We interviewed CEO Anthony Chesler about the amazing work of Thread Together and this is what he had to say.
What can you tell us about Thread Together?
Millions of items of unsold, brand-new clothing are dumped by stores into landfill every year. As a society we recognise that people need food and shelter – however, we often don’t realise people also need basic clothing. Many Australians don’t have access to a warm winter jumper, comfortable, waterproof shoes or even a clean pair of underwear. Clothing doesn’t just protect us from the elements – it also helps shape our confidence, dignity and motivation, and that has the power to turn lives around. Thread Together offers a socially responsible way for the fashion world to donate their end-of-line stock to those in our community going through a tough time, as well as being a win for the environment.
So how does it work?
We collect the stock and take it to our warehouse, and charities can then either order clothes via an online portal or by referring clients to our Clothing Hubs in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide, which are set up to provide an authentic shopping experience. Customers are invited to choose outfits that match their style and personality as well as their circumstances – providing choice within a dignified, safe and positive environment. We believe offering choice is crucial to helping restore dignity and pride.
Which big names have come on board?
We’ve partnered with The Iconic, General Pants, Camilla and Marc, Bec+Bridge, Springcourt, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, amongst others. The list keeps growing – the more brands find out about us, the more they want to be part of this ethical response to fashion waste.
How can ordinary people get involved?
Through a network of over 150 charity partners and numerous dedicated corporate partners and volunteers, Thread Together provides new clothing to 2,000 people per week. We couldn’t do that without the support of our community – we don’t charge the charities we work with or the people that we help. It costs us $5 to clothe a person – for the price of a coffee, you could make a profound impact someone’s life – with the huge bonus being the win for the environment at the same time.
What’s been most rewarding about your work so far?
Our work goes directly to giving people as much dignity as possible at their darkest time. It is a service that recognises that tough times eventually subside. Whilst someone is going through it, the very best should be afforded to that person to get them back on track.