Philly-based nonprofit The Wardrobe brings new meaning to “Dress For Success…”
Brittani is a single mom who, like any parent, wanted to better provide for her son. In a job market already strained by COVID, the task of finding a higher paying job was proving difficult. She heard about the work of The Wardrobe and reached out for help. Through close collaboration, Brittani was paired with a stylist who was able to identify her needs and strengths, and help exemplify her personality through clothes.
“My attire changed. My mind changed!”
As a result, Brittani discovered a newfound confidence, one that carried her into a new job that paid $4 per hour more than what she had even considered possible. Although that may not seem a lot to some, Brittani says that it has absolutely changed her life. She can now support her son as she hoped she could, all while working from home, which she understands is a luxury in today’s climate.
For people like Brittani — and anyone faced with challenging situations — The Wardrobe (formerly known as Career Wardrobe) was created 25 years ago in an effort to provide them with tools (like clothing and mentoring) needed to ace a job interview or forge a new career.
Most recipients are referred by government programs or other nonprofit agencies but, as of this March, assistance is offered to anyone who has lost their current employment due to the COVID pandemic. The Wardrobe operates two main store locations that service six counties, which take in 30% of their annual income. They are open to the public and offer a varied assortment of gently used clothing and accessories — ranging from business to casual attire — for both men and women. When the pandemic forced them to shut down for several months, The Wardrobe team got creative and shifted their focus to virtual consulting, which includes a Wardrobe Box being sent directly to the clients’ home. Their stores have recently reopened but, for the safety of everyone involved, The Wardrobe’s virtual sessions remain part of their protocol.
Like them, Free People is indebted to helping our communities where we can, so we have partnered with The Wardrobe to push their mission even further. This year, we have donated over $2.5 million in FP merchandise — our biggest donation to any organization to date – and we are committed to donating each year going forward.
If you are interested in being a part of the positive changes The Wardrobe is making in our community, there are multiple ways to help!
- Clean out your closet and make a no-contact donation of your gently used clothing
- Shop at one of their store locations in the Philadelphia area or through their online store on Poshmark
- Donate to their OutFIT for Work Fund. With every $50 donation they will provide anyone who has been impacted by the pandemic with a free outfit to get their next job.
- Join their Virtual Fashion Dash 5K October 23rd through 25th and raise money toward their cause!
Keep checking the The Wardrobe website for upcoming events and new ways to get involved.