The Clothing Bank

Hi Readers,

I’m veering off the beauty road today to talk about an organisation that I would like to shed some light on.

The Clothing Bank (TCB), founded in 2010 by Tracey Chambers and Tracey Gilmore, share a vision to “inspire, skill and support unemployed women to eradicate poverty in their lives”.


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The statistics on female unemployment in South Africa are terrifying. TCB state that 48% of women are unemployed and more than 65% of children live in poverty. Those figures are horrifying and an immense challenge in our communities and it is TCB’s mission to empower unemployed mothers through enterprise development so that they become financially and socially independent.

Their primary focus, Enterprise Development Project, assists unemployed mothers in obtaining the necessary qualifications and skills needed to support themselves as well as their families through business enterprises, specifically the selling of discounted clothing in townships.

30% of donated stock is redistributed to various NPOs (non-profit organisations) when clothing is desperately needed. TCB pride themselves on a turnaround time of 48hrs and I applaud them for it!

The Clothing Bank is really all about the empowerment of women through a variety of ways of self sustainability. They have trained 745 women on the last five years and have a retention rate of 80% and 90% of those women have reduced their debt levels after two years only.


Mungo and Jemima

I found out about The Clothing Bank when Smudged was invited to a beautifully organised Spring Swop & Shop event hosted by Mungo and Jemima at their Long Street Store. When I think of M&J, and I think the rest of Cape Town does too, I think of them as being the fore front of quality local designers. They sell all my favourite things from Selfi, Margot Molyneux, Coppelia and b and they total made my week when I was invited to their event that saw local bloggers spring clean their cupboards in exchange for a frock of their choice. I walked away with the most divine sheer shirt frock.

So a big ups to M&J and to The Clothing Bank for allowing those of us to become involved in part of the solution, and keep them in mind for the next time you decide to donate your unused clothing!




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