Laura’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: Dress for Success
Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Laura Golsteijn will tell you a little about her work as a voluntary shop assistant at Dress for Success.
What I really dislike is people throwing away items that can be re-used by someone who needs them more, is more interested in them, or is more creative with them. In that sense, I like keeping all options open. This also holds for clothing. Every other Wednesday, I work as a voluntary shop assistant at Dress for Success, where I help people with a low income prepare for a successful job interview in appropriate clothing.
Supporting People with a Low Income
Dress for Success is a global non-profit organisation with shops in many different countries. The mission of Dress for Success is to support people with a low income in interviewing for jobs, by giving them a representative outfit that is tailored to the job they want. They can also get personal clothing advice from the organisation’s volunteers, who know all about styling, personal care, job interviews and first impressions. This way, Dress for Success gives people with insufficient financial capacity, who have been out of a job for a while or don’t have a lot of experience with corporate culture, a better chance at achieving economic independence.
Sponsored by Society
Dress for Success is sponsored by companies, individuals, and municipalities who provide money, services, and clothing or other goods. We receive new clothes from clothing shops, and as-good-as-new clothes from individuals who have tidied their wardrobe. The volunteers sort out all donations, and donate items that are not suitable for a job interview to another charity. All suitable items are subsequently dry cleaned or washed and ironed, and placed in a shop that has a wide variety of clothes waiting for the right client.
The Fun Part
I very much enjoy working for an organisation with such a mission. All volunteers are highly motivated to help people and all donors are happy to contribute by bringing in reusable items. But most of all, I enjoy the contact with our clients, whose life is often so different from mine. It is very interesting to hear their stories and to work together with them on their first impression in a job interview. Although it does not feel like we expend a huge amount of effort to help them, our clients are often very grateful.
What Can You Do?
Companies or individuals who want to sponsor Dress for Success can do so in several different ways listed on the Dutch or global website. If you know someone with insufficient financial capacity who has a job interview, please feel free to point them to the nearest Dress for Success shop.
I’m passing on this series’ relay baton to Sanne, who will tell us about her favourite sustainable initiative next month.