As 2021 draws to a close, I can’t help but feel relieved in the hope that the new year will be one presenting us all with less challenges.
But I also feel enormously grateful.
I am grateful to The Social Outfit’s passionate, dedicated and hard working team. A team that doubled down in its efforts while more than half of the sewing staff was stuck in LGAs of concerns (hey Joss I’m looking at you) that did not shy away from starring on national TV (wink wink Nat and Raja) did not leave one fundraising stone unturned (well done Kate!), and continued to grow our presence online (yeah Tim) while we danced away our blues on ISO-Breakers (ola Mariam) which saw us deliver a variety of online classes attended by over 100 students from refugee backgrounds.
I am grateful to The Social Outfit’s Board for their continued guidance and advice, helping us keep our eyes on impact and not get lost in the minutia of the daily hiccups.
I am grateful to our fashion industry partners who helped us pull off the best photo-shoot yet (what stars you are, PSP and Diego), showered us with large donations of fabric (shout out to latest donor Camilla & Marc) and helped us save more fabric than ever from land-fill (cheers to MAAS and the iconic Linda Jackson for enabling us to engage 13 women in an Earn & Learn program to manufacture limited-edition tote bags.)
I am grateful to our customers for their purchases - without sales a fashion label wouldn’t survive - but also for their constant cheering us on, their feedback and joyous participation in our community events.
And I am grateful also to the many supporters of our work, spanning from the Atlassian team, to the Atomic 212 team, to Rahul at Citizen Wolf, to Steph & Mark at Publisher Textiles, to the numerous interns, volunteers, artists, models… it takes a village doesn’t it?
I am further grateful to our donors, those who participated in our Wear The Change crowdfunding efforts, and the philanthropic foundations who continue to believe in our work, as well as new donors who choose to fund us, between a variety of worthy non-profits (but yes, we are indeed the most colourful!).
Most of all, I am grateful to our community of refugee and new migrant women who have been teaching me about resilience in the face of any and all challenges. They have shown us how to keep hopeful even when we were about to lose hope. This past year has been hard for everyone but for no group has it been harder than for our Afghan friends.
And while a part of me wishes for a COVID free 2022, my biggest wish is for 2022 to bring change to Afghanistan and to provide Afghans in Australia and elsewhere the assurance their loved one are safe and allowed to be reunited with their families and friends.
Thank you to The Social Outfit community for keeping it real, keeping it creative and making a significant impact to so many lives.
Cheers to the holidays and to a 2022 filled with health and happiness.