Thread Together has opened a new clothing site in Preston, Victoria, in partnership with the Northern Community CareWorks.
Located at 81 High Street, the hub will offer struggling Melbournians clothes free-of-charge and adds to the charity’s nine other clothing hubs across five Australian states and its nine Mobile Wardrobes.
Thread Together accepts end-of-season, brand new clothing, shoes and accessories from designers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and redistributes it through a network of over 1,500 registered charities and social service agencies in Australia.
Northern Community CareWorks is a community service that has operated in Melbourne’s northern suburbs since 2004.
Thread Together CEO Anthony Chesler said through the organisation, Thread Together recognised the need for a permanent hub in Melbourne.
“The old credo ‘Think global, act local’ comes to mind, where the benefit of community leaders like David Toscano, [director] of Northern Community CareWorks, who recognised within his local community the need for our assistance, ensures we continue to stay agile in supporting vulnerable Australians.
"Sometimes, we will find that within the community, people are embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help but we want them to know that we're all in this together, and we hope that our first permanent Clothing Hub in Melbourne will provide much-needed support to this wonderful community.”
Toscano said his community centre experienced a ten-fold increase in calls for crisis assistance during the pandemic, with the level being sustained post-pandemic amid cost of living pressures.
“We often take access to suitable clothing for granted,” Toscano said. “Yet I was recently humbled to support a rough sleeper with a new pair of Merry People boots.
“Before this, they spent their day walking in their only pair of shoes, which they found were 1 ½ sizes too small for them. Every time it rained, their feet and socks would get soaking wet.
“All they wanted from our Thread Together Clothing Hub was some waterproof shoes that fit to keep their feet dry and some new socks if we had some to spare.”
“Every time I see them sporting their new waterproof boots, I am so proud of the partnership between Northern Community CareWorks, the fantastic team from Thread Together and clothing industry partners such as Merry People.”