Sometimes you just know when you are meant to work or connect with someone.
Things out of your control are aligning you toward one another.
Your values are the same, your experience compliments one another and you are both aiming for the same goal.
Sounds a bit mushy I know!
Well this is how I felt when I connected with the Wardrobe Foundation.
How did it happen?
Well, I was first introduced to Lisa and Eloise, two of the founders of the organisation through a networking contact and I remember making the first phone call feeling like an excited child.
Subsequent Zoom calls confirmed for me that I had met some absolutely amazing ladies who were on a mission to provide confidence building gift bags, styling and offering advice to women who desperately needed it, through sustainable means.
Supporting women and communities, building confidence, preloved and sustainability, all the things that make my heart sing!
Now having met them in person and seen their HQ in Cranborne, I am extremely honoured to be have been given the role of ambassador for the organisation!
On my last visit I took some time to ask Eloise and Lisa some questions to give further insight into the fantastic work they do.
ALICE: What makes Wardrobe Foundation different from a charity shop?
Eloise: We work with charities, organisations, and local community groups to provide clothing to women in need of clothing support. We use kindly donated clothing and create capsule wardrobe foundation gift bags full of essential clothing items, tailored specifically to the women’s style preference, clothing need and size. These are then delivered though our brilliant charity and organisation partners!
A: Does that make you a charity organisation too?
Eloise: Good question! We are a registered UK not-for-profit Social Enterprise. We have partnered with organisations and charities across Dorset and the BCP area to ensure your wonderful clothes can be passed on to women who need clothing support. Call us the middleman – or actually the middle women!
A: So who can receive a gift bag?
Lisa: We rely on the professional opinion of the organisations we work with to decide who needs a clothing gift bag.
A: What is included in a referral gift bag?
Lisa: Each clothing gift bag contains on average, 20 items. The items are warm, comfortable, everyday items tailored to the recipient’s size, style preference and clothing need. We try to create a capsule wardrobe for each gift bag, or as we like to call them: ‘Foundation Pieces’. We often also include a scarf, a piece of jewellery and a handbag. Gift bags can also be made-up to include work-wear or interview outfits.
How do you know what size or what style a person likes?
Lisa: We ask/gather as much information from the charity, local community group or organisation submitting the referral. This includes, size, height and any colour preference/clothing need.
Do you meet the recipient?
Lisa: No – we never meet the recipient. We work through already established organisations and trust their professional opinion to determine who requires a gift bag.
How can I donate?
Eloise: We hold regularly donation collection days – keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for future collection days! The Cranborne Village Store also kindly act as a drop off location for us, we can also accept donations by post! If you have items to donate or are unsure of the best way to donate then please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a message on our Facebook page @wardrobefoundation.
Where are you based?
The Wardrobe Foundation HQ is based in Cranborne, Dorset and we deliver clothing gift bags across Dorset and BCP.
Thank you ladies!
I am very much looking forward to the collaborative events we have coming up.
Keep your eyes peeled on our social media for more information!
*If you are reading this and receiving any kind of support from social service or voluntary project and are in need of clothing support and would like to receive a gift bag then please ask them about submitting a referral to the Wardrobe Foundation.