EngagementCultureCharity shop project launched to aid young people in their first interview  

Charity shop project launched to aid young people in their first interview  

Over 650 charity shops across the UK will be involved in an initiative called “Dress to Impress for £10”, where charity shop volunteers will provide interview outfits for £10 or less, and share interview advice and tips. 

The BBC’s Fashion Expert, Amber Butchart said “I’m really excited to be working with Debut and the country’s charity shops on the ‘Dress to Impress for £10’ initiative. It’s supportive, promotes sustainability and gives everyone the same chance to look and feel great during an interview. 

Research undertaken by Debut has revealed that 72% of career hopefuls aged 16-23 don’t know where to start. The initiative will help advise these candidates on what they should wear to an interview.  

Charlie Taylor, Founder and CEO of Debut calls for members of the public to get involved, saying, “Every young person in the UK can benefit from this campaign – some will get involved and find a great outfit, and some may only wish to read up on the ‘what to wear’ advice to make a good first impression. It’s important that everyone leaving education and going into employment has the chance to find a great interview outfit at a reasonable price, as well as the information they need to shine – which this campaign does.”  

For this project, Charity shops are set to have a huge influence on this initiative running smoothly. Robin Osterley, CEO of the Charity Retail Association, which represents the interests of charity retailers that run more than 8,600 shops, talks about why they got behind this initiative, saying “Charity shops play a vital role in every community, making them a perfect place to help this campaign start conversations about finding work, give people a helping hand to get into employment, or source a fantastic interview outfit for a good price. 

The application process can be a daunting process for young individuals, with a candidate on average applying for 41 positions before being invited to a first interview, it can at times be difficult to prepare well for a first interview,  Stephen Isherwood, CEO of the Institute of Student Employers says “Looking and feeling confident is paramount in the interview process, and this campaign provides everyone with the same chance to start their interview off on the right foot.” 

Amber gave us some insight on how to dress for an interview and the wardrobe staples that can be found in charity stores involved in this project: 

Amber’s advice: 

  • Research the dress policy of the company you are applying for 
  • Don’t be afraid to wear colour, but avoid clashing prints unless you’re interviewing for the arts or creative industries 
  • Smart separates can be better than an ill-fitting or poorly-made suit 
  • Avoid jeans and T-shirts unless you’re sure the company has a relaxed attitude to dress 
  • Avoid open-toed shoes, but white, low-rise sneakers (think Stan Smiths) can add a contemporary element to your professional look 
  • The details matter: make sure your socks match and your clothes aren’t creased 
  • Avoid garments with too much text, such as slogans or enormous logos 
  • A blazer or jacket in a dark colour is a good re-wearable piece for smartening up an outfit 

Wardrobe Staples: 

  • Smart trousers 
  • Knee length skirts 
  • Shirts/blouses – not formal dress shirts but smart, can include colour 
  • Brogues/loafers 
  • Smart flats and heels 
  • Blazers and jackets 
  • Knitwear – smart sweaters and cardigans 

The campaign is set to launch from Wednesday 17th October 2018, in over 650 charity shops. Every charity shop that will be involved in this campaign will be displaying a window sticker for as long as there is a demand for this initiative to run.

Find out more about the Dress to Impress for £10 campaign at www.debut.careers.

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