Our History

The Social Outfit opened its doors in 2014 in the vibrant Inner West neighbourhood of Newtown. In September 2022, we expanded our manufacturing operations to Marrickville giving us more space to grow our impact. 

By our 10th Birthday in June 2024, we aim to reach 1,000 training outcomes and 100 jobs for refugee and new migrant women in Sydney.

Here is a look at our journey…

The Social Outfit Autumn Winter Collection on Model


We’re excited for what’s to come as we work towards 100 jobs and 1,000 training outcomes for refugee and new migrant women!

Mia wearing the Social Outfit Disco Bomber and Retail Trainee Graduation


First year generating $500,000+ in sales. $3.5 million raised to date. $1 million in wages to date paid to refugee and new migrant staff. Disco Bomber Jacket becomes the highest selling garment and a clear customer favourite. Manufacturing studio relocates to Marrickville giving us 50% more space to increase production capacity and expand our community sewing classes.

65th community employee hired and 27 retail trainees graduated to date.

Retail Assistant Hani Selling The Social Outfit Facemasks at Sydney Airport


COVID-19 pandemic see us pivot to manufacturing facemasks. 10,000+ masks produced via sales instore, online and at Sydney Airport pop-up market. Retail store closed for 16 weeks due to pandemic lockdowns. First multi-year Federal Government grant funding secured via Women’s Leadership and Development Grant. 

47th community employee hired, over 500 trained to date.

Sewers Han Raja and Janetter wearing Gawaa Prin and sewing Heirloom


First 'Wear The Change' Campaign launches during Refugee Week in June 2020. We hire our 30th employee, a young Afghan women as a Community Coordinator, which marked a shift to employ refugee women in roles beyond sewing and retail. We ran two print collaborations during lockdowns, one with Mongolian artist Gawa and one with with 5 young and emerging migrant artists named Heirloom Community Print.

Camilla Schippa at the Social Outfit King Street Store


Founder and first CEO Jackie Ruddock steps down, Camilla Schippa takes on role of CEO and hires Fundraising Coordinator. We pilot our Retail Training Program and graduate the first 4 young refugee women. Launch of first 'Earn and Learn' paid work experience programs with Ginger & Smart. We celebrate The Social Outfit’s 5th Birthday!

Mindfully Made The Social Outfit x Bianca Spender


We reach annual sales of $300,000+ in the financial year 2017-18, having employed 18 and trained 120 refugee and new migrant women to date. Our Mindfully Made collaboration with Bianca Spender launches in David Jones. In October 2018, we are forced to moved so our retail store relocates to 188 King Street Newtown, supported by our crowdfunding campaign donors.

KaleidoCloth Collection featuring Linda Jackson The Social Outfit


KaliedoCloth Collection launches. This collection represented a step up in the quality of garment production, participation from the refugee community, collaboration with the fashion industry and in our brand’s digital marketing.

Who made your clothes The social outfit Head_Sewing_Technician


We hired our 6th community staff member, 44 refugee and new migrants trained to date. Fundraising reaches $1 million. Sewing classes conducted in our Newtown workroom plus outreach classes in collaboration with Fairfield High School Iraqui Parents Group and STARTTS. 

The Social Oufit Newtown Store


We launched our online store. First fabric donation drive, more than 25 companies and individuals contributed. Awarded Community Leadership Award from Marrickville Council. By June 2015 (year one of operations) achieved annual sales results of $100,000+

Carla Zampatti Ghe Social Outfit first Ambassador


The Social Outfit retail store opens at 353 King Street Newtown in June 2014. Carla Zampatti appointed as our first Ambassador. Drop-in sewing classes for new migrants and refugees launched  3 days a week from 10-3pm.

Jackie Ruddock and David The Social Outfit

2012 - 2013

Inspired by The Social Studio in Melbourne, Jackie Ruddock started approaching funders with the idea to open a similar organisation in Sydney. Pre-launch funding, over $338,000 raised from 12 funders including: Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation who had the foresight to declare -  "‘If we support this idea, this is one that will really fly and we’ll look back on it as a great success". The Social Outfit’s first pop-up shop opens in The Rocks, April 2013.