The Social Outfit

Disposable or fast-fashion is having a profound impact on the planet. Unsustainable production techniques, coupled with the vast amounts that end up as landfill, are devastating for the environment. The Social Outfit is an ethical and sustainable fashion brand making a difference to refugee and new migrant communities through employment and training. If you're looking for vibrant, fresh fashion and accessories, support the team at The Social Outfit and help change someone's life. Head to their retail shop in Newtown or buy directly from their online store.

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24

People employed

21K+

Paid hours

204

People received training

300+

Community members involved

Disposable or fast-fashion is having a profound impact on the planet. Unsustainable production techniques, coupled with the vast amounts that end up as landfill, are devastating for the environment. Plus, unethical manufacturing techniques are an ongoing tragedy for developing nations. One company looking to create change is The Social Outfit, a boutique fashion label based in Newtown, NSW. This sustainable and ethical brand designs, makes and sells unique garments using high-quality excess fabrics donated by some of Australia’s leading fashion brands. But the good doesn’t end there. The Social Outfit also train and employ new migrants and refugees to help produce their beautiful range of designer clothing – all from their Newtown store. With the support of Dreamstarter, they were able to turn a dream into a reality.

"In the right hands, fashion can be a powerful tool for positive change. The Social Outfit has figured out how to harness that power

Clare Press
Fashion writer, Podcaster and author of Wardrobe Crisis

In 2013, The Social Outfit received a grant from ING to help launch their Newtown store. Then, in 2015, they successfully crowdfunded with Dreamstarter and also took part in an ING staff pitch event where they raised another $19,000. And just last year The Social Outfit received a grant for growth from Dreamstarter to employ a full time retail manager to grow the business and continue their good work in the community. The Social Outfit have employed 18 people to date, for eleven of them it was their first paying job in Australia. They also offer sewing programs onsite and regularly collaborate with other passionate local initiatives to really make a difference in the community.

Impact:
  • Assisted 13 people from the refugee and new migrant community in finding jobs with other employers.
  • The Social Outfit's sewing programs provide industry-recognised skill acquisition, as well as positive social interaction and confidence-building while speaking English in a professional environment.
  • 8 students participating in The Social Outfit training programs have since set up micro-enterprises in their own communities.
  • The Social Outfit have directly employed 14 people from the refugee and new migrant community.
  • 70% of our organisation’s activities are running our shop and workroom, providing employment opportunities for the refugee and new migrant community in manufacturing and retailing ethical fashion. 30% of our organisation’s activities are running free training and education programs for our community, delivered through our sewing school and creative projects.
  • More than 300 people from the refugee and new migrant community have participated in the sewing school, digital print projects, creative programs and fashion events!
  • Saved more than 3 tonnes of fabric and textile waste from landfill, thanks to generous fashion industry supporters including Seafolly, Carla Zampatti, Ginger & Smart, Alice McCall, Cue, Bec & Bridge, Rittenhouse, Signature Prints, Tessuti Fabrics, Seneca Textiles, Jets, and Clare Press.
How to support the work of The Social Outfit:

Check out their online store and support sustainable fashion.

Visit their retail store in Newtown, NSW and see the clothes being made onsite.


Spread the word - follow and share The Social Outfit on social.

  • 2013

    Pop-Up opened

    Opened a pop-up store in The Rocks

  • 2013

    Fairfield High School fashion project

    Fairfield High School fashion project funded by ING: 8-week program, teaching young people sewing skills and how to make clothing for themselves

  • June 2014

    Retails store opened

    Launched retail store in Newtown

  • 2015

    Became Dreamstarters

    Successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign with ING Dreamstarter

  • June 2015

    Anniversary celebrations

    Celebrates one year anniversary with a fashion parade sponsored by ING Dreamstarter

  • 2015

    Secured funding

    Pitched at ING staff event 'WOW' securing $19,000

  • Nov 2015

    Online store launched

    Launched their online store

  • June 2016

    The social project

    Two year anniversary and a The Social Project event, again with the Fairfield High School. A six-week program, where young people from the community designed fabric prints

  • September 2016

    Permanent staff hired

    Thanks to Dreamstarter Grants for Growth a permanent Retail Manager was hired

  • June 2017

    Newtown 3 year anniversary

    Newtown retail store’s three year anniversary

  • September 2017

    Launch of new Kaleido-Cloth collection

    Launch of new Kaleido-Cloth collection featuring two collaborations with Romance Was Born donating their Ripped Paper print as well as the Merrylands print, designed by new migrants and refugees from the Merrylands Community!

  • October 2017

    The Women’s Enterprise Marketplace

    Selling giftware produced during a specialised patchwork training and employment workshop series for participants accessing the Women’s & Girls’ Emergency Centre, with all proceeds going to each individual maker.

  • 19 Jan 2018

    Launch of Kate Beynon Capsule Collection

    The Social Outfit Kate Beynon Capsule Collection launches at MCA Artbar

  • 2018

    Released the Studio A, The Social Outfit 2018 Collection

    The Lioness print is one of the highlights of King Botanic, The Social Outfit’s Spring/Summer 2018-19 collection.

  • 2019

    Released the Gary Bigeni, Social Outfit

    For Autumn/Winter 2019, Gary Bigeni generously donated three shapes from his archive, for The Social Outfit to re-release exclusively in new season fabrics.

  • 2019

    Jiaxin Nong x The Social Outfit

    Collaborated with Melbourne-based artist Jiaxin Nong, for the first new print collab for 2019. This print is based on Jiaxin's original oil painting, 'Smoking Mirror', an artwork about new love.

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