It’s a great feeling when you can clean out your wardrobe with clothes that maybe don’t fit anymore, have gone out of season or you’ve just never worn! And while it’s satisfying to drop off that bag into the Vinnie’s clothing bin, not all your clothes are going to the right places.
War on Waste highlighted some ugly truths about all our donated clothes. Because of the rise of fast fashion, charities can’t keep up with the oversupply of poorly made clothing. After being sorted, if clothes are not good quality and not fit to resell, charities are left with the burden to take all the bad quality clothing to the landfill.
In Australia, 6,000kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes. According to Good On You, the UK throw out roughly 2 million tonnes of clothing and textiles every year and only 16% of that waste is ever reused.
So where does this leave us with our unwanted clothing? Luckily, there are some other amazing charities around Australia and the world where used clothing is put to good use. Fitted for Work, Dressed for Success and Suited to Success are all about empowering disadvantaged women who are trying to re-enter the workforce.
At The Fable, we’re all about reducing our fashion footprint and we are proud to say we donate all our silk shirt seconds to these charities. We also recommend when buying an item of clothing to think about its 'Cost Per Wear'.
Here are 3 great charities to check out next time you want to donate your good clothes:
Fitted for Work
Disadvantage can happen to a woman at any time in her life. Fitted for Work is the first Australian organisation of its kind dedicated to helping women experiencing adversity break through barriers to get and keep work.
Their teams prepare women for work mentally and physically and provide them with practical skills required to take their place in the workforce. Their approach, which involves coaching and mentoring, nurtures women throughout their journey to ensure they feel able to stay in work. They help women to develop their confidence and achieve economic security. The Fitted for Work programs and services stem from a belief that when women are fitted for work they are fitted for life.
Since 2005, they have helped over 28,000 women experiencing disadvantage to courageously break through barriers to get and keep work. 64% of women through their program get work within just 4 months.
Dress for Success
Dress for Success Sydney is a registered charity that improves the employability of women in need in NSW by providing, free of charge, professional clothing, a network of support and the career development tools to help women achieve self-sufficiency.
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Their Suiting Program offers free clothing, styling and presentation skills for women returning to the workforce or for those needing good clothes to present themselves well at an important life event.
Many of Dress for Success Sydney clients will have been out of work for a long time. Some may never have had a job, while others may be coming out of prison or detox programs, or may be recently arrived skilled migrants to Australia.
Wear for Success
Wear for Success provides professional clothing and work skills training to provide people with the best possible chance of achieving their dreams.
They create confidence in people by helping them look and feel the part on their journey towards employment.
Wear for Success commenced in 2011 and is a not-for-profit organisation run by a dedicated group of volunteers and management team, including a volunteer Board. Since then, they have helped over 3,800 people needing support on their journey back to work.
Their services are delivered to a broad cross-section of people who are recommended by referral agencies and community organisations. Their individual situations are varied, but all require caring support to regain the confidence they need to find employment. They are people who have been long-term unemployed, humanitarian migrants, people with mental health issues, indigenous Australians and young people.