First Impressions Clothing Exchange

A group of women from FICE

First Impressions Clothing Exchange (FICE) opened in mid-2019 and was originally established as a place where long-term unemployed women of the Yarra Ranges and surrounds could learn skills within an operating retail space in order to develop their professional skills. FICE works to provide women with affordable, quality clothing, suitable for every day, job interviews or other important occasions.

In the past 12 months, they have assisted approximately 20 women to undertake retail training FICE has also hosted many workshops on subjects such as: understanding your superannuation, resume writing, re-purposing clothes, designing and making fascinators, art therapy, clothes styling, makeup classes, English classes and more.  Women who come to FICE also receive enormous support and interact with local women who are from a broad range of demographics and socio-economic backgrounds.

FICE participant Olivia said, "I was referred to FICE as a jobseeker after the school I was working at couldn’t afford to keep me. Little did I know that I would leave the program a couple of months later with boosted confidence, genuine friends and with gratitude for having been part of something so progressive and inspiring."

Under the guidance of Cire Services (formerly Upper Yarra Neighbourhood House), FICE’s social support model for women is unique to the region.  Its innovative and bold approach to empowering women and fostering meaningful community engagement has ensured that the benefits and value to the community go much deeper.  Renee Cooke, Cire First Impressions Project Co-ordinator said, “the volunteers who work in the shop, receive a huge boost to their confidence and self-esteem, they gain a sense of purpose and pride, as well as developing skills which are sought by employers, particularly in the retail sector.”

COVID-19 UPDATE FROM FIRST IMPRESSIONS CLOTHING EXCHANGE
Given the announcements and recommendations by the Victorian Government and major health organisations, the First Impressions Clothing Exchange has temporarily closed. However, our team is still here to support you through this challenging time and beyond.
Our dedicated team is here to ensure the community continues to feel connected and receives the resources that are needed, now more than ever. If you require assistance or advice on employment prospects, resume writing, transferable skills or general support and networking opportunities, please get in touch.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please follow us on Facebook for further updates and announcements or call 1300 835 235.