Smart Works Charity partnership with KNOMO London by Emily Mead

Smart Works Reading Charity

Smart Works Reading charity in Reading, UK, work with all women who have been out of work and need help to regain their confidence. The only criteria is that they have an interview lined up.

The women have an hour-long styling session to find them the perfect outfit for their interview to make them feel smart and confident. Afterwards they also receive an hour-long one-to-one interview coaching session with a volunteer trained HR professional to help the women discover their transferable skills.

68% of all the women who visit Smart Works Reading are successful in getting a job, at which point they return to Smart Works to pick out a capsule wardrobe to give them variety as they begin their new role.

Smart Works Reading can see up to five women a day, totalling between 350-400 women a year - with the ages ranging from 16-67, for roles such as lab technicians and policy advisors to care workers, retail assistants and everything in between. We are happy to make KNOMO a part of these women's journeys.

Our partnership with Smart Works Reading

Since Smart Works Reading began in 2015, we have been working with them and have donated over 150 bags to this worthy cause. We were enthusiastic to support this great scheme because as a brand, we are committed to making bags that make women look smart in the workplace, and this charity puts our sample bags to good use. Giving women who are not in a position to buy the best of everything the chance to stand tall and get back on their feet is a cause we love supporting.

Sarah Burns, Chair of Smart Works Reading told us how much our donations mean: “A lot of the women who come to see us aren’t in a position to buy a new bag, so to have something so practical that looks great too is really special.”


Smart Works helps women to get a new professional outfit to get back into the workplace

Making a Difference on International Women’s Day

As part of our ongoing support of the Smart Works charity, we have been creating special bag donating events for International Women’s Day.

2020

This International Women’s Day, for every five bags sold, we will donate one bag to Smart Works Reading. This promotion will be running from Friday 6th March until the evening of Sunday 8th March, so if you decide to buy a bag you can help to make a difference to women in need.

2019

Last year, for one month we donated one bag to Smart Works for every Hanover briefcase sold in the smoke colour, coinciding with the launch of our 2019 Autumn/Winter Collection. We were able to donate 40 bags and organisers. We also held the ‘KNOMO Award’ for inspirational women to enter, judged by a panel of KNOMO staff and independent judges.

Some of our team travelled to Smart Works Reading to deliver the bags and take a tour. We were very impressed with our visit - the fitting room was organised to a T. We’re thankful for the Smart Works Reading charity for giving us a way to provide meaningful support and to have a socially focused channel to our business.

How you can help our Smart Works Charity Project

You can visit their website at smartworks.org.uk, where you can find lots of ideas on how you can get involved, from volunteering to raisings funds and donating money. As a small charity, every little helps and together we can make a big difference.

Read our Q&A with Anna Fowler, Development and Fundraising Manager here for more insight on Smart Works and interview tips.