SO, SOCIAL IMPACT?
We are only two months into 2021 and already we are so blown away by this year's impact so far! With the help of our customers and our partnered charities, over the past two months we have been able to give 3,450 giving items to individuals experiencing homelessness. Each of our specially designed giving items represents hope, renewed dreams, and the promise of a future beyond current circumstances.
At OutsideIn, one of our main goals for this year is to spread HOPE. And in doing so, we want to keep you updated on the impact you're making by supporting us! We are so grateful for our customers who make the mission of our Wear One, Share One giving initiative possible. Without you, we simply couldn’t do what we do. Whether you’re a Pom-wearer, a Hope Sweet Hope collector, or love our limited-edition collections, you can proudly wear your items knowing that each stitch, design and thread was created to help bring hope to all.
2021 IMPACT SO FAR
OUR GIVING ITEMS
We kicked off 2021 by providing winter gloves, thick Oi socks, and warm thermal beanies to ten different organisations! Our Wear One, Share One giving initiative, which is applied to all of our products and made possible by your purchases, allowed us to do this. You may be wondering why we choose to give these products rather than other items like sweaters or tees. However, these products are a lot more important than we may initially realise! While these items seem small and simple, they actually form part of the essential needs category. This means that they are a charity’s most requested items, yet because of their basic nature, they often get missed when it comes to donations. And so, that’s where we step in and aim to fill in the gap by addressing these needs that often go unnoticed.
We believe that everyone deserves quality clothing, even when it comes to the little things. We can all agree that clothing provides dignity, and high-quality items can give a huge boost of confidence. With this in mind, our team works extremely hard to source the very best quality materials, and create the perfect designs by considering colour, shape, texture and practicality very carefully. From the clothing we sell to the clothing we give, we’ve made sure that every step of the production process is highly intentional.
Another major factor in the creation and distribution of our giving items is the feedback we receive from our partnering charities who share our passion for helping those impacted by homlessness. We spend time and resources learning what products are most needed by the individuals they help, and as mentioned earlier, the most desired and needed items include headwear, socks, gloves, and undergarments.
SAY HELLO TO...
OUR THERMAL BEANIES
Our vibrant gender-neutral thermal beanies are one-size-fits all headwear items that provide warmth for all their wearers. Each colour variation has a unique meaning inspired by simple yet meaningful human experiences. These include Respect & Dignity, Change & Positivity, and Growth & New Starts. They also give our vulnerable friends, who are the recipients of the Share One part of our giving initiative, the simple pleasure of receiving a brand new item given especially and intentionally for them. Not to mention the affirmation they get from the words of encouragement written on the tags. Our team believes everyone deserves to hear these words and with our Tags of Hope we can spread this messaging to both our loyal customers and our vulnerable friends experiencing homelessness.
OUR OI SOCKS
Our thick Oi socks are ultra cosy and super durable. Overwhelmingly so, these are one of the most requested items by charities across the UK because of how easily and frequently their importance is overlooked. Many individuals who are experiencing homeless will find themselves surviving off one pair of socks for extended periods of time. This can seriously impact basic foot health and overall wellbeing. Brand new socks are one of the most useful donations we can make, so if you’re ever looking to help someone in need, consider a fresh pair of socks. If you have a look at our own socks, they say ‘Wear Hope, Share Hope’. With this messaging, we hope to spread the word about hope one step at a time, and play a small part in the bigger issue of foot care for those experiencing homelessness
For more details about why socks are so important check out our “Why Socks?” blog!
Over the last few weeks, winter has hit many areas really hard with unexpected snowfall, icy roads, and cold rain. Because of these harsh conditions, many individuals living on the streets have been severely impacted. Every winter we add gloves to our giving to provide a form of warm relief against the cold and harsh weather that accompanies this season. Each pair of gloves we give comes with a Tag of Hope. This small but meaningful detail serves as a reminder for its wearers that they are noticed, thought of and cared for.
This past year we decided to do things a little bit differently with our Wear One, Share One giving initiative to promote safety for both our customers as well as those experiencing homelessness. Instead of its usual format where you have the option of giving out the additional giving product yourself, we are currently handling the distribution of all additional products by working with homelessness-focused charities. These incredible organisations have been real Hope Heroes over the last year. Their unceasing hard work on the front line has proven that, even in the darkest times, hope can still rise. Each of these organisations tackles different variations of homelessness ranging from youth homlessness, rough sleeping, asylum seeking, couch-surfing, and more. These incredible charities truly embody what it means to bring those on the outside of society in, and we couldn’t be more proud to be partnering with them.
Here are some of the hope-bringing heroes that we’ve supported throughout January and February. From where we’re based in Northern Ireland, to Ireland, London, Manchester, and even Scotland, we’re so excited to be sharing hope alongside these charities both near and far.
And an extra special shout out to Samaritan's Purse who provide worldwide relief all the way in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, Belarus, Moldova, Liberia and Kyrgyzstan!
January Charity Partnerships:
SPREAD A LITTLE HOPE
No matter who or where you are, we can all contribute to the spread of hope. As we get ready to tackle March, we’d love to encourage you to take hope into your sphere of influence and use it to shine a unique and necessary light into the world. Here are some ways you can spread hope in your own community and a few tips on how you can best provide help to those who are most vulnerable.
1. HUMANISE HOMELESSNESS
In order to end homelessness, we first have to learn how to humanise homelessness. And the best way to do this is to start with how we speak about it. You’ve probably noticed that we use the terminology ‘experiencing homelessness’ rather than referring to someone as ‘homeless’. You may be wondering why this is or even what the difference is! Luckily, the answer is really pretty simple.
Using the word ‘homelessness’ to describe a situation rather than the word ‘homeless’ to describe a person helps us to humanise the issue and describe it as a temporary situation that can be fixed, rather than a quality that defines who a person is. We believe that with the right outlook towards homelessness, we can create the best support needed to help someone move forward from a current situation of homelessness. But what does this look like in use?
We would say that this gentleman is experiencing homelessness NOT that this gentleman is homeless. As we carry hope into the lives of those who are vulnerable, let’s think twice about our words and humanise homelessness to give the individuals experiencing it the dignity and the compassion that they deserve.
2. SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS GO A VERY LONG WAY
There are so many little gestures we can do each and every day that will actively contribute to the spread of hope in our respective communities. These outward acts of kindness display compassion, generosity and empathy, and they can carry the message of hope so much further than we may realise. Why not give a couple of these a go over the next few weeks, after all, a small act of kindness goes a long way.
- Pay for someone’s groceries.
- Buy someone a warm drink.
- Message someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Support local businesses.
- Find opportunities to give compliments.
- Challenge yourself to use positive language in all your conversations.
- Buy someone in need a nourishing meal.
Volunteer for a cause you care about.
3. VOLUNTEER & GIVE BACK
There are so many different ways that you can support charitable organisations! And many of them can be done from the comfort of your home. Here’s a few of our favourite ways to give back. Give them a go and share your experiences with us by commenting below!
1. Give back virtually by visiting websites like Freerice.com
Free Rice is a great platform that makes giving back fun. By participating in one of their multiple choice quiz games, you can help provide rice to families in need. For every question you answer correctly, one grain of rice is donated via the United Nations World Food Programme.
2. Get involved with a local Soup Kitchens near you!
One of our trusted partners is the Soup Kitchen London. Each day they feed up to 150+ individuals, and much of their ability to operate relies on their volunteers. The Soup Kitchen is one of many organisations that provides a safe environment for people to get involved in community service and create a meaningful impact in the lives of those in need. We love visiting the Soup Kitchen and spending time with their vulnerable guests! Why not research which soup kitchens are operating near you and find out how you can get involved in supporting them during these difficult times.
Visit: https://soupkitchenlondon.org/ways-to-help/ to find out more!
3. Donate to local charities making a positive impact to the world around them.
Monetary donations are extremely helpful to charities and many charities rely heavily on the financial support of the public to operate. Whether small or big, every amount helps and even a penny or two goes a long way.
So many charities have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and as a result, they have lost a lot of financial support, been inundated with requests for support, and sadly, some have even had to close down. Your support is extremely appreciated by charities especially during this tough period. Here are a few links to incredible charities we love to work with, and who continue to work exceptionally hard at bringing hope and making a difference to the world around them.
THAT'S A WRAP!
And that's a wrap for February! Hope is rising in 2021 and we are so excited to play our part in bringing a sense of it to those experiencing homlessness. In our mission to do so, we are going to be sharing more educational resources to create a better awareness about how, as a community, we can help charities and individuals experiencing homelessness.So, stay tuned for more social impact updates and a massive thank you again for all your support so far!