Solutionist Thinking with RMB is a thirteen-episode podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield focusing on the great South African minds who are thinking differently and going against the norm. In the seventh episode, Whitfield interviews the CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank, Tracey Chambers.
After nine years in finance at Woolworths, Tracey Chambers who describes herself as a ‘corporate animal’ joined forces with another Tracey and, left everything behind to make a change in the lives of women in South Africa.
Started by two Tracey’s in 2010 – The Clothing Bank partners with big retail companies within South Africa, who donate their excess products to the organisation to help change the lives of desperate unemployed mothers and now, men. In doing so, the organisation is trying to instill a culture of self-employment and, trading – so that people can create their own wealth.
We’re really trying to instil a culture of self-employment, a culture of trading, so that people can actually create their own wealth.— Tracey Chambers, CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank
A long supply chain of waste – instead of disappearing into the system and eventually ending up in a landfill somewhere in the country. Last year, Tracey’s relationships at Woolworths helped ‘fund’ The Clothing Bank with it’s a batch of clothing worth over R110 million.
Retailers and executives who come to visit us are astounded at how much waste is acually generated in the retail supply chain.— Tracey Chambers, CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank
The Clothing Bank, which can be seen as an eco-system of support commits to offering women a thousand hours of assistance which involves life coaching, mentoring and, rebuilding self-esteem – all while actively trading in the products.
You don’t just help a child with money… but, it’s the self-worth of the mother and, the role model that she now becomes.— Tracey Chambers, CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank
The complete opposite of a charity – The Clothing Bank believes in restoring dignity by teaching women, and men to do things for themselves.
The actual principle of charity in giving people things for free, is exactly the opposite of what we’re trying to work towards.— Tracey Chambers, CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank
Listen to her in conversation with Bruce Whitfield, as she discusses The Clothing Bank and, how it is transforming the lives of desperate women and, men in South Africa.
This article first appeared on 702 : Solutionist Thinking: In Conversation with Tracey Chambers