Fashion for Change
Fashion for Change is an online fashion-recycling boutique dedicated to fundraising. We see ourselves as a uniquesocial business that offers a new way of donating and buying luxury charity clothes. It enables donors to choose which charity they support, see what they have raised and understand the impact they have made.
For most people donating luxury garments is not easy or rewarding; you need to take your clothes to your local charity shop, which might not support your favourite cause and once you have dropped them off, you have no idea how much they will be sold for or the impact that you have made. At least, that’s how it used to be.
We seek to improve the donating experience and dramatically increase the amounts of luxury garments donated. We want to encourage the vast amounts of garments that are being unworn, out of wardrobes and start working for their donor’s cause, as well as provide opportunities for their re-use.
Fashion for Change seeks to revolutionise old musty charity clothes. A high-end online boutique dedicated to luxury clothes and accessories; we provide an essential source of income to charities whilst also offering the customer top-end high street, designer and vintage clothes at up to 70% off original retail prices. We also offer the donor a hassle-free clothes agency service, collecting, photographing and listing garments online, as well as providing them with a unique view of their items and their status of sale.
Through our service we will:
- Increase the amount of funds raised for Charity. Specialising in luxury means that instead of 20% of an item’s sale going to charity, we are able to pass on up to 60% of its sale price. For example, we have found that a designer suit in a typical charity shop is likely to be sold for £20, of which as little as £4 (20%) would be retained by the charity. In contrast, Fashion for Change might sell the same suit for £100, of which up to £60 would go to charity. Last year, when Victoria and David Beckham donated their clothes to a charity shop, most of them were purchased between £20 and £100 – yet some garments were subsequently sold on ebay for over £5,000. The majority of funds generated did not go to the donors chosen cause.
- Build a sustainable and profitable social business. By increasing the volume and value of second-hand luxury clothes available to buyers via our dedicated sales platform and enabling up to 25,000 charities to list garments themselves in exchange for an annual fee. We will utilise our operating profits to continually develop trusted and efficient ways of reducing cost and ease of recycling, as well as significantly increasing funding to social projects, chosen by our donors. The idea of raising shareholder value in tandem with funds for charities is not new. As JustGiving shows – the greater the profits, the greater the funding for donor causes. A similar business to Fashion for Change in the US has recently secured second round investment. Since its inception in 2012, Fashion Project has grown significantly year-on-year. In Q3 2014, the company recorded 300 percent growth across all aspects of business.
- Extend the use of garments by just 9 months of active use This would reduce each of their carbon, waste and water footprints by 30% as well as help to save up to £5 billion in resources used to supply and dispose of clothing. Through our service we aim to increase the re-use of quality clothing, so that we can place less stress on our planet’s resources and increase accessibility of quality garments where possible. Even if it means buying less due to their higher price. There is a growing awareness of the conditions of which many of the cheap clothing brands are made, all too often to the detriment of human rights.
Fashion for Change has been initiated through my experience working within the Clothes Agency.com, the first online clothes agency here in the UK where I established partnerships with 13 leading charities, including SportsAid, Centrepoint, BBC Children in Need and Catapult. What’s more, the clothesagency.com has successfully fundraised for a member of the Royal Family, as well as A-list actors and actresses. Most recently, I supported Gillian Anderson to raise over £13,000 in just a few weeks for her charity SA-YES.
Gillian Anderson was delighted to find us “I’ve been trying to figure out for years how to make the most out of my old designer clothes. Until now, it was either donating to a charity shop, which might raise £20 for a Ralph Lauren gown, or leaving in the hands of a consignment shop, which can’t sell at proportionate prices and then takes 50 per cent off the top. The clothes agency has been such a wonderful discovery. The perfect platform for exactly this situation. Everyone wins.”
Last year we estimate that we received over 20,000 requests for luxury garments to be collected, but were unable to meet the demand due to limited operational space and staff to list the items.
I have now decided to set up Fashion for Change in order to focus and grow the charity side of the business by purchasing the fundraising arm of the Clothes Agency.com in particular the following assets:
- The ‘Fripping’ trade mark
- Pre-registered membership base of over 25,000
- 13 Charity partnerships
The reason for the re-structure is to provide a dedicated website solely for clothes donated to charity: allowing charities to re-sell their donated clothes with reduced individual overheads; and increase the funds they receive from luxury clothes donations. I strongly believe this enhances the clarity of the brand and puts us in a unique position in the marketplace.
Our revenue streams are:
- 40% of net proceeds from sale of garments and accessories listed for sale on fashionforchange.boutique.
- Recurring annual membership fees of £120 for online charity shops that allow charities to list their donated items online themselves.
Your investment will enable Fashion for Change to acquire sufficient storage facilities to meet an ever-increasing demand for garment collections; develop a strong brand and social media presence; and begin building loyalty and luxury retail partnerships through direct marketing activity. Our initial technical development will involve enabling garments to be auctioned at a set minimum amount, as well as a ‘Buy now’ feature for those able to pay full price to secure the garment. Our key requirement to building stock will be having the storage space and personnel capacity to meet the demand.