We are thrilled to announce the launch of Worn for Good by our dear friends, Sophie Palmer & Pip Best.
“Circulating fashion for a good cause, and a better future.”
Founded by Sophie and Pip, Worn for Good is a social enterprise that contributes to a more sustainable fashion industry, combining conscious consumerism and compassion. Worn for Good curates collections of clothing donated by your favourite Australian designers, retailers, fashion heavyweights & influencers available to shop via the Worn for Good online store. A shared passion for women’s empowerment, sustainability and giving back, Pip and Sophie founded Worn for Good as a way to solve issues of waste and suffering, in turn providing support and giving a voice to some of Australia’s most vulnerable women.
Worn for Good acts as an agent of the circular economy, keeping clothes out of landfill and value-adding through charitable giving. 100% of profits go directly to their three charity partners that work to improve the lives of vulnerable women, and the health and regeneration of our planet – circulating fashion for a good cause, and a better future. Their main aim is to raise much-needed funds for their charity partners, while also helping brands manage their excess stock in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Each fortnight they drop a new collection that features new pieces from a different ambassador and a different brand, as well as a special WFG edit. We are thrilled to working with WFG to present an array of pieces from brands in the DR Arc such as St. Agni, Flash Jewellery, Velvet Canyon, and more. We had the honour of interviewing Sophie & Pip and getting a deeper look into the sense of compassion and consciousness that fuels Worn for Good.
1) How did you come up with the idea for Worn for Good? Can you tell us the story behind the name?
We met back in 2015 at a volunteer information session for a yoga charity and instantly became friends. We had both worked for not-for-profits and quickly realised we had a mutual interest in women’s empowerment, sustainability and social impact (and a shared sense of humour, to boot).
We’d often talk about our experiences in the social sector, and the issues that systemically affect disadvantaged communities, both locally and across the world. With Soph’s background in the fashion industry and the rising awareness around sustainability and waste, we started to see a way we could address the issue of waste in the fashion industry while supporting female empowerment and the environment.
Worn for Good became a vehicle for change and a way to build community around the causes that we care about. We believe that fashion and style can co-exist with social and environmental responsibility, which is why we decided to collect and sell new and pre-loved designer apparel from fashion heavyweights, brands and influencers with 100% of profits going towards our three charity partners. These charities work to improve the lives of vulnerable women and the health and regeneration of our planet. In short, circulating fashion for a good cause, and a better future.
So, after countless coffees and meetings in the sauna, our idea (along with the name) grew and evolved into something we are really proud to finally launch!
2) What is your background?
Pip – I spent almost a decade working in the not-for-profit sector as a social worker in youth homelessness as well as 18 months in Kenya working for children’s charity, Flying Kites. I saw the issues plaguing our local and global community which helped me become keenly aware of the needs and challenges confronting some of society’s most vulnerable. I’m also a marriage celebrant, doula and all-round businesswoman (Sophie adds, “She’s a good woman to have by your side!”)
Sophie – I came from a bit of different arena, with a degree in Journalism and Marketing. I worked for many years in the fashion and magazine industry – before ultimately having the realisation I was meant to be doing something more personally meaningful. So I packed up my desk and pursued the heartfelt calling to study and teach yoga and meditation. Having spent the last decade teaching yoga and meditation in Sydney, as well as working for Australian Charity, A Sound Life – an organisation that brings therapeutic yoga, meditation and music as free services to underprivileged communities including women’s refuges, youth outreach, disability facilities, cancer support services & drug/alcohol rehabilitation – I knew I was happiest when doing heartfelt, purposeful work.
Although we have different skillsets and experiences that span many industries, together we have a combined 15+ years of experience of working in not-for-profits. It’s been fun to combine our mutual interests and skills to bring a little magic into the notion of social impact.
3) Can you tell us about your personal journey into conscious consumerism & changing your habits? Was there a particular moment or experience that sparked this journey?
When we first had the idea of WFG we did a whole lot of research around waste in Australia, particularly in the fashion industry. We were both shocked to learn that as a country we throw out more than 6,000kg of clothing every ten minutes…And it all ends up in landfill. That’s enough jeans and t-shirts to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool over 126 times.
These facts alone inspired us to do something meaningful in an industry that needs to change. Sustainability and Conscious Consumerism are the two major pillars of our business and the fundamental reasons we conceived WFG.
We want to encourage and inspire a more conscious approach to consuming fashion by changing the way people think about buying clothing. We tell the stories behind the garments — the people who made them and the people who wore them — so our customers can feel something before they buy. It’s more than just a monetary transaction. We keep clothes in circulation and encourage a purposeful approach to building your wardrobe.
We want our customers to be able to shop and wear pieces they love, but in a more sustainable way, and always with the objective of giving back – both to our planet and to vulnerable women.
We’re inspired by many local and global fashion brands who are now more than ever, doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, GHG, and reduce wastage by looking at more sustainable ways of manufacturing. We’ve adopted a Rx4 model (reduce, reuse, repair and resale) wherever possible – from collecting pre-loved clothing all the way through to our packaging.
4) Has there been a favourite piece or find that is going to be available for people to shop?
Pip – The Hollow Hoop earrings from Flash Jewellery. I’ve been eyeing them for a while – they’re timeless and go with absolutely everything.
Sophie – Yes! So many pieces – literally, every time we receive a new delivery, I ask Pip if we can keep it. It’s a running joke. But seriously, the St. Agni loafers and a pair of white, vintage boyfriend jeans.
5) We would love to hear more about your donation process and how this will work. Are there particular charities that you will be choosing and will this be in rotation?
We founded WFG as a way to offer a creative solution to reduce waste in the fashion industry, to promote a circular economy, and ultimately give back to those who need our help.
We both strongly believe that empowering vulnerable women and finding regenerative solutions for the earth – are the two most effective investments that we can make as a community. That’s why (after endless research and discussions) we’ve partnered with three Australian charities that align with this vision, and also given own experiences – we felt personally connected to:
1. Women’s Community Shelters – protecting and supporting women & children facing domestic violence and homelessness.
2. Look Good Feel Better – supporting people living with cancer.
3. Greening Australia – supporting environmental restoration and education.
Each of the three charities are all causes we felt personally connected to and wanted to do something about. Initially, we just chose Women’s Community Shelters and Look Good Feel Better however the recent bushfires were a massive wake-up call and we felt moved, more than ever, to do something about the replanting and regeneration of our country.
We wanted to support an organisation who was working to restore Australian for future generations, as it aligned with our personal and organisational environmental ethos. Greening Australia is not only leading a native seed and replanting program in the wake of the fires, but also have programs that to restore the reef, endangered animals, and rebuild habitats all over the country.
6) What is your process of choosing brands to work with?
Ultimately, we’re always grateful and excited about any brand that wants to work with us and do something meaningful and responsible with the surplus stock they may have. However, we are considered and mindful when speaking with new, contemporary, high-end brands in order to ensure that they are aligned and share similar ethics & values.
We’re constantly inspired by many local and global fashion brands who are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, GHG, and reduce wastage by looking at more sustainable ways of manufacturing. We admire the brands that are leading the way in this.
7) What do you hope to achieve in the short-term and long-term with Worn For Good?
In the short term – we’re so grateful to have already received some incredible support from both the general public as some of our favourite contemporary Australian designers, brands & influencers who have reached into their wardrobes, or pulled stock from their collections in order for our community to shop for a cause.
We’re thrilled to be speaking to more & more high-end brands that are offering to donate samples, garments with slight faults & surplus stock. A lot of these brands have been looking for a responsible and meaningful way to manage stock so we’re pleased to be able to offer a solution – extending the lifecycle of every garment and acting as an agent for a circular economy. The more brands and supporters we have on board, the more impact we can make – both for reducing waste in the fashion industry & providing much-needed funding to our charity partners.
In the long-term – as you can imagine, we’re two women on a mission, with a vision. We have grand plans for WFG! On our ‘dreams can come true list’ includes app development, expanding to a global market, strong & ongoing partnerships with local and international labels and ambassadors, Fashion Week events, expanding the team, hosting events rooted in community connectedness, and having a storefront where people can come and shop and hang out.
We’re a social enterprise and true to that, we’d like to create valuable job opportunities for the women our charity partners support. All of our endeavors are based on growth so we can create a more meaningful impact. At the end of the day, we always come back to that.
8) What is your motto and approach to fashion?
Buy well, not more. Invest in thoughtful, timeless and well-made pieces. Your clothes should be with you for a lifetime of beautiful memories. Love what you buy, take care of every garment, and when you’re ready to part ways, pass them on to generations to come.
P.S. Lastly, we want to say a huge thank you to the amazingly helpful and inspired team at Del Rainbow who have been so kind to connect us with an incredible range of Australian brands who we are so honoured to work with.
Thank you Sophie & Pip!