The event aims to raise awareness to social collectivism Smart Works strives for through fashion, by supporting local women to get back into employment. All the money raised will be used by the organisation to continue delivering their service and support more women.
Smart Works is a national charity established in London 6 years ago. They have opened a centre in Newcastle in April 2018. In its first year, Smart Works Newcastle has supported more than 370 women across the North East.
Smart Works helps those who identifies as a woman to get back into employment by providing them work clothes, styling advice and interview training. Women with a confirmed job interview receive a 2 hours appointment and a 1:1 interview preparation from coaches working in HR, recruitment and senior management. They also provide personal care items such as makeup, deodorants and underwear to disadvantaged women.
Smart Works is managed by Nathalie Bouleau Chabot and Helen Boyd alongside a team of volunteers. They are dedicated to stock, take on admin duties and coach women around Newcastle.
Bouleau Chabot highlights the importance of sustainability in Smart Works. She said: "We are a sustainable clothing charity in the sense we don't waste anything that comes through the door. We know how bad the fashion industry is with everything that has come out late.”
“People are becoming more conscious about spending and reusing clothing items. What’s a better way than to share it around the city – an almost sharing economy.”
Smart Works represents a sense of power dressing for women in a workplace. We saw their vision and wanted to further raise awareness for sustainable fashion as well as what their charity represented.
The ethos of Smart Works has been echoed by NUFS. Tinii Suii, who works as the social secretary of Fashion Society stated: "Women need to feel empowered in their work wear and feel confident. It gives them hope and the confidence to carry on trying without the worry of what to wear. If a woman feels confident in their style and clothing item, then this can be easily seen through their body language and how they hold themselves together."
“Smart Works represents a sense of power dressing for women in a workplace. We saw their vision and wanted to further raise awareness for sustainable fashion as well as what their charity represented.”
“We look forward to more future collaborations with Smart Works and other charities. We enjoyed being a part of such an incredible cause and will definitely further raise awareness through our works.”
The Smart Works Newcastle office is located by the MEA House in Newcastle City Centre. They accept clothing donations from the public, local retailers and businesses. Anything not work-appropriate are sold at sales or are given to ‘Changing Lives’, a charity organisation supporting vulnerable individuals in the North East.