Chic Mamas Do Care has donated R10 million since its inception in 2010 to underprivileged early childhood development (ECD) projects across the nation.
Founded on sustainable fashion by Abigél Sheridan, the small social enterprise swaps and sells preloved clothing to raise funds for educational projects.
It’s estimated that the organisation has impacted the lives of thousands of children by supporting 20 educational projects annually. Just last year, Chic Mamas sold over 11,000 preloved garments. Moreover, thousands of tons of preloved clothing were donated to vulnerable communities, fire appeals, community shops and other projects.
Chic Mamas supports regular beneficiaries, two of which the NPO has supported for more than 11 years; Butterfly Art Project and True-North Early Childhood Development. The other projects include; The Life Matters Foundation and the Earthchild Project. In Durban, we have four pre-schools under our wings, and in Gauteng, we provide regular support to three ECD centres.
In a recent GroundUp article, the findings of the 2023 Background Report for the 2030 Reading Panel were described as a ‘literacy crisis’. Chic Mamas exists because there’s an understanding that “education transforms futures, uplifts communities, and regenerates economies.” In 2020, Stats SA reported, “More than 60% of South African children are poor.” Those aged “5-17 years old experienced the highest deprivation rates for education.” Education has been credited worldwide for helping to alleviate poverty, and ECD provides a crucial foundation for all future learning.
Chic Mamas has 40 volunteers across the three shops in Wynberg in Cape Town, Linden in Johannesburg and Westville in Durban. Preloved clothing donations are sorted by these volunteers, who quality-check the items. The best of the lot – vintage, designer or unique items – are sold via loveitagain.co.za, its online marketplace, and all other good quality items (clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories) are added as stock in the shops. Those that don’t meet the quality standard are sold or donated by the bag directly into Chic Mamas’ communities, enabling the buyers to resell. This income-generating opportunity also empowers those involved, equipping them with basic business skills.
Sheridan said, “The Chic Mamas model cannot work without its caring community; our volunteers, shoppers, and partners all play a vital role in sustaining and driving this initiative. I am so proud of the positive impact Chic Mamas makes, and I am further inspired to raise awareness of sustainable development, environmental degradation and our relationship with nature. My goal is to provide many more children with an opportunity by giving them a quality education.”