Second Chance Pre-Loved Fashion Sale 2019

Now planning our fifteenth year of fundraising for New Horizons for Women Trust, supporting women taking second chance education opportunities

The Second Chance Preloved Fashion Sale Group

How the sale started

In 2004, two Wellington women, Lynn McKenzie and Ruth Bruce, decided it was time they did some serious clearing out  of their wardrobes.  This raised the question of what to do with the items they no longer wanted.  Both Lynn and Ruth were past trustees of the New Horizons for Women Trust, an organisation that provided financial help to women in challenging financial or social circumstances, and who were enrolled in  higher education second time around. There seemed to be perfect synergy between second chance education and second chance clothing and so the first sale was organised with proceeds to go to New Horizons. Lynn and Ruth spread the word amongst their friends and colleagues using email and Lynn's home quickly filled to bursting with clothes and accessories which sold like hot cakes on the sale day. 

The cause - supporting second chance education for women - struck a chord with donors and buyers alike, as did the 'pre-loved fashion' concept which was still a novelty at the time. Women fortunate enough to have good quality clothes felt good about doing something useful with their wardrobe mistakes and the garments they no longer wore.  And the sale introduced a wide range of women to the joys of buying good quality fashion items for so much less than they would pay on the high street.  It was the ultimate in re-cycling!

The sale was such a success that another was organised the next year, and the next, and the Pre-loved Women's Fashion Sale is now a well established annual event. 

A winning formula

The sale has gone from strength to strength as the network of donors has grown and the reputation of the sale, as somewhere to get great quality fashion at rock bottom prices, has taken off.  Each year the queue outside the door starts earlier and earlier as those in the know prepare to be first in, best dressed.

The sale venue has changed to accommodate the growing size of the sale, we have introduced Eftpos and we now have a website. But the original formula, established by Lynn and Ruth, is largely unchanged and still works brilliantly.

Some women have come from out of the Wellington area every year since the first sale.  In 2015 a group of women from Australia happened on the sale while they were in Wellington.  They plan to return.

Where the money goes

From the start the group wanted to keep costs to a minimum.  Through personal networks, group members have gained the support of businesses, organisations and individuals, to help make each sale happen.  Almost all the funds raised on the day go to the organisation(s) for which we are fund raising.

Since 2005 the sale has raised increasing amounts of money, year on year, most of which has been distributed in awards to higher education students through the New Horizons for Women Trust.  In one year we also funded support for women refugees recently arrived in New Zealand.

Since 2012, we have donated around  $12,000 each year to New Horizons following the last sale.  

Becoming a registered charity

In 2010 the organising group felt is was time to become more formally constituted, and decided to register as a charitable organisation, to be known as the Second Chance Group.  The name reflects what we support - second chance education - and how we do it - selling second chance preloved fashion clothing

"The Second Chance Group  is a charitable organisation which has been set up to provide benefit to women in the community".

About the New Horizons for Women Trust

The New Horizons for Women Trust provides grants to assist women develop their potential.

Since 1993, the Trust has been raising  funds and administering awards for second-chance education and training and research into issues about women and girls.

The Trust also administers the Sonja Davies Peace Award , the Peg Hutchison Opportunity Award, the SROW Elsie Locke Award and the Janus 1995 -NGO Award.

The Trust also administers the prestigious Ria McBride Public Service Management Award for Women, sponsored by the State Services Commission.

These awards are available as a result of public donations and the generosity of individual, family and organisational donors.

For more information on New Horizons and the work the trust does go to 

Second Chance Group Trustees

Sharon Cavanagh - Chair, Lynne Lulham, Anne Stevenson, Doreen Peers, Deborah East, Jan Pearson

The Sale Organising Team

We have a core organising team of  nine  women, including all the Second Chance Group trustees, who donate their time and skills to put the sale together each year.  There is a huge amount of work involved in getting the donations of clothes and accessories in, then sorting and pricing them; planning the venue, setting up and clearing away on sale day; organising the sales day team and generating media coverage and promoting the sale around town; and much more.

Core Organising Team - Sharon Cavanagh, Anne Stevenson, Lynne Lulham, Judy Owen, Doreen Peers, Deborah East, Helen Rickaby, Jan Pearson, Margaret Styles, Justine Cornwall, Therese Marie