Interview with Jennifer Sault, Founder & Managing Director of Thrift for Good, A Charity Thrift Shop in Dubai

Interview with Jennifer Sault, Founder & Managing Director of Thrift for Good, A Charity Thrift Shop in Dubai

Born out of a pressing need for sustainable fashion solutions in the region, Thrift for Good is a transformative movement advocating for a circular economy. This pre-loved clothing store in Dubai aims to revolutionize consumer habits and make a lasting impact on both the fashion industry and the lives of countless children.

In a compelling interview with Thrift for Good, Jennifer Sault, founder and managing director, shares the inspiring journey and ambitious vision behind this groundbreaking initiative.

The founding of Thrift for Good was inspired by a pressing need in the region. Sault acknowledged the lack of thrift stores which left many unsure of how to dispose of their clothing responsibly. Drawing from personal experience in fundraising for children's charitable organizations, she turned to selling pre-loved clothes as a means of fundraising. With a strong community of support, this initiative evolved into establishing Thrift for Good stores, providing both a solution to clothing disposal and a platform for supporting children's charities.

Thrift for Good opened when there was a clear demand for a sustainable option that gives back to the community. Despite initial challenges, including overcoming stigmas associated with second-hand goods, Thrift for Good's dedication to high-quality products has transformed perceptions and sparked enthusiasm for sustainable fashion in the region. Upon opening its first store, the organization was fortunate to experience a surge in demand, with strong support from customers who valued its mission of aiding underprivileged children.

Aiming to disrupt the prevalent linear models of fast fashion, Thrift for Good actively sources high-quality, sustainable, and ethically sourced products. This offers consumers a guilt-free alternative to fast fashion. Sault continues,

"We're pioneering a circular fashion economy in Dubai, directly challenging fast fashion brands, offering consumers a guilt-free, sustainable choice at competitive prices."

The initiative promotes conscious consumerism and fosters a community that advocates for a more environmentally friendly approach to shopping.

Sault emphasizes the strategies utilized to encourage conscious consumerism and sustainable fashion practices. Firstly, they focus on raising awareness among their team members, customers, and volunteers about sustainable fashion. Through word-of-mouth and education initiatives like upcycling workshops, they engage the community in celebrating and adopting sustainable actions. Moreover, Thrift for Good cultivates partnerships to endorse upcycled products and sustainable practices.

Through meticulous inspection processes, Thrift for Good strives to uphold the quality and authenticity of its products. Regardless of the item's value, the organization prioritizes quality, ensuring that only items in pristine condition are made available to customers. Acknowledging the existence of counterfeit items in the market, the team evaluates each item for quality and authenticity, particularly for high-end brands. Additionally, Thrift for Good collaborates with luxury closet partners to authenticate high-value items through their portals.

Thrift for Good employs stringent criteria when selecting the organizations it supports through its proceeds. Donating 100% of its profits to children's charity projects, Thrift for Good collaborates with Gulf for Good, a longstanding local nonprofit organization. Projects are selected for their potential to create lasting impact, addressing needs like education and food security, while also demonstrating strong establishment with a board of directors and financial reporting capabilities. Priority is given to initiatives that promote independence and sustainability within charitable organizations.

There are strict fundraising regulations to govern charitable initiatives in the UAE. Therefore, the existing organizations enjoy significant trust and support from the community. Sault explains the substantial backing this venture has received. Notably, Visa stands as their primary sponsor, even bestowing an award that will aid in the opening of Thrift for Good’s third store.

Thrift for Good relies on dedicated volunteers to carry out its mission. Sault believes that even a small contribution can make a profound difference in a child's life. With just AED 1,500, they can support a child in Tanzania for an entire year, covering essentials like food, health, and clothing. By operating with a volunteer-run model, Thrift for Good minimizes expenses and channels the funds directly to those in need. Sault says,

“Our goal for the next year is to find sponsors for all of our costs, allowing us to donate 100% of every purchase to children's charity projects.”

Through collaborations with entities like Stitch in Time for clothing repairs, Champions Cleaners for washing services, and Yas Media Group for printing, Thrift for Good ensures efficient operations while fostering a network of over 20 invaluable sponsors.

Over the next decade, Thrift for Good envisions expansion across Dubai and the GCC region. Sault shares,

"Within the next ten years, we need to have a store in every community in Dubai and beyond."

By leveraging online platforms, they seek to broaden accessibility and raise greater awareness for their cause. Additionally, Thrift for Good aspires to provide comprehensive support for children, from A to Z, until they become mature and independent adults.

Under the visionary leadership of Jennifer Sault, Thrift for Good is poised to make a lasting impact on sustainability and beyond.

Watch the full interview:

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