When Meghan Markle got her start as a working royal back in 2018, some of her roles were given to her by Queen Elizabeth II, but other patronages she researched on her own and chose because of her passion for the organization. In January 2019, she signed on as the patron for Smart Works, a UK charity that helps women find jobs and dress for job interviews, and she continued to be involved with their work even after she and Prince Harry made their royal exit and moved to California. This week, Meghan is announcing a new Smart Works partnership with the accessories brand Cuyana to give 500 tote bags to Smart Works clients to mark Giving Tuesday.
The duchess explained the partnership in a statement. “Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the magic of Smart Works—womens’ confidence and lives transformed.” she said. “Smart Works invests in women so they know they can thrive in any workplace, and Cuyana is a company that is by women and for women, so this feels like the perfect fit.” Meghan also mentioned the 2019 capsule collection Smart Set, which brought together retailers to donate a collection of workwear basics to the organization. “This collaboration will support women in the UK as they mobilize back into the workforce. I am proud to bring these two together to further our shared mission of uplifting and empowering women all around the globe.”
One of Smart Works’ main initiatives is a one-on-one coaching session, where a volunteer helps a woman who needs help getting a job find an outfit to keep from the organizations’ donations, and gives feedback on their job interview skills. The organization notes that 72% percent of their clients find a job within a month of their session. The organization was founded in 2013, and has supported 25,000 women over the years.
“At Smart Works we believe in fashion as a force for good,” Smart Works CEO Kate Stephens said. “We know that when a woman looks and feels great about who she is, she can change her life. These wonderful bags from Cuyana are the perfect addition to the Smart Works wardrobes and will bring joy and confidence to hundreds of the women we support setting them up for success ahead of their interviews.”
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