At the end of March, the UK’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimated that charities were set to lose around £4bn in just 12 weeks as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The UK government has put together a £750m support package for charities experiencing additional demand during the crisis, but as donors turn to direct Covid-19 response initiatives, charity shops are closed and key fundraising events have been cancelled, non-profit organisations are suffering. “The stark reality is that charities spend £12.5bn providing services to people each quarter and they have likely lost a quarter of their income,” says Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO.
For Women for Women International, the charity founded in 1993 to provide professional training for women in war-torn countries, the answer is to host a virtual version of its annual fundraiser. The #SheInspiresMe car boot sale, a collaboration with fashion boutique proprietor Alex Eagle, has raised £700,000 since its inception in 2016 by selling past-season and pre-worn wares from the wardrobes of a host of fashion stylists, models and designers.
“I can’t wait to rummage through Charlotte Olympia’s shoe archive,” says Women for Women International executive director Brita Fernandez Schmidt of the event, which will begin at 11am on Saturday 16 May, on the @womenforwomenuk Instagram account. “I also have my eyes set on a stunning sequin Alice Temperley dress.” Other covetable lots are by Nicholas Kirkwood, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Jimmy Choo, while the donation from fashion entrepreneur Maria Kastani includes long summer dresses by Evi Grintela. Clothing from the Alex Eagle Studio will also be up for grabs, next to Charlotte Tilbury make-up.
All proceeds will benefit the charity’s efforts to support women affected by war during the Covid-19 emergency. As Eagle sums up: “Funds raised for women in some of the world’s most dangerous places are needed now more than ever.”