Thread Together ‘powered by volunteers’

December 7, 2023 | Community

As the festive holiday season approaches, Thread Together is working around the clock to supply clothing to those in need.

The organisation has been described as Australia’s most ethical response to fashion excess. New clothing is diverted away from landfill, sparing the environment and providing dignity to countless individuals across the community.

Studies have shown that domestic violence typically increases around major holidays. Thread Together CEO Anthony Chesler (pictured below) says demand for clothing is greater than ever.

“Sadly, there is more vulnerability in our community than 10 years ago, so our primary goal is to clothe more people.”

As a Corporate Partner, Paynter Dixon offers paid employee volunteering opportunities.

Over the past year, almost a third of the company’s workforce has volunteered at Thread Together’s Banksmeadow headquarters in South Sydney.

Volunteers work in small teams to sort, pick and pack orders for online requests, mobile wardrobes assigned to areas devastated by natural disaster, and wardrobes with women’s refuges.

“We are powered by volunteers,” says Anthony. “It’s not only the financial support that’s important – we need teams on the ground to help us deliver our services, and we’re so grateful for having this opportunity.”

Paynter Dixon Foreman, Isaac Temomo (pictured top), says the volunteering experience was rewarding on numerous levels. “There was a great team vibe as we paired up and walked around the warehouse, picking and packing clothes on the move.”

“The experience also broadened my understanding of people in need, and how access to clothing can make a big difference to their situation. For example, I packed collared shirts and trousers for a man who was transitioning from unemployment to work in an office environment. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute in some way.”

The past 12 months have seen Thread Together focus on clothing women and children escaping domestic violence.

“Through the support of Paynter Dixon, we’re rolling out a wardrobe and capsule service to 100 women’s refuges.”

“This provides an opportunity for women and children on arrival to access brand new lounge wear, sleep and underwear and have the dignity they deserve.”

Amanda Greaney (pictured below) is the General Manager of Lou’s Place in Redfern. Receiving clothes from Thread Together, the drop-in centre supports vulnerable women who have experienced trauma and homelessness.

“Women walk into our centre and you can see they’re defeated with life,” says Amanda. “They have a shower, put on new clothes and they look like completely different women. They’re ready to take on the world again.”

Demand for services are high, with Amanda citing the housing crisis as a major driver of vulnerability.

“There are now people accessing our service that you would never have expected to see there before.”

“We have women that were holding down gainful employment and in rental housing, but landlords pushed up the rent beyond their capacity to pay, and they’re now homeless and living in a car.”

Looking ahead, the Thread Together team is focusing on proactive measures, such as preparing for upcoming natural disasters.

“We’re putting clothing into women’s refuges on a proactive basis to ensure arriving women and children have access to clothing,” says Anthony.

Learn more about Thread Together.