By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
“As a brand that encourages men to master their style to look and feel their best, King C. Gillette is thrilled to contribute to the growth of an organization like Sharp Dressed Man,” said Alexander Prounis, brand director of Gillette North America New Brands & Adjacencies. “We are aligned with their vision that providing necessary supplies to men in need will boost their confidence, giving them the power to present their best selves to future employers and continue the journey to success.”
The contribution came at the perfect time, as Sharp Dressed Man has faced some setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recently got set up in a new place, and we have expenses again,” said Christopher Schafer, founder of Sharp Dressed Man. “It was the right timing , and we really needed it.”
Schafer, who specializes in making custom suits, established Sharp Dressed Man in 2011 after noticing that there was an absence of organizations that offer recycled men’s wear. Since its inception, the nonprofit has provided suits to almost 10,000 men.
A few months into the pandemic, the organization had to close its brick-and-mortar store and downsize to remain in business. Instead of individually helping men to choose their suits, Sharp Dressed Man transitioned to donating its men’s wear to local organizations in need.
The funds from Gillette will be used for Sharp Dressed Man’s operational costs, and the organization will create care packages with the King C. Gillette products to gift to the men.
“My thought all along has been that when everything lives and is over, there’s going to be a lot of people that need our services, who ordinarily would not have needed our services,” said Schafer.
Typically, Sharp Dressed Man procures its clients through partner workforce development organizations, like Living Classrooms, Helping Up Mission and Civic Works.
Now that numerous individuals have lost their jobs or been forced to change career paths as a result of COVID-19, Schafer expects that more men will require Sharp Dressed Man’s services.
Soon, the organization will roll out the Sharp Dressed Van, which will travel to cities outside of Baltimore to empower more men and provide them with suits.
“Once we can really get everything kind of sorted out with what we are doing, I really envision Sharp Dressed Man being in every city around the world frankly because I wish it wasn’t a needed service, but it is a needed service,” said Schafer.
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