Interview with Sharewear

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Rose Community Group focuses on:

Sharewear Clothing Scheme

Based in Nottinghamshire, Sharewear are a brilliant clothing scheme who also assist people in parts of Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. 

Their initiative has been serving the local communities for 6 years, providing free clothes, footwear and bedding to people who are socially vulnerable or in any kind of economic crisis.

Sharewear work with referring agencies – charities, voluntary groups and other social prescribers – who can refer people in need to them.

They have an outreach programme, where they share bulk deliveries with other organisations according to demand.

Sharewear also run an employability programme; helping people in their own community gain the skills and experience which could take them into the workplace, and independence.

Often, a person who comes to Sharewear in clothing crisis will remain part of the Sharewear family to join in with helping others going through similar crises.

The attitude this amazing group of people bring to the service they offer is not one of charity. There is no ‘benevolent benefactor’ doling out assistance to a ‘grateful poor’. This is a community, in the South American style, holding hands and keeping everyone afloat, together.

People are not limited to a certain number of times they can be referred to the group, for help.  Whilst records are kept of support and donations, to track the service and resources, Sharewear understands that real life is not a single crisis moment cleared up with one offer.

People may come to Sharewear for bedding because they have been newly housed following a critical situation, next they may need clothes for a new season or for children who have grown out of their clothes, they may then need an interview suit.

Life is messy and the people of Sharewear understand that.

Sharewear’s resources are collected and donated from a number of sources including church groups, schools who have partnered in, political groups, individuals and retailers.

Unfortunately though, some items which are donated are no longer fit for use but Sharewear does not disregard these items. They are remade into gifts which can be bought at local craft fairs and the money raised is put straight back into the running of the service.

Grants are hard to come by and, although Sharewear have secured a grant to run their employability scheme for their volunteers, they must fundraise for most of the money needed to keep this service going.

Sharewear have seen a rise of people using their services, however, an increasing visibility amongst referring agencies would seem to explain this, in part.

This would suggest that more people who need the service are finding their way to it, which can only be a good thing.

However, there is also ever increasing austerity and other measures such as privatisation of rehabilitation services for offenders, cuts to probation and domestic violence services, plus the increase in unstable employment and the lack of the Real Living Wage being implemented across the board.

All of this has caused a sharp rise in people needing help.

Sharewear are keen to help more people benefit from their service and will help other people set up a Sharewear service, under the same banner, in other areas.

Could your community benefit from the Green fashion and community building power of this initiative? They are offering advice, start up resources and the benefit of their experience and reputation.  You will need storage space, volunteers and clothes.

There are lots of way you can support

Could you organise clothing collections? Talk to smaller businesses about donating their returns or waste clothing? Or become a Sharewear Seed, with a regular donation that – when all donated funds are taken together – gives the group an income they can rely on.

You may also like to purchase a campaign tee, from the website, to raise awareness of UK Clothing Poverty.

Recently, Sharewear were at Pure London, reaching a bigger audience with their message and their plans. This has offered them opportunities to spread their message of combatting clothing poverty with dignity and community, across the world.

They have joined sustainable fashion collectives and on 20th of March this year, are launching a webinar about extending the life of your clothes. This is open to all members of the collective, which is free to join. Contact Sharewear for details.

Contact Sharewear Clothing Scheme

If you are interested in becoming a branch of Sharewear Clothing Scheme, or you’d like to support them in the wonderful work they do, please get in touch with them by the details below. 

Also, on the 21st of March it is Sharewear’s birthday! For 2020, it is being held at
Mannakin. If you’d like to go, let Sharewear know so they have an idea of numbers for all the food and safety issues!

Get in touch


Sharewear Nottingham, 41-43 Mansfield Road, Daybrook, Nottingham NG5 6BB

Follow them:

Rose Community Group would like to thank Sharewear Nottingham for speaking with us and telling us about their wonderful provision in their community.

Thank yous are also due to the following people for joining in and asking questions:
@fionaturner13; @Affordablefood2; @dianne151052; @magmogz135; @WindyJonC; @Ricicles2.

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