In 2017 we re-structured our charity partnership programme, in order to ensure that our brands have the autonomy to continue to support causes that align with their purpose whilst giving employees greater ownership over group-level philanthropic decisions.
At a group level, we select charities to support over the course of a three-year period. This helps to maximise the value we can bring, by building a long-term and meaningful relationship with our chosen partner organisations.
Group charity partnerships are managed by the fashion footprint team. The annual fashion footprint survey, sent to all Head Office employees, is used as an opportunity to gain feedback on ongoing relationships and to assist us in selecting new charity partnerships. This helps us to ensure that the causes we support as a company reflect the concerns of our employees. According to the nature of our relationship with charities, donations include a mix of financial and in-kind contributions.
Meanwhile, each of our brands build their own partnerships with charities they select themselves, raising money through store initiatives, product sales and activities in our Head Office. Last year the fashion footprint team established the Charity Working Group, made up of representatives from each brand. The group comes together on a quarterly basis to discuss their brand-level collaborations and share fundraising ideas.
Workplace Giving Scheme
Outside work, our employees contribute to a wide range of causes, and our Workplace Giving Scheme helps to support the amazing contributions that they make. Our policy is to increase any employee’s fundraising, irrespective of the cause, by 10% of the total raised to a maximum value of £300. In addition, 1,180 employees have joined our payroll giving programme which provides a tax-efficient donating service and a regular income for the charity of their choice.
Charity Month, held across our head office locations, provided a month of activities focused on raising money for charities that matter to our brands and employees. Activities included charity raffles, talks from organisations including Cruelty Free International, and a choral performance from the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Choir. The month culminated in the Great Arcadia Bake Off in aid of two charities Blue Dragon and Cash for Kids the Bake Off raised a total of £772.
At present, our Group charity partner is the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. Founded in Vietnam in 2003, Blue Dragon works to support vulnerable children in Vietnam, including those who live on the streets and in extreme poverty, those who live with disabilities, or those who become victims of human trafficking and slavery.
Arcadia Gifts in Kind programme:
We have set up a programme donating garmentsto 4 charities: TRAID, Goods for Good, Smart Works and Norwood. Find out more about how these charities help communities around the globe.
TRAID is a UK based charity working that follows a circular and sustainable approach by:
- Increasing clothes reuse across the UK (through selling unwanted garments in their charity shops) thereby reducing waste, carbon emissions and the sectors environmental impact
- Funding international development projects to support workers in the textile industry
- Educating people of all ages of the impact of textiles on the environment, and how to make more sustainable choices.
Goods for Good sources and delivers large quantities of goods to vulnerable communities living around the world. These essential items such as clothing, medicines, blankets and hygiene products, reach millions of people suffering in poverty, tragedy or disaster.
Goods for Good have helped support projects including disaster relief in the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan, providing resources for refugee camps in the Kurdistan as well as support vulnerable communities in the Ukraine and Romania
Smart Works helps prepare un-employed women for employment interviews by dressing and coaching them for success. Smart work clients are referred by organisations such as job centres, work programmes, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities. As many as a third of these women have been un-successful in over 50 job applications and all have a lack of confidence in their own abilities.
Once in touch with Smart Works, the client receives a personalised styling session, providing them with a confidence boosting outfit for interview, as well as one-to-one interview preparation and coaching sessions with an experienced HR professional or senior manager. On successfully securing a role each woman is also provided with a capsule work-wear wardrobe to help see her through to her first pay cheque.
Norwood supports vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with disabilities and autism. It provides a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners, who deliver services specifically designed for the individual in need. This can be anything from providing social workers and family support workers to children and families in crisis, to occupational and speech therapy for children with social and emotional difficulties, or offering respite for children with learning disabilities and complex health needs.
This year, we raised £135,287 for our charities from staff sample sales.