A Footwear Charity Just Bought an Apparel Nonprofit & Here’s Why That’s Important

Soles4Souls Dignity U Wear
Soles4Souls has teamed up with clothing charity Dignity U Wear.
Courtesy photo

Banking on the belief that there is strength in numbers, footwear nonprofit Soles4Souls has acquired Jacksonville, Fla.-based apparel charity Dignity U Wear.

As part of the acquisition, Nashville-based Soles4Souls said it has obtained all of Dignity U Wear’s clothing inventory and assets. Dignity U Wear has been providing free new clothing to disenfranchised populations for 17 years, but — according to its new owner Soles4Souls — following a “tremendous increase” in the needs of its target demographic, the small agency had started to outgrow its resources.

By joining forces, Soles4Souls will be able to leverage the Dignity U Wear apparel inventory to help hundreds of thousands around the world,” Buddy Teaster, Soles4Souls president and CEO, said in a release. “At the same time, the Dignity U Wear network will allow Soles4Souls to significantly expand its domestic distribution of free clothes. We are excited about these new avenues to serve those in need and increase our impact.”

Soles4Souls said it believes that it has a global infrastructure for product collection, warehousing and distribution that will be a significant boon to help Dignity U Wear’s expansion goals.

Founded in 2006, Soles4Souls’ mission is to create sustainable jobs and provide relief through the global distribution of shoes and clothing. The organization repurposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief and direct assistance programs. To date, Soles4Souls said it has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.

Dignity U Wear planted it roots 17 years ago as an organization donating underwear and socks to the homeless. It has since expanded to serving thousands of recipients with donated new clothing. According to the nonprofit, its distribution network has helped 1.3 million individuals.