In their latest stride to a more sustainable future in fashion, H&M South Africa and social enterprise, Clothes to Good, have joined forces on a micro-business programme that creates employment and empowers 108 female entrepreneurs, many of whom are mothers with children with disabilities. The programme entails providing these women with pre-loved and old clothing and textiles to re-sell, while also providing them with the skills and resources to grow their businesses and create additional employment opportunities for others.
In H&M stores around South Africa, customers will find a clothing recycling bin where they can drop off their pre-loved fashion items. These items will become stock for these female-owned micro-businesses. Items that are not fit for resale are instead repurposed into sensory toys. These toys are mostly produced by people with disabilities and are distributed to children in low-resourced ECD centres and to children with disabilities.
Clothes to Good provides further support to the programme, with garment collection, therapy intervention, financial literacy and business skills training for the micro-businesses when they start up. The women also receive general sales training, skills support, financial wellness and mentorship before they begin their new business.
As someone who has resold second-hand clothing myself on and off for many years, I can vouch for the potential for profit, and the financial growth it may hold for these women. It’s also a known fact that the second-hand fashion industry is growing exponentially, as more and more consumers are making more sustainable fashion choices, with second-hand clothing purchases being one of the ways they choose to do so. H&M South Africa currently runs the programme in Gauteng, with plans to expand even further.
On that note, why not be part of the change? Bring your pre-loved clothing and textiles to any H&M store in South Africa, and create more opportunities for women and children ?
This post was done in collaboration with H&M.