Without care taken to reduce its impact, the dry cleaning industry can produce a lot of waste. We’ve discussed in the past how this affects the environment and the efforts our teams at Jeeves of Belgravia are making to mitigate these effects.
Another type of waste produced by dry cleaning is that of unwanted clothes. This is generated by people not collecting their garments after we have cleaned them.
This happens more often than you may expect. So, like many dry cleaners, we often find ourselves with rails of uncollected and unwanted clothes.
Usually, they are in good or excellent condition. For some time now, we have been exploring what we can do with these items to put them to best use.
How Smart Works Makes a Difference
We recently came across Smart Works. Established in 2013, this charitable organisation provides high-quality clothing for job interviews to women currently out of work.
The women Smart Works assist are those experiencing problems finding employment. Half have been unsuccessful in 20 or more applications. A third have not been offered a role after applying for 50 or more jobs.
Job centres, work programmes, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities refer candidates to Smart Works.
Once they have an interview, Smart Works invites women to a personalised styling session. This is hosted by two volunteer stylists. During the session, they receive a complete outfit including accessories for free, which they can keep.
According to the charity:
“The tangible impact that our service has on a woman’s confidence is something we have the privilege to witness every day. The magic begins when she enters the dressing room and is styled into her interview outfit, hers to keep, by trained volunteers.
She looks in the mirror and sees a new and impressive version of herself.”
Giving More than Just Clothes
Smart Works also provides one-to-one interview coaching to boost womens’ confidence.
After these sessions, 64% of women go on to get the job. Overall, 94% claim that the support they receive from Smart Works significantly increases their confidence to succeed at interview.
To date, Smart Works has supported 15,000 women, has grown to 350 trained volunteers and operates across eight cities in the UK. Last year they announced that HRH The Duchess of Sussex had become a Royal Patron.
Some of the wonderful stories from the women they have assisted can be found here.
Helping Women into Work with Clothes Donations
At Jeeves of Belgravia, we learned about the amazing projects Smart Works is involved in and felt we had found the perfect solution for our uncollected garments.
To coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March, we will now be giving the high-quality clothes that are abandoned by their owners to Smart Works.
Additionally, we encourage our customers, associates and generally anyone who finds themselves with unwanted garments to donate them to Smart Works.
Happy International Women’s Day. We look forward to updating you on the progress of our new partnership and the fantastic initiatives coming from Smart Works.