We go in conversation with Anthony Chesler on ways we can help and where to next for Thread Together.
You have distributed over more than $10 million worth of new clothing to people in our community! How are you making a difference to their lives?
"...Clothing helps to define who we are. Unfortunately, 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 6 children (or 3.4 million) Australians are living below the poverty line without access to essential clothing, a basic human right. Thread Together provides new wardrobes of essential clothing and in doing so is transforming the lives of Australians. What is deemed essential clothing is often determined by the individual in need and a typical wardrobe includes underwear, socks, jeans and tees, but for some-one looking to re-enter the workforce, essential clothing includes appropriate work attire."
For those who may not be a part of the industry, or have any brand-new stock to donate what are some other helpful ways to be involved with Thread Together?
"There are 4 ways that people can get involved with Thread Together:
1. Donate your time
2. Give some of your talents
3. Introduce us to agencies working with Australians in need of clothing, fashion brands looking for solutions to end-of-life product and / or potential parties that can make a financial contribution
4. Donate $5 to help us provide a new wardrobe to an Australian in need."
What most people would ask is, does it have to be brand new? And does it?
"Thread Together helps to restore dignity to Australians doing it tough and whilst there is a role for pre-loved clothes, we strongly believe that people at their darkest hours are deserving the best and therefore we strongly advocate for new threads for new beginnings. This coupled with the fact that at least one-third of all new clothing goes from factory to landfill and so in distributing new clothes we are saving these clothes from going to landfill."
Where to next for the organisation?
"Sadly, the need for clothing continues to grow and so we remain focused on providing Australians in need with new clothing to restore dignity and create hope for a better tomorrow. We have identified 500,000 people in need and so we will be working very hard to help these people all around the country. In the new year we will be expanding our fleet of mobile wardrobes and clothing hubs into Melbourne and Brisbane and piloting a new distribution channel. Beyond 2021, we have started to think about our role in the circular fashion cycle and have commenced some preliminary discussions with partners on up-cycling and repurposing garments where our supply far exceeds demand."