To our dear Community,
We hope you are well and managing to stay grounded amidst these incredibly challenging times and the constant choices we are forced to make as our world scrambles to respond to, and make sense of, the coronavirus pandemic.
It is a difficult time for our global community and at The Social Outfit we are asking ourselves - in the age of radical social distancing and social isolation, how can we stay safe while maintaining the human connection we all so urgently need in a crisis?
Practically speaking, The Social Outfit has decided to suspend our education and outreach programs as of this week for a 4 week period in order to help #flattenthecurve. We are also encouraging our staff to work from home where possible, and take personal and annual leave to stay close to their families in this period of uncertainty.
Our manufacturing room is still currently in operation, though we are remaining abreast of recommendations from the authorities as to when this may need to change. Our Board has swiftly adopted a Pandemic Policy and is committed to supporting staff as needed, as we understand the very real economic threat the virus creates for those from vulnerable communities who rely on their weekly paycheck to make ends meet.
Our store at 188 King Street in Newtown remains open for now, though we will most likely limit opening hours over the coming days, and have decided to offer free shipping for orders of $150 and above to encourage even our local customers to shop online.
Amidst the very real health concerns of the virus, we are acutely aware of the potentially devastating effect of a recession on small social enterprises like ours. Nationwide, retail is on its knees, even the larger retailers are feeling the pressure. With ‘social distancing’ measures rolling out across Sydney, fewer customers are visiting our shop and other vital revenue-generating activities for The Social Outfit such as markets and partnership events are being cancelled.
All we can do is hold on tight, take things as they come and remember our values. We are committed to supporting the community, building social cohesion and being a force for good in the world. In the age of social distancing and mass panic-buying in the supermarkets, we need kindness and care more than ever!
We are very aware that social distancing and isolation can negatively impact mood and energy, especially for our vulnerable communities (both staff and student groups). Internally we are activating the tools we have available to create a network of support and social connection for our community. We are using our staff WhatsApp group for daily wellbeing check-ins, using video conferencing to support our remote staff and those in self-isolation. Here's our lovely team working from all various locations yesterday, shared via our team WhatsApp group.
We are more grateful than ever for your support, thank you for being a part of our world.
Stay safe and be kind to one another 💕
Camilla, Kate, Tim, Nicole, Joss, Naw Esther and the whole Social Outfit Team