Sarah Ford | February 26, 2015

Talbots & Dress for Success: a Perfect Cause Marketing Fit

Talbots & Dress for Success Collaboration

By Sarah Ford

While sipping on my coffee this morning, I was flipping through the Talbots Spring magazine and was thrilled when I got to the back.  Why? Not because of some amazing sale (which there were some great deals), but because there was a terrific Q&A featuring Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide.  

Now this got me excited for a number of reasons:

  1. Joi serves as Secretary on America’s Charities Board
  2. Dress for Success is a member of America’s Charities
  3. This is a terrific example of how the business and nonprofit world can work together 

I feel great pride, anytime I see one of our members or Board Directors get well-deserved publicity, but it’s number three on my list that I’ll take a moment to comment on.  

There’s no shortage of businesses interested in doing good, or charities interested in partnering with companies, but when business and cause come together it’s important that their purpose and values align.  And this partnership between Talbots and Dress for Success is a great fit (pun fully intended).  

You see, when you get right down to it, Dress for Success is all about empowering women.  Women helped by Dress for Success come from all sorts of walks of life, often facing many of the same obstacles.  From offering job and life-skills training, to providing access to interview-appropriate attire, Dress for Success helps disadvantaged women develop confidence and take control of their lives.  

What makes Talbots an appropriate partner for Dress for Success is Talbots’ audience and product:


Talbots’ primary audience is professional women; women who take pride in how they dress, aspire to be leaders and role models in their work and community, and believe in purchasing from a socially-responsible retailer.  

Through its partnership with Dress for Success, Talbots is accepting clothing and financial donations at its stores.  Talbots’ clothing is high-end and tends to be on the pricier side, so this audience tends to be more affluent or willing to pay more for better quality.  As such, they are likely to have professional clothing (perhaps last year’s Talbots Spring clothing line) in their closet that would be perfect for donating to an organization like Dress for Success, and if Talbots does a good job communicating Dress for Success’ mission and impact (as they did through the Q&A with Joi Gordon) this audience will likely be convinced of the value in contributing money to the cause.


Dress for Success needs professional clothing at its locations so they can provide women with interview and job-ready attire.  Talbots’ specialty is professional women’s clothing.  And as Joi so eloquently states in the Q&A,

“Talbots is really the epitome of professionalism. Its clothing collections allow a woman to showcase her personality through a polished, chic wardrobe.  Talbots is sophisticated and timeless and, with this partnership, we will be able to instill these same characteristics in even more women as they pursue their path to self-sufficiency.”

>> Read Talbots’ Q&A with Joi Gordon Here

>> Learn More About & Support Dress for Success



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