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River Island donates and partners with Smart Works for IWD 2023

Tom Shearsmith
08 March 2023

This International Women’s Day, River Island is empowering the female workforce by donating to a UK charity and encouraging conversations around important topics with staff.

Smart Works is a UK charity providing women with the clothing, coaching and confidence they need to secure employment and transform their lives. Thanks to the charity’s support in the last year, 72% of clients went on to get a job within one month of their Smart Works appointment.

As well as providing complete outfits of high-quality clothes for job interviews, beneficiaries also have access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join the Smart Works Network, meeting every month to further their professional and personal development. Over the next three years the charity aims to double the number of women it helps to 10,000 women a year.

River Island has been connecting with inspirational leaders during the past week, discussing about the role fashion has played in their professional lives. The purpose of the talks has been to encourage conversations around motherhood, ageing, shattering glass ceilings, and what they’re hoping for this International Women’s Day.

As part of the activity, River Island has been sharing advice from Thandi Maqubela, the “sartorial lawyer”, who is an existing Smart Works supporter. Other speakers include Suzi Grant, an age-positive broadcaster, author and content creator, as well as Amber Jackson, This Morning’s fashion editor.

In addition to sharing stories of confidence and empowerment, River Island has donated an undisclosed amount to Smart Works, helping fund their continuing initiatives.

Speaking of the partnership, River Island’s Head of Brand, Sarah-Lee Palmer Hogan, said: “Here at River Island we share Smart Works’ belief in the power of fashion to transform women’s confidence – as a majority female-identifying business, it’s something that’s very important to us. That’s why we’re thrilled to be teaming up with such an important charity, helping share the vital work they do to empower women into the workforce.”

Kate Stephens, Smart Works CEO, added “We’re delighted to be partnering with River Island for International Women’s Day. Smart Works is on a mission to double the number of women supported by 2025. With the financial support of partners like River Island we can be ready to help any unemployed woman in the UK, who needs our support with the tools she needs to succeed.”

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