company with purpose. One that supports the issues that many women care about. We can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it is for these women to rebuild their lives. If something as small as a care package can bring light into these women’s lives, we believe it’s worth all the effort, and we think a vast majority of consumers will to,” said Kayte.
While the majority of perfumes in the line are marketed toward women, there are a couple of gender neutral options to choose from as well. The plan is to raise $20,000, go into production by the Fall. If you believe in the mission and the message of this brand, we encourage you to donate to the Kickstarter campaign while it is still running, and be part of an authentic social impact consumer model.
You can learn more about the Divona story in the campaign video below: