Mark Ferguson, a basketballer, who at 6’5” had always struggled to find a suit that fitted him properly. So in 2005, Mark set up bespoke men’s tailor Wil Valor, and he has been helping men of all sizes from his shop on Park Road, Milton ever since. Every single day, Mark sees the power and effect of clothing on a man’s confidence.
“As soon as most men put on a suit and tie, they generally smile, the tone of their voice changes and they usually stand up straighter” Mark says. “If you look great, feel great, you will always present your very best self”.
A couple of years into his business, Mark volunteered for charity Suited to Success, to help suit-up underprivileged men for job interviews. Unfortunately, there were not enough suits for the men who needed them.
“A lot of these guys are living on the poverty line and they didn’t have any clothing to wear for job interviews”.
This was the inspiration behind Mark starting Suit of Change a social initiative, that collects and distributes suits, business shirts, trousers, ties, shoes, belts and cufflinks to non-profit organisations to help low income job seekers get a job.
“Our role is around collection and distribution, and any alterations that are needed, we take care of that. If it doesn’t fit in the sleeves, then it doesn’t quite work. We just want to make men feel great and amazing.” Mark says with pride.
Thursday 19th May is Suit of Change Day – and Mark would like you to clean out your wardrobe and gift your pre-loved suits to his very worthy cause.
Last year, Mark collected 1300+ items including 400 suits, 200 ties, 600 shirts, shoes, belts and cufflinks. “We these items to St Vincent de Paul and Suited to Success, and we helped build up their wardrobe so they could fit out more clients,” Mr Ferguson said. “We also train the not-for-profit volunteers to make sure they style people properly too”.
This year Mark has a grand goal of collecting more than 2500 items – but he needs YOUR help.
Mark knows that nice clothes will not immediately change the lives of these men but it’s one of the many important steps that propel the unemployed or refugees down the path to a new life.
To Donate – Drop in donations to the foyer of 111 Eagle Street, Brisbane City Or the Wil Valor Showroom 7/41 Park Rd, Milton
To Volunteer – email Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org
Did someone say PARTY? Yes, the Suit of Change Cocktail Party will be again be held at George’s Bar and Bistro from 5:30pm on Thursday 19th May. Buy your ticket here.
***Mark is offering charityspam readers a special discounted rate of $99 per ticket, simply enter VIP at the check out.
Please help spread the word about Mark’s project, and share this post! For more information visit the Suit of Change website, like them on facebook, follow on twitter or on instagram. Or listen to Mark’s radio interview on ABC Gold Coast.
Ps. don’t worry if you miss the 19th May deadline – this is an all-the-year long initiative and Suit of Change will happily accept your suits anytime.