Search
Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Norwich swap shop dressing tomorrow's business leaders

PUBLISHED: 13:12 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 March 2019

Picking out the perfect business attire; Sue Buffin and Caitlin Seale, directors at New U in Castle Mall, who will be helping students dress for success. Pic: Archant.

Picking out the perfect business attire; Sue Buffin and Caitlin Seale, directors at New U in Castle Mall, who will be helping students dress for success. Pic: Archant.

Archant

Students battling to be the business women of the future but with nothing to wear are being given a free fashion makeover.

Possible business attire..plenty of choice at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: Archant.Possible business attire..plenty of choice at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: Archant.

Students hoping to be the business women of the future but with ‘nothing to wear’ are being given a helping hand from staff at a cashless clothes store ’ which has offered to give them a fashion make-over.

It’s a problem faced by many – what do you wear for that big business meeting? And when you are a student on limited means, your wardrobe may not quite come up to scratch.

But 15 City College students are getting a helping hand with their attire thanks to ‘swap shop’ New U in Castle Mall.

MORE: Businesses urged to back £12.5m hospice appeal

The 'swap shop' at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: Archant.The 'swap shop' at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: Archant.

New U, a social enterprise business with Lottery funding, enables customers to trade clothes, shoes and accessories using no money but a points system. You take something in and receive vouchers with points to spend on items you want to buy.

No actual money changes hands.

Run by directors Sue Buffin and Caitlin Seale, it also offers clothing free for students going for a job interview. And the store has offered to provide the outfits for a Women in STEM event, being held by City College at its Debut Restaurant, which will bring students together with prominent local business women.

Caitlin said: “We want the students to feel you can be smart but comfortable too and to feel confident. But they can be different; we have some floral trousers, for example, which could be teamed with a smart blouse.”

The New U store in Castle Mall. Pic: ArchantThe New U store in Castle Mall. Pic: Archant

And in a bid to avoid any wardrobe disasters the students are being given a try-on session before the event on March 13.

New U evolved from a Prince’s Trust project and, in times of austerity, has proved to be a huge success.

The store receives an average of 5,000 items a month and 3,000 go out.

Caitlin added: “We’ve had a Dior suit and in the pocket was a shopping list – someone had gone out shopping in it. We’ve also had a full mother of the bride outfit complete with the hat and shoes.”

Some of the clothes awaiting to go into the store from the stock room at New U. Pic: ArchantSome of the clothes awaiting to go into the store from the stock room at New U. Pic: Archant

Items are given points depending on the brand – so a ‘low end’ item would be from the likes of Primark, George or Peacocks, a ‘mid low’ from New Look or H&M, a ‘mid high’ would be Zara, Top Shop or Miss Selfridge. ‘High end’ would include Hollister, All Saints, Whistles and French Connection and ‘designer’ would be the likes of Gucci or Ralph Lauren.

Plenty of choice for all occasions; the store at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: ArchantPlenty of choice for all occasions; the store at New U, Castle Mall. Pic: Archant

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists