Free People clothing, a charity started by Australian mum Marlena Mccue, is one of the few clothing stores to be recognised as a charity by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The charity says it has been running in Australia since 2008, but is currently struggling to find a suitable location to stock its range of items.
In 2018, Marlina Mccuue, who has lived in Melbourne for 10 years, decided to launch Free People, a brand of clothing that she says is about helping people who can’t afford the cost of buying clothes online.
Free People is an organisation that provides free clothing to anyone in need, and sells them through online retailers, such as Taobao and Alibaba.
“They do the clothing shopping themselves, but it’s a lot of people and it’s very expensive,” she said.
“So we had to think about what we could do, which is to have a shop and have a network of people selling clothes to each other.”
We don’t have a big retail operation, we’re trying to do things like that and we have a little bit of support from the Government, but we’re really just doing it online.
“The people who use it are people who want to give back and they want to support each other, so we just want to do it that way.”
Free People also sells clothing through online outlets, including Taobarama and Alibaba, and has raised more than $6 million from investors to date.
The organisation is also one of just three charities in Australia to have its clothing range recognised as being a charity, the other being the Salvation Army.
“It’s a really good charity,” Ms Mccauley said.
“There’s a certain stigma around charities because of their online presence and the amount of time they’ve spent on the internet.”
She said Free People was able to set up a shop in Melbourne at the beginning of 2018, which has been successful, and hopes to open a shop for the entire country within a few months.
She added that Free People has a “very small” staff, with just a few people helping out with each sale, and said it was a struggle to find suitable locations for the clothing they sell.
Ms Mccuaue said the main problem for Free People customers is the high cost of purchasing the clothing, with a range of products ranging from women’s jeans to women’s shirts costing more than the average price of clothing in Australia.
However, she said they are also able to provide free clothes to low-income families, who would be unable to afford the items they need.
Free People also runs its own website, which sells a range that includes T-shirts, hoodies, women’s clothes and children’s clothing.
Some people have been able to afford to donate to the organisation by selling their clothes on Taoba, Alibaba or Taobart.
The charity has also recently launched a website for its members, where people can give their donations directly to charity.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,business-news,community-and%E2%80%93-religion,women,people,health,children,malcolm-rose-5258,marlena-mcmee-5678,melbourne-3000,vic,aus,glasgow-7000,vicarrier-2050,vicSource: ABC News (Originally published September 12, 2018)