More than 300 guests from Sydney’s most vulnerable communities gathered at The Addison Project complex in Kensington on Thursday 19 April for free haircuts, food and services at Eat.Shop.Chop, a new event created by Sustainable Salons.
The day-long event was designed to make basic necessities easily available to those in need and was supported by OzHarvest, Thread Together, TOGA, Randwick City Council, Orange Sky Laundry, Eastside FM and My Foundations Youth Housing.
Eighty volunteers pitched in to deliver 300+ bags of groceries at the OzHarvest Market, 270 hot meals from the OzHarvest Food Truck, 105 haircuts at the Sustainable Salons Pop-up Salon, and 2,000 items of clothing supplied by Thread Together.
“Everyone deserves to feel confident and welcomed, which is what Eat. Shop. Chop is all about; we set out to provide those doing it tough with a sense of self-worth and connectedness to their community. To elevate even one person’s quality of life – even if that’s just with a haircut – is what we’re all about.” Said Paul Frasca, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sustainable Salons about the initiative.
The Sustainable Salons Pop-up Salon had 17 hairdressing volunteers who pampered guests throughout the day. Light refreshments, luxury cutting gowns supplied by Beautique Designs and fresh cuts all made for a welcome street-side salon experience.
Eat.Shop.Chop also coincided with the OzHarvest Market’s first birthday – since opening, Australia’s first free supermarket has served over 35,000 customers from all over Sydney. “The OzHarvest Market has become a real community hub, where people in need can access rescued food, enjoy a hot drink and a warm welcome from our volunteers,” says OzHarvest Founder and CEO Ronni Kahn. “I’m constantly overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of compassion and connection generated from the market and there was no better way to celebrate its first birthday than with a community festival alongside the other amazing stakeholders at The Addison Project.”
Guests also stepped away from Eat.Shop.Chop with new clothes from Thread Together; the organisation collects excess clothing from fashion retailers and redistributes to those who need it most. The Thread Together team took each guest on a personal shopping experience to ensure they received the right clothes for the current stage in their personal journey.
“Eat.Shop.Chop is all about changing the narrative around the homeless and what they deserve,” says Thread Together CEO Greg Fischer. “Why shouldn’t they wear brand new clothes? Why should manufacturers feel concerned about seeing homeless people wearing their clothes? We need to take away the stigmas and shame associated with people in need.”
Kudos to the Sustainable Salons volunteer team:
- Mel Corthine, Stevie English Hair
- Harrison Sansom, Stevie English Hair
- Leah Rowley, Stevie English Hair
- Lea-Ann Suthern, Toni&Guy Newtown
- Annie Habib, Organic Hair Culture
- Megan Moss, Eclectic Hair Face and Body
- Louison Brothier, Préma
- Cecile Mezino, Freelance
- Anais Aubrus, Franck Provost Bondi
- Kate Sweeney, Salon Renaissance
- Ellie Martins, Wild Life Hair Origin
- Sienna Prince Rankin, Wild Life Hair Origin
- Virginie Gayssot, Franck Provost
- Leanne Devine, Headoffice Hair Specialist
- Bernie Ryan, Headoffice Hair Specialist
- Shannon McBride, Headoffice Hair Specialist
- Nina Santucci, Access Hair