Community, Culture + Colour: Thread Together
Thread Together is an Australian not-for-profit. Established by Andie Halas in 2012, their work and mission provide two crucial solutions: diverting never-used clothes from landfill, while providing brand-new wardrobe essentials to those in the community who need it most.
P.E Nation first partnered with Thread Together at the beginning of 2020, in response to the bushfires, when there was an immediate need to provide clothing to those who had lost everything.
On Friday May 14, the P.E Nation team spent the day at the Thread Together warehouse and fulfilment centre in Banksmeadow, Sydney. Working in groups throughout the day, the team helped staff and volunteers there to sort, pick and pack orders, and prepare the mobile wardrobe vans, readying deliveries of brand-new clothes for men, women and children in our community going through hard times.
“It was such an important and heartfelt day for us, seeing our whole team get behind a charity that we believe in, and seeing and learning of the immediate benefits to others in our community. Hearing Rachael’s story broke my heart but the strength to be able to share her story and help others in her situation is so powerful. I’m so grateful for the loving and amazing people in our team. And so proud that we not only donate clothing but worked for Thread Together to lighten their load and do more for the more vulnerable people in our communities.”
- Claire Tregoning, P.E Nation Co-Founder & Creative Director
Today in Australia, about 13 per cent of our population – close to three million people in our community – are living below the poverty line. “They don’t have access to food security, housing security, and the forgotten basic human right of clothing,” says Thread Together CEO Anthony Chesler.
“At Thread Together, distribution with dignity is our priority. We believe people at their darkest hour deserve to have the best – someone who has escaped domestic violence, or has lost their home through a bushfire or recent flood, doesn’t need to be reminded of their circumstance. Right now, we provide clothes to 2000 people a week, and move 40,000 units of brand-new clothing every month, all around the country.”
Thread Together partners with Australian clothing brands, sourcing brand-new excess styles and providing fashion labels with an opportunity for responsible disposal of their end-of-line stock, by redistributing the donated clothes to communities who need it most.
“We are a registered charity,” explains Anthony. “We deliver our services completely free of charge to fashion donors, we collect the product and bring it here to the fulfilment centre, and we are also a free service to the agencies and charities we partner with, so we have to fundraise to deliver these services. One way in which we do that is through i=Change.”
Supporting Thread Together through i=Change
While P.E Nation regularly donates new clothes to Thread Together, when our customers shop with us, they do their part too. Every time a customer completes an order at pe-nation.com, $1 of the purchase goes to i=Change. Customers get to choose where that dollar goes, to support one of three nominated community and environmental initiatives, including Thread Together.
“As it comes into winter, there’s a rapidly increasing demand for warm layers, so we have to build up that kind of stock to deal with the demand,” says Anthony. “And while we never know what’s in the boxes that arrive, we have also found that by putting it out there, it turns up. Earlier this year, we needed thousands of pairs of jeans to do some flood relief work and, somehow, thousands of jeans arrived. Sometimes you’ve just got to put vibes out there and good things come in return.”
Helping Those Who Need It Most
During our morning helping at the centre, the P.E Nation team also met Rachael Natoli from the Lokahi Foundation, one of many not-for-profit organisations that partner with Thread Together. Rachael generously shared her personal experience of domestic and family abuse. She set up the Lokahi Foundation in 2017, and explained the incredible work her foundation does in supporting victims of domestic violence.
“We are based in Bondi Junction, and we have case workers and provide support to women leaving abusive relationships,” says Rachael. “To me, it was vital to be based in a busy go-to area, so that women can say they’re going shopping, or visiting the library, arranging a playdate or catching up with friends, while they’re seeking support from us. And once they do leave, women often leave with very little. Often with the clothes on their back and maybe one spare change. We’re really fortunate that Thread Together exists, because we can quickly send in an order for our clients for clothing they need for themselves and their children. To be able to provide them with new clothes at their toughest hour, helps us remind victims and survivors that they’re worthy, and that other people value them and care about them, when for so long they’ve been put down and made to feel totally worthless. To provide access to quality clothing is a small step to help people to rebuild and feel powered and begin to come out the other side.”
It was a moving experience for the team, a morning that impacted us all in different ways. Thread Together does incredible work every day. We are proud to partner with them, honoured to have the opportunity to spend time helping at the fulfilment centre, and thankful to our Nation, our customers, you, for continuing to support incredible causes alongside us through i=Change.
To learn more about Thread Together, to donate or volunteer, visit threadtogether.org.