Brand Snapshot | Burberry celebrates International Women’s Day with Smart Works

Walpole member Burberry and UK women’s charity Smart Works celebrated today’s International Women’s Day by hosting a dressing session at the brand’s London flagship showroom earlier this week. Seven of the charity’s clients received a one-to-one styling session with members of Burberry’s private clients team and a Burberry capsule work wear wardrobe.

Each of the clients are at stage two of the Smart Works programme, meaning they have secured employment and will now be provided with clothing to wear to their new job, ahead of their first pay check.

Female photographer Esther Theaker captured portraits of all the women on the day in their new workwear wardrobe, creating a powerful image series released today for International Women’s Day.

Burberry has been working with UK women’s charity Smart Works since 2013, donating Burberry product for interview clothing as part of the service provided to help women in need get back into employment.

 Half of Smart Works’ clients are from an ethnic minority, long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications. In addition, 40% of Smart Works’ clients are single mothers. With the charity’s support, 60% of clients go on to secure employment. Smart Works aims to dress 3500 women this year across its two London offices and additional bases in key cities across the UK including Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Judy Collinson, Chief Merchandising Officer, Burberry said: “We are passionate about our longstanding partnership with Smart Works and the significant impact it has on women’s work lives. We both believe in the transformative power of clothes and Smart Works empowers women by giving them the tools and confidence to succeed. Our partnership also contributes towards our efforts to revalue surplus stock, whilst supporting the communities around us. Such a positive outcome is something we can all celebrate.”

Kate Stephens, CEO, Smart Works said: “At Smart Works we have been proud to partner with Burberry for over five years. We share a mission to harness creativity in order to bring about positive social change. Their generous donations of product, volunteer time and funds have helped us to transform the lives of our clients, leaving them feeling cherished and valued. We are so excited to bring the Smart Works magic to life with our clients at Burberry in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019.”

 Following Burberry’s announcement last year to find new and innovative ways to revalue product, the brand will be maximising its longstanding partnership with Smart Works. The partnership and special event demonstrates the broader impact fashion brands can have through donation of surplus stock and the benefits of a more circular approach.