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Camilla Franks is putting silk off-cuts to good use

Camilla Franks, well-known for her high-end kaftans, is turning her hand to philanthropy after a successful foray into fundraising.

Franks, who recently welcomed her first child, last year designed and sold a silk scarf made from surplus cut-off fabric that netted about $50,000 in eight weeks.

Bouyed by the response, she chose to donate 100 per cent of the profits from sales of the $149 item, and launched her own charitable project. She has now joined forces with The Hunger Project Australia's Butterfly Effect, an initiative that champions women-centred strategies to eradicate poverty.

Franks hopes that by forging an official partnership with the organisation she will be able to raise $120,000 over the next year which will go toward funding the education of 1000 young women in India's Bihar region.

"During a trip to India a few years ago, I witnessed first-hand how some young women are mistreated and I now understand that with every dollar, guidance, education and support we can help turn their lives around," Franks told Fairfax Media.

"My dream for my label is bigger than fashion. It’s about a full vision that helps empower girls and women by providing them with skills, education, purpose and a safe community."


Franks, who takes annual "inspiration trips" abroad to places like India, Japan and South America, said she was shocked to learn that nearly half of the girls in the Bihar community were married before the age of 18 and less than 20 per cent of the young female population received an education. 

"We’re excited that Camilla is bringing a new level of leadership for teenage girls living in rural India," The Hunger Project Australia chief executive Melanie Noden said. "They are one of the most vulnerable groups to the harsh cycle of poverty and this initiative will have a sustainable impact for the girls and their families, now and for many generations to come."

Franks has now designed a special capsule collection that will feature a unique print and go on sale on March 14. It will sit within the label's upcoming autumn-winter collection which is dedicated to India. "My second home," the Woollahra-based designer said.

Franks will donate 10 per cent of its sales to her Butterfly Effect program.