What is Dress for Success Toronto and How Do I Get Involved with the Bay Street Suit Challenge?

The Bay Street Suit Challenge is back! As of October 18th, Dress for Success Toronto’s (DFST) annual fundraising event-challenge is calling on its community to donate select professional wear and/or funds to support its life-changing programming initiatives. Once again, Gibson’s is thrilled to be DFST’s official donation partner, and we’ll be accepting and collecting clothing donations throughout the Challenge at our Kingsway and Bloor West Village stores. COVID-19 left over 355,000 Ontarians out of work in 2020 - it’s time for things to change. If you’re unfamiliar with Dress for Success Toronto or the Bay Street Suit Challenge, now is the time to learn more about how you can support this great organization.

What is Dress for Success Toronto?

Dress for Success Toronto is a local affiliate of the international organization Dress for Success which operates in over 150 cities worldwide. The organization's mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. To date, Dress for Success Toronto has helped over 15,000 women with its Career Services Learning Programs, Professional Women’s Groups, and other programming initiatives. The Suiting Program, one of DFST's most well-known programs, offers Clients a one-on-one session with a volunteer stylist who provides advice, guidance, recommendations, and two professional outfits to ensure she feels confident at her job interview. The items collected throughout the Bay Street Suit Challenge will directly support this program and its Clients.

What is the Bay Street Suit Challenge?

The Bay Street Suit Challenge is Dress for Success Toronto’s annual event which fosters teamwork and community spirit by encouraging individuals and corporate teams to work together to raise funds and collect gently used or new professional clothing and accessories. The Challenge spreads awareness for the organization and directly impacts DFST’s Suiting Program's Clients. Over the past 10 years, its community has raised over $615,000, donated over 165,000 pieces of clothing, and served almost 18,000 clients! 2021 marks a huge milestone; it’s the 10th anniversary of this inspiring event and this year, the DFST team has the goal to raise over $150,000.

How Does Gibson’s Fit In?

Gibson’s has been Dress for Success Toronto’s official donation partner since 2019. When we learned about Dress for Success’s mission, our leadership team recognized it was a perfect fit with our customers' and company's values. Gibson’s has been known as “the thoughtful cleaner” for over 90 years, and we’re thrilled to support Dress for Success Toronto with getting more clothing in the hands of its clients through our customer donation drop-off program. If you’re interested in donating items during the Bay Street Suit Challenge, Dress for Success has put together the following list if items it needs most: 

Women’s Wear

  • Footwear (preferably flats)
  • Handbags and Purses
  • Non-Newlery Accessories like belts, scarves, un-opened tights
  • Dresses and Tops
  • Plus-sized items (14+)

And the following Menswear items:

  • Footwear
  • Briefcases
  • Belts
  • Outerwear Jackets
  • Blazers and Sport Coats

To make a donation during the Bay Street Suit Challenge, contact Dress for Success to get set up for the challenge!

This year’s Challenge runs from October 18th to 29th and features a two-week donation drive. Both individual and corporate teams will work together to raise funds and donate selected professional clothing items. Good luck! 

 

Linley McConnell

Written by Linley McConnell