Clothes are culture. Clothes are personality. Clothes are expression.
For the fourth year, ImpactAlpha roamed the spaces of SOCAP, the annual social capital markets conference in San Francisco, to spot attendees who stand out for their sartorial splendor.
Photographer Maura Dilley asked participants how their outfits express their social impact (responses have been edited for clarity).
CEO and cofounder at kansha.ai
“I always say my aim is to spark joy, so I always wear a yellow jacket.”
CEO of UCOT, Inc.
“In a world filled with numerous doomsday events day in and day out, the manner in which I present myself and the way I dress is aimed at bringing some much-needed sunshine to the world, one smile and one stylish outfit at a time!”
Educator and Artist at Malchut
“For me, beauty is a form of inspiration and when I take care of my body and dress well, it inspires me to show up for the world that I want to create.”
Black Sisters in STEM
“My attire mirrors the vibrant tapestry of my Ghanaian heritage, a legacy steeped in liberation and community upliftment. This outfit is more than cloth; it is a testament to the power of our shared history and the promise of a brighter future, where our liberation fuels the upliftment of generations to come. This is why I’m proud to wear it as the founder of Black Sisters in STEM.”
Director, Client Solutions for BairesDev.
“I like ‘positive pattern interruptions’ that give me an opportunity to share my missions, including saving the one planet we have right now. While a green suit isn’t that outlandish, they are uncommon. I wore my NatGeo Parks Project t-shirt under my unexpectedly colored suit, so my outfit helped me achieve all that.”
Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder of Safer Together.
“I’m trying to shine bright for my team.”
Dionne Broadus, JD
National Vice President, Social Impact for the American Heart Association.
“My outfit represents social impact because my jewelry is from two female artisans and I’m wearing a pantsuit brand that promotes body inclusivity. And the beauty of the prints and color are also impactful!”
Partner and Marketing Director for GoodSAM Foods.
“Small Ag farmers and indigenous communities are hardworking people and often the ones that suffer the most. Wearing this blazer, I try to represent their voices. But, I wish their actual voices were being heard instead of mine.”
Director of Economic Empowerment for Footsteps
“As a queer human in a professional environment, visibility is important to me to help others in the community feel safe. I like to look good in my clothes to feel good. And feeling good helps me bring my A game to my work.”
Sandhya Naidu Janardhan
Founder and Managing Director of Community Design Agency
“The outfit I’m wearing is from Kaisori, Bangalore based artisans. The ajrak print is typical of the communities of western India, it’s a block stamp on silk cotton.”
My Tam Nguyen
Co-founder and COO, Tzeda
“My mission in life is to connect people with resources and opportunity for those who historically been left out so I think my outfit is kind of it’s like a interwoven like conversation starter. It’s my first year at SOCAP and I want my look to be welcoming so that anyone can come talk to me.”
“I’m actually an ordained rabbi. When I’m out in the world, I generally don’t wear a kippah or yarmulke because growing up I always wanted to see pastors and rabbis and imams who looked more like me and interacted with the world more like an everyday person. It comes off as ‘best dressed’ but it also just allows me to use most of my brain space for connecting with people.”
Director of innovation at United Way Metropolitan, Dallas
“The work that we do is really hard. So it’s always good to look good and feel good and that helps ease the hard stuff.”
“I believe my outfit expresses all the beauty of nature, especially the nature of where I come from in Ontario, Canada. These designs represent what is sacred to my family, things that we have within our natural environment. You see the flowers and strawberries embroidered in. Every little detail has meaning and spirit.”
Founder and CEO, Littlefoot Ventures
“My outfit expresses social impact because today I’m wearing an heirloom star of David to represent my Jewish identity in solidarity with everyone on both sides of this agonizing conflict as a way to make sure that we as humans are always staying connected.”
“Our clothing is made by hand in Chiapas on a backstrap loom which is the main tool used by artisans in our Cooporativa of 250 artisans established in 1996 to ensure our empowerment and economic independence.”
“My business, Biozeroc, uses technology to decarbonize the concrete industry. We’re doing that by using bacteria that can be fed by 100% circular feedstock. So it’s not just carbon negative but also circular. I carry that commitment to circularity into my wardrobe by only buying clothing secondhand.”
“I like to thrift for clothes as much as I can and when I need to fill in my wardrobe. I choose companies that have sustainable sourcing and transparency for their social good.”
“The outfit is a symbol for sustainability in Japan. This is a yakata, a 500-year-old Japanese fashion, so the opposite of fast fashion.”
Investment Associate, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners.
“I’m Navajo and I always love wearing Navajo jewelry. I’m even wearing a Navajo hairstyle that we wear because it shows that our thoughts are collected. Going into SOCAP, we really want to be able to be intentional about amplifying and uplifting indigenous voices and communities because that’s what we do at Raven.”
“My outfit expresses social impact through its colors and reuse. When I think about social impact I think about beautiful colors and about second lives.”