When we launched The Sisters Wine a year ago, it was essential to us as a team that we live our truth. Part of that was supporting organisations and events that bring women together to support and encourage each other. From the beginning, Dress for Success was an organisation that we believed embodied many of the values that we as a brand stand for. We are proud to stand for them and with them.
The Dress For Success ethos is about empowering women to shape their destiny continually — transforming themselves, their families and their communities. Visit their website, and you’ll quickly learn they dedicate themselves to this with laser focus:
“Our Mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Our Vision is a world where women do not live in poverty, are treated with dignity and respect, and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.”
Many people may be most familiar with Dress for Success, as an organisation that provides disadvantaged women, returning to the workforce with clothing to help give them the confidence to shine during an interview. But this organisation does so much more. Charles Hix, Author, once said. “Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.” Many of the women that come to Dress for Success have lost that essence of self-esteem. Listen to any of their stories, and you’ll quickly understand that what they gain from working with Dress for Success is not just a suit of clothes, but a new perspective on themselves and the value they have in their communities and families. More importantly, they learn to value themselves.
So as we launch our campaign in support of Dress for Success this November, here are five things you need to know about Dress for Success.
- The suit is just the beginning of the journey to help women thrive in work and life. They additionally offer career development advice and a network of support. The Career Centres at over 100 affiliates provide access to job search tools and resources. These centres help unemployed and underemployed women gain professional skills, accelerate their job search and build confidence.
- There is no one type of Dress for Success client. Dress for Success helps a diverse group of women who have faced a variety of life challenges and are seeking employment and self-sufficiency. They represent all ethnicities. More than 70% are single mothers, raising an average of 2-3 children. More than 60% are ages 18–38 and 10% are 46 or older. One thing they do have in common is that they have all lived below the poverty level before coming to Dress for Success.
- Since 1997 Dress for Success has served approximately 1 million women. It has more than 150 affiliates worldwide, in 20 countries, with 7–10 new affiliates projected to open each year.
- Dress for Success assists women to move forward with confidence not just in how they look, but in how they feel. In recent years, they have added new programmes as part of the support they offer including the Going Places Network, Financial Literacy and Health and Wellness Programmes.
- Dress for Success is a global organisation with a local focus. There are over 150 affiliates in 20 countries. The Dress for Success model translates across geographies because of women’s universal desire to become self- sufficient and independent for themselves and their families.
Dress for Success came to New Zealand in 1999, when the Auckland affiliate was founded. It was one of the first two “international” affiliates established, thus beginning the expansion beyond the US borders (the other was Vancouver). To date, they have helped nearly 40,000 women in this country. There are seven affiliates in New Zealand, in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Northland, Rotorua, and Wellington.
To continue the valuable work that they do, they need funding and support. There are numerous events organised through the affiliates in New Zealand. We have been proud to support several, such as Handbag Heaven through Dress for Success Rotorua, or the screening of Absolutely Fabulous in support of Dress for Success Christchurch and Wellington. We also donate wines for some other events that they organise from time to time. These donations are vital as they enable them to raise valuable funds without having a cash outlay to host them.
The campaign we launch this November is the most ambitious and largest initiative to date. It is a nationwide campaign and will go directly to support the efforts of the Dress for Success New Zealand affiliates. It is a very specific way to have real impact on our local communities and the women who need our help.
Early on, we had a vision, to ensure that every time you purchased a bottle of The Sisters Wine, you would directly support Dress for Success. That dream is now a reality. We hope that women as a community will band together and support this initiative, because indeed, each person, each purchase can make a real difference.