Cotton On Foundation projects manager speaks at The Cool Careers Conference during VAMFF
4th April, 2018
During March’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, a series of industry talks took place focused toward those interested in learning more about the fashion industry and its many facets.
One of these sessions was The Cool Careers Conference, held on March 2 with selected key-note speakers who could offer advice and encouragement to those determined to enter the fashion industry.
Hosted by Kura Antonello, brand manager with 13 years experience in the industry, the guest list of speakers included fashion designers and stylists, model agency directors and public relations consultants.
The Group’s own Projects Operations Manager for the Cotton On Foundation, Sarah Spiker was invited to speak at the event on her role within the philanthropic side of fashion.
Interviewed by journalist and entrepreneur, Gianna Lucus, Sarah spoke on how she became part of the Cotton On Foundation team and what being involved in a business who values creating brighter futures for those living within extreme poverty means to her.
Sarah shared insight into her first visit to Southern Uganda, the Cotton On Foundation’s initial project area, in 2008 when invited by the Foundation to assess their work in the community.
After being invited back to Uganda a second time, Sarah was then offered a place within the Cotton On Foundation team to which she said, “was a no-brainer.”
Sarah shared with the audience that her love for the philanthropic edge of fashion has only grown since joining the team of 20 at the Geelong global support centre in 2015, largely due to her ability to frequently visit the Foundation’s project areas which also include South Africa, Thailand and Australia’s Northern Territory.
While interviewing Sarah, Gianna spoke on her support for the Foundation’s work, mentioning her tendency to use the Foundation’s tote bags as gift bags due to their sustainability factor and in helping start the conversation of the Foundation’s work in providing quality education and ending extreme poverty.
Sarah said it’s encouraging to see people both inside and outside the business supporting the work the Foundation does,
“The people at the Group believe in the work we’re doing and team members in-store tell our story. Last year we celebrated 10 years as a Foundation and raised 13.5 million purely through the sale of $2 products – people are seeing the work we’re doing and wanting to support our mission.”
Guest speakers at the event were asked to offer one piece of advice for those in the audience who are hopeful of working within the fashion industry.
For those hopeful of working within the philanthropic area of the industry, Sarah advised,
“Look to work in a community which you would be passionate on becoming involved with yourself.”