Turning Jeans Into Jobs – Work Wear Annual Report

Goodwill is best known for its retail stores where you can get great deals on gently used, and sometimes new, clothing, accessories and household goods. People clean out their closets and donate their old stuff, thinking it’s “for a good cause,” but few people have a good understanding of what that “good cause” actually is. Hint: it’s not just generically “helping” poor people.

Our challenge was to figure out how to connect the dots for Goodwill shoppers and donors about how the retail stores and other operations fund Goodwill’s real purpose – workforce development. In other words: How does donating a pair of jeans help someone prepare for, find and keep a job?


The organization’s annual report was the perfect place to start the conversation. Our solution was a magazine-style publication called “Work Wear” that married the aesthetics from fashion magazines with feel-good messaging to tell the story of how donated jeans turn into jobs.

We targeted two audiences with specific goals in mind:

  1. Donors who never/rarely shop at the retail stores. We wanted to surprise donors about the variety and quality of the merchandise to entice them to try shopping at a store for themselves. The message is that Goodwill stores are not only for bargain shoppers; the stores also have goods you’d expect to find at department and specialty stores. Why not shop at Goodwill and pay less?
  2. Current “fashionista” shoppers. We wanted to acknowledge the support from our fashion-forward shoppers who look for one-of-a-kind or vintage clothing and accessories. These individuals are already sold on the benefits of Goodwill stores, so we wanted to share a message with them about where the money goes, making them feel good about shopping at the stores.

Goodwill employees modeled actual clothing and accessories from stores, and each page featured a price tag for the entire outfit, demonstrating the quality and value of shopping at Goodwill. We spoke to both donors and current shoppers who already “know ‘the secret’,” offering insight into how “it’s no secret that a donation as basic as a pair of jeans or a T-shirt can help someone find a job.”

After the release of the Work Wear annual report, we continued the messaging with an advertising and social campaign themed “You’d Be Surprised.” You’d be surprised what you can find at a Goodwill store. You’d be surprised how Goodwill helps our community. You’d be surprised that Goodwill is more than a store. The campaign culminated with a live fashion show featuring clothing and accessories found at Goodwill stores.

Check out the Work Wear Annual Report.

 

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