I came across this idea whilst looking for something entirely different, as is often the case. A quick look at the website revealed a really interesting idea.

Dress for Success was set up to help disadvantaged women achieve economic independence. It does this by giving these women an interview outfit, so that they are able to search for jobs with confidence and present themselves at their best. When a woman secures a job she is then given further garments to form the basis of a working wardrobe.

The scheme goes further than simply clothing these women. They are able to access one to one coaching in CV skills, mock interview sessions, a variety of workshops and a mentoring programme.

As I see it, Dress for Success has many advantages beyond the obvious. Members of the public are encouraged to donate good quality unwanted office wear. Where better to send that suit that’s been sitting in the back of your wardrobe for years than somewhere where you know if will be put to good use? This has environmental benefits as it stops good quality clothes from simply being thrown away.

Another big advantage is that Dress for Success doesn’t just act as a distribution service. The fact that the women are given extra help to get them into work is a vital factor to the success of the scheme. There would be little point in simply putting suits on women and expecting them to magically secure jobs. Many of these women have been through severe emotional traumas so it is important that they both look and feel like confident business women if they are to achieve their full potential.

Dress for Success has offices in several countries but currently only two in the UK. If you live in London or
Strathclyde look up your local office and see if there’s anything unwanted in your wardrobe that could make a real difference to someone else’s life.

About the Author:

Rosie Bristow is part of the PASSION for the PLANET team

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