philsophy to support mental health via new 'hope & grace' initiative

NEW YORK — Beauty brand philosophy has announced the launch of the hope & grace initiative to support mental health. Through the hope & grace initiative, philosophy will dedicate 1% of all sales across all products to organizations working to empower women through the promotion, prevention and treatment of mental health.

The program launched this month on philosophy.com, and will become integrated into all philosophy retail channels (online, in-store and televised) in January 2015. Within five years, the hope & grace initiative is projected to donate more than $10 million toward the cause.

With the initiative, philosophy becomes the first beauty company to place a concentrated focus on mental health and wellbeing, the company stated. In addition, philosophy becomes the first global skin care and fragrance brand to make a brand-wide commitment to dedicate at least 1% of all sales towards philanthropic efforts — with no product restrictions.

"More than any other issue, mental wellbeing is directly connected to the spirit of the philosophy brand," said Jill Scalamandre, SVP, philosophy brand and Coty Prestige skin care. "Our products have always been 'wrapped' in insight and inspiration, so we can encourage beautiful days, as well as beautiful skin. By dedicating a portion of the sale of every product at all times, we can be confident that the contribution we are making is significant and that we'll be able to further empower her from the inside out."

Changing the landscape of philanthropic efforts in the beauty industry, the hope & grace initiative created the Hope & Grace Fund as a project of the New Venture Fund, a public charity dedicated to supporting innovative and effective public interest projects. With guidance from an advisory board made up of leaders in the mental health arena, philosophy will annually give multiple grants on average of $25,000 through the Hope & Grace Fund to support hundreds of qualified organizations around the world.

In its first year, the fund plans to target organizations that work with women in the United States who are currently underserved by mental health services by providing grants to community-based mental health organizations.

The first grant is designated to Bring Change 2 Mind, a national anti-stigma organization co-founded by actress Glenn Close with the mission to raise awareness and work to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.

"It just doesn't make sense that we don't talk openly about mental illness because it affects so many of us," Close said. "When my sister, who lives with bipolar disorder, had the courage to ask for help, it started the conversation in our family. Talking openly is the first step in ending stigma and discrimination, and will lead to treatment and save lives. philosophy's hope & grace initiative is an inspiring, ground-breaking example of ways to improve how society views mental illness."  

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