Hawke’s Bay women will soon be able to access the tools, skills and clothing they need to reach their professional goals, with the opening of nonprofit organisation Dress for Success.

An affiliate of this successful global operation is due to open this summer in Napier – the eighth New Zealand site to be approved for local operation.

The service intends to create equal opportunities for unemployed local women by offering customised support, programmes, and clothing to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Ultimately, the aim is to strengthen families and communities by giving women the tools they need to gain financial independence, says spokeswoman Jo-Ann Jacobson.

Fashion and clothing are just one aspect of this, as it can change perceptions and create economic opportunities, says Jacobson. “Our plans to date are shaped by Hawke’s Bay statistics, post Covid-19, which show increased unemployment for women and an alarming escalation of women enduring domestic abuse. We propose to work with those services, established as a result of Covid-19, and those with burgeoning support needs by offering a full dressing service of both professional and casual clothing.”

Due to the level of need in Hawke’s Bay, dressing services will also be extended to men and young people.

The Hawke’s Bay affiliate has received support from a number of leaders and community organisations, including a grant from Napier City Council. Representatives are currently seeking appropriate premises and for people with a passion for empowering women to join the team.

More information here: https://hawkesbay.dressforsuccess.org

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