Et Cetera Reaches Out to Refugees in New Campaign

APRIL 17, 2015

Shopping for new clothes is the main hobby of many women around the world. Whether or not we already have a lot in our wardrobe is usually not a consideration.

Many of our clothes, however, become redundant. Those we never wear anymore lie forgotten in the corner of our wardrobes; they are too dear to throw away, and yet they have grown too small or too outdated.

“It happens all the time,” said Caroline Parengkuan, brand manager of Et Cetera clothing line by Jakarta-based Delami Garment Industries.

“Women just buy and buy new clothes. And they don’t know how to get rid of the old ones.”

But now, you can bring your old clothes to Et Cetera boutiques all over Indonesia — and you have all the good reasons to do so.

Et Cetera has joined hands with non-profit organization Rumah Pandai Terang Indonesia (RPTI) to collect second-hand clothes through the end of April. For every item donated, shoppers will receive a 15 percent to 20 percent discount on new purchases.

The contributions will later be given to the less privileged.

“Charity has always been an important part of our business,” said Boysanto Pasaribu, director of sales and marketing at Delami Garment Industries. 

“With Et Cetera, we’ve been running this program [with different organizations] for three years now.”

Last year, the clothing brand collected some 10,000 second-hand articles of women’s clothing for charity.

This year, organizers are aiming to gather even more.

“We’re optimistic that we’ll get a lot more this year,” Caroline said, adding that the program will for the first time also accept men and children’s wear.

“Many underprivileged people would be very grateful for your contributions,” said Kanaya Tabitha, fashion designer and founder of RPTI.

Kanaya plans to allocate the donations to refugees of natural disasters and the less fortunate through six of the organization’s centers across Indonesia.

With the help of a few friends, the 42-year-old designer established RPTI in early 2014 with the aim to help victims of natural disasters rebuild their lives.

RPTI set up training centers in refugee camps across Indonesia to teach survivors basic skills that will help them get back on their feet.

The organization currently operates three training facilities in Sinabung, North Sumatra and three in Rokatenda, East Nusa Tenggara

In Sinabung, refugees are taught to breed catfish and grow mushrooms, using them as sources of food and as commodities to sell.

In Rokatenda, female refugees are taught the art of weaving.

“Many of the young women who take refuge in these camps are filled with despair,” said fashion model and RPTI member Dominique Diyose. 

“They’ve lived here for years, without any hope of continuing their education or finding work. Many of them think marriage, despite of their young age, is the answer. Many also turn to prostitution.”

Through RPTI’s weaving classes, these young women receive the chance to continue their education and gain new skills.

Kanaya purchased their work and crafted them into dresses, several of which were featured in the Bazaar Fashion Festival last October.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social Affairs recently reached out to RPTI, requesting the foundation’s help in caring for refugees of natural disasters across Indonesia.

“We also conduct charity visits to impoverished villages in Java and donate books and clothes to the people,” the RPTI founder added.

In a recent press conference to promote the collaborative campaign between Et Cetera and RPTI, the popular clothing brand also showcased their latest spring/summer 2015 collection.

“We have two main collections this season that feature casual and city looks,” Caroline said.

Et Cetera’s latest casual line of clothes, aimed at women between the ages of 25 and 30, consists of fitted dresses, blouses and leggings in soft natural colors.

“We also have easy-to-wear jumpsuits, which are the hot trend this year,” the brand manager added.

The city collection, intended for women above 30, bears a more urbane and tailored look, with shift-dresses, capri pants, culottes and fitted jackets.

Every item is made of natural fibers, such as cotton, rayon and linen.

“Our main customers are very active ladies, so they need clothes made with comfortable and breathable materials,” Caroline said.

The clothes are priced between Rp 300,000 and 700,000 ($23 and $54).

The brand also offers a series of flats and platform shoes in nude colors, as well as various chunky bangles and metallic necklaces to complement your look.

Through April 28, shoppers who donate used Et Cetera items will receive a 25 percent discount on new purchases. Contributions of other clothing lines will entitle shoppers to a 15 percent discount.

Donations will be handed over to RPTI in May.

“With this program, we’re encouraging our customers to look good, do good and feel good,” Caroline said.

For more information, check out Delamibrands.com and Rumahpandai.org.

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