Sussan Group celebrates charity milestone

Fashion firm The Sussan Group on Friday thanked its customers for helping to raise $9 million over the past 12 years to improve the physical and mental health of women in Australia.

The group, which owns and operates Sussan, Sportsgirl and Suzanne Grae, has raised money for numerous charities, including the Butterfly Foundation, White Ribbon Australia, Breast Cancer Network Australia, Beyond Blue, RSPCA and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Sportsgirl has worked closely with the Butterfly Foundation, an organisation providing support for people with eating disorders and body image issues, since 2007, and has adopted a more inclusive brand message as a result of the partnership.

For instance, the brand offers sizes 6 to 16 and hires models from diverse backgrounds for marketing campaigns. It has also created a support system for team members who may be impacted by eating disorders or body image issues and provides Butterfly Foundation training and education to staff and management.

Sportsgirl’s support for social causes is driven as much by its customers as its employees. The brand’s key demographic is Gen Z and millennial women, who tend to align themselves with brands that stand for things they care about.

Many customers have shared their personal challenges with eating disorders and body image issues with the brand and expressed gratitude for Sportsgirl’s support.

According to a Butterfly Foundation survey from 2017, over 40 per cent of people are dissatisfied with the way they look, and 73 per cent of people would change the way they look if given the chance.

Two thirds of survey respondents had been bullied or teased for their appearance, while over half rarely or never speak positively about their own appearance.

“How we talk about our own and others’ appearance can impact on our body confidence,” Butterfly Foundation chief executive Christine Morgan said.

“We are placing immense pressure on ourselves to look a certain way and often make negative comparisons to others… [the] conversation must change.”

Naomi Milgrom, owner of the Sussan Group, is rumoured to be pursuing a sale. The Australian has reported Retail Apparel Group owner Foschini Group and Premier Investments are front runners to purchase the fashion company.

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