The Social Outfit

The Social Outfit

The Social Outfit is a fashion label with a difference - providing employment and training opportunities in the fashion industry to people from refugee and new migrant communities in clothing production, retail, design and marketing.

The Social Outfit community staff

We have created a social business model where people build skills in a supportive environment, whilst interacting with broader Sydney communities.

The Social Outfit products

Celebratory in design, we work together with industry and community collaborators to produce ethical fashion products that reflect a hopeful Australian spirit.

Fashion Industry Support

The Social Outfit board and fashion industry support

We’ve partnered with over 28 Australian fashion industry supporters to create limited edition digital prints, as well as diverting textile waste from landfill. These supporters include: Carla Zampatti (Ambassador, The Social Outfit), Alice McCall, Bec & Bridge, Bianca Spender, Citizen Wolf, Clare Press, Cue, Dragstar, Ginger & Smart, Good Day Girl, Jets Swimwear, Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Rittenhouse, Romance Was Born, Seafolly, Seneca Textiles, Signature Prints, and Tessuti Fabrics.

The Social Outfit products

Environmental Impact

We have saved over 4 tonnes of textile waste from landfill, across our retail manufacturing operations and sewing training programs.

What Needs is The Social Outfit Addressing?

1) We provide paid workplace training in a supported Australian work environment...
because “a lack of work experience is the number one barrier cited by humanitarian migrants looking for work”. *

2) We know having a job helps you get another job...
because “humanitarian migrants with prior work experience are 70% more likely to have a job than those with no work experience after 18 months in Australia”. *

3) We focus on women...
because “only 20% of female humanitarian migrants are participating in the labour market compared to 60% of males”. *

4) We focus on young people...
because the “literature highlights that there is limited provision of specialised programs to meet the complex support needs of young people from refugee backgrounds”. **

5) People from refugee and new migrant communities face complex barriers to social inclusion, and pathways to sustained employment and training.

Our model effectively deals with this:
a. By starting from existing skills so people can contribute
b. As a trading social enterprise we interact daily with the broader community
c. Our ‘fashion-label with a difference’ proudly showcases a talented multicultural Australia.

Learn more about TheSocial Outfit’s impact on the first four years of our operation.

* Centre for Policy Development, ‘Settling Better’ Report, 2017.
** Centre for Multicultural Youth, ‘Facilitating the transition to employment for refugee young people’ Report, 2014.

We Need Your Help

Help The Social Outfit find a new home

After 4 years at 353 King Street, our landlord has decided to redevelop the property and we need to find a new home.

After much searching and negotiation, we have found our new home: 188 King Street Newtown. The site is almost double in size, and with an upstairs / downstairs we can configure the space for more retail, and more making, and more community and training programs.

The first year is going to be a big challenge

In the past 4 years, rents in Newtown have risen. Our new rent is 40% higher, and the moving itself comes with necessary and significant costs. Moving our retail store and re-establishing our workroom and studio all come with unavoidable expenses.

Most importantly, we don’t want this move to impact our ability to continue offering our sewing training and community programs with women and young people from the refugee and new migrant community.

We urgently need your help to ensure we can keep our doors open, and keep running quality programs.

You Can Make a Difference

Here's how you can help support the Social Outfit:

  • $25 can provide a sewing kit for our training workshops with women
  • $53 contributes to equipping our new sewing workroom with essential tools and materials
  • $76 can provide 1.5 hour of specialised product development training for a woman to progress her own micro-enterprise
  • $104 can provide a teaching session for our digital print projects with young people in Western Sydney
  • $250 provides furnishings and fittings for our new retail space and studio
  • $800 provides a woman participation in an 8-week industrial sewing program

Your donation will ensure we can continue to create opportunities for women and young people from the refugee and new migrant community, using fashion as a vehicle.

How Merchant Pricing Hub Supported The Social Outfit

Merchant Pricing provided marketing support to create awareness of the crowdfunding campaign via our newsletter, website and social media channels, as well as $5,000 of matched funding. As the first major donor to the campaign, The Social Outfit was able to utilise this to secure four other matched funding commitments of equal value providing a total of $25,000 of matched funding to underpin the crowd funding campaign. Over $44,000 was raised in total - a great result!