Thread Together – Clothes for those who need them most

| October 17, 2013

What started as a casual conversation between friends has become a not-for-profit organisation distributing new clothing for those in our community who are most in need. Catherine Fritz-Kalish shares her experiences in setting up Thread Together.

About two years ago I went on a run with a good friend and we were chatting about our lives and what we thought was fulfilling and what may be missing. During the conversation she mentioned a project she had been thinking about for ages but hadn’t had the initiative to start on her own. While puffing around Centennial Park she let me in on her idea to redirect excess new clothing from large clothes manufacturers to people in need. By the end of the run she had me excited about the organisation we had committed to start together.

This is how Thread Together was born. Initiated by a small team in May 2012, Thread Together Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation that redistributes new clothing to those in our community who are most in need. It provides marginalised communities across Australia, such as the homeless, disadvantaged youth, those living in crisis accommodation, asylum seekers and indigenous rural groups, access to clean quality new clothing and shoes, at no cost. The company has established partnerships with large clothing manufacturers, retailers and distributors and works with a broad network of social service agencies including homeless shelters, family crises centres, Aboriginal community services and women refuges.

Over the last year of operation, the Thread Together mission has been validated over and over. Testimonials from scores of recipients have shown us that the good feeling of experiencing a well fitting dress or suit is no less appreciated by the marginalised in our community than it is for you or me. The sense of self-worth one gets from wearing a new, clean outfit is an experience we endeavour to create for those who otherwise would not have a chance to feel this.

There are three of us in the business at the moment – Andie, Tash and I. In our spare time (we all have day jobs) we have managed to redistribute over 12,000 units of clothes worth over $170,000 to people in need. We have had a very exciting year!

Through our work for this organisation we have met so many inspirational people across Australia doing amazing things for people in need. The whole experience has affirmed my faith in humanity in general and Australians in particular, and being part of Thread Together has balanced my life in just the right way.

Catherine Fritz-Kalish
Catherine Fritz-Kalish is co-founder and General Manager of Global Access Partners (GAP) – a proactive and influential network which initiates high-level discussions at the cutting edge of the most pressing commercial, social and global issues of today. Catherine's broad business experience includes coordination of a number of international initiatives for the SME unit of the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) at headquarters in Paris, marketing and brand management within all seven divisions of the George Weston Foods Group, and working within the TCG Group of Companies in the area of start-up incubator establishment.

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