'Suit scrappage' for Simon
Dublin Simon Community will benefit from an innovative "suit scrappage scheme" being embraced by clothing retailers. Customers can donate formal wear in exchange for discounts on new clothing, with the used suits being donated to the charity for the homeless.
Martin O'Byrne, managing director of Frewen & Aylward, an independent menswear retailer in Dun Laoghaire, says that companies have to think of new ways to attract customers in order to survive.
Mr O'Byrne, who last Friday handed 25 suits donated by customers over to the Simon Community , said that the scrappage scheme was beneficial for everyone.
He added: "The Simon Community gets some nice suits, which perhaps can help their clients. We get happy customers and they get a discount on their suits -- everyone's a winner."
Accepting the donation on behalf of the Simon Community, Niamh McDarby, corporate fundraiser, welcomed the new partnership with Frewen & Aylward.
She said that the scheme can make a huge difference to people who are on the verge of homelessness, people who may have lost their jobs and have been unemployed for a number of years.
"Something like this is a great confidence-builder for people who are maybe going out to seek employment. They could have been unemployed for the last five years and their confidence has dropped. This is something extra we can give them to help them go back into the work place -- even the basics of having a smart suit to wear at interview."
The suits donated through the scheme are used by the Simon Community to assist those using the services of the organisation, with the remainder being sold in their charity retail outlets.