National campaign launches to help unemployed homeless by donating your unwanted suits

Running until the end of April there will be a national call to the men and women of Britain to donate their unwanted suits. In a climate with 2.67 million people unemployed in the UK, the pressure is on to impress at interview and studies have shown that first impressions, like what you wear, affect your fundamental judgement of a person.

For seven weeks, suits can be donated to the Suit for Success campaign and donators will be rewarded with a £50 tailoring voucher.

Donated suits will be gifted to homelessness charities Amber, Broadway and Emmaus, who all work with their members to help them support themselves and one of the first to donate was Motor racing supremo Eddie Jordan. Jordan donated as suit to Paul Wilson, whose story is below.

Each charity offers work and learning outreach programs to their members to equip them with the skills and confidence they need to get a job and be able to fully support themselves. But they regularly find their members have nothing to wear to their interview which affects their confidence and impacts that all-important ‘first impression’. By providing them with a smart suit we are making the process just a little bit easier.

Some people who have been helped by the charities involved:

Paul Wilson is a trustee at Broadway – he is 57 and came to Broadway in 2008
In 2003, Paul was married with two children, and living in London, where he owned his own construction business with a childhood friend. When he caught his wife having an affair with his business partner, not only did his marriage breakdown, but it also signalled the end of his business.

When he approached the council for help, he was informed that he was not a priority for housing, and he ended up sleeping on the streets. Due to the trauma of this, Paul started drinking heavily as a coping mechanism.

After a long process of rehab, social services put Paul in touch with Broadway. Paul is now an incredibly active member of not just Broadway, but homelessness services throughout London. He is now living completely independently, and looking for a job.

Jared, aged 20, came to Amber in August 2011
Jared spent 2 weeks living on the streets following a period of ‘sofa surfing’ – being homeless meant he was unable to get a job. Jared says “I recently attended an army selection weekend and interview; for the interview I used the money I had saved since being at Amber to purchase a suit as I wanted to make a good impression.”

Hollie, aged 19, was at Amber from April to December 2011
Hollie was forced out of home because of violence in the household and then was subjected to domestic violence by her boyfriend. Holly says, “Amber supported me through everything; they helped me increase my confidence. Now I have a managerial role at one of the biggest food companies in the world!”

A Suit That Fits’s co-founder, Warren Bennett says of the Suit for Success campaign, ‘wearing a suit has a massive effect on confidence – especially when looking for work. If we can help individuals to feel more confident when going to interviews, and therefore increase their chances of getting a job – then the campaign will have been a resounding success.’

The donated suits will be collected nationwide until 26th April; visit to find out when you can drop your suit off.


Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media's automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.