Working from the Ground: UCOF Team Prepares for South Africa


Having established new goals for 2012, the team at United Colors of Fashion has made plans to begin tackling some of those endeavors. First on the list: gathering goods to bring on an anticipated trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. The date has been set for this coming March 6th -12th.

Traveling to the hospice was a decision made by the UCOF professionals to help them connect directly with the people they´ve been fundraising for annually. In preparation for this journey, the organization is asking people to gather no longer needed clothes, shoes, and even handbags to donate to the people of the hospice. The women of the hospice shops can then use these goods to resell and make a profit.

With the beginning of this New Year, it can be assumed that many have done the magical “cleaning of the closet.” Instead of throwing away things that have become less than precious to you, especially the ensemble you might´ve only worn once can now be used for a greater cause. A wish list of several items includes but isn´t limited to handbags, shoes, working fashion watches, fashion jewelry, men’s clothing, and clothing for children ages 2-10.

Sounds like something of interest?

UCOF has several drop off locations in Manhattan, Queens and New Jersey. However, if you are unable to make it to one of these locations but would still like to donate, a working solution has been established. Simply contact a UCOF representative at 917-266-4171 or by e-mailing [email protected] to schedule a pick up from either your home or office. And don’t be selfish; if your co-workers or company are interested in supporting a greater cause, suggest this opportunity. UCOF will list that company as a sponsor for donating.

The trip, an exciting endeavor for the UCOF team, is in fact open to the general public. Those who have a desire to connect with the men, women and children suffering from sickle-cell, HIV/AIDS and paralysis are encouraged to participate; it´s an opportunity to show the affected individuals that sending money isn´t the only method of help, but extending a present hand is also just as important. Also making the trip memorable is its date coinciding with Johannesburg´s Fashion Week. “Joburg´s” Fashion Week lasts from March 7th-10th and more information on the activities of that special week can be found at

The team will be flying via South African Airways and staying in Johannesburg for the duration of the trip. For those who are unable to make it with the team due to scheduling conflicts are still encouraged to check for others. For more information on details of the trip contact the organization at [email protected] There, information can also be provided should you want to come but simply can´t make the dates. UCOF will provide you with the option of sponsoring one of New York City´s fashion students and journalists; simply request information regarding their sponsorship package.

All daily humanitarian activities, including fashion workshops at local high schools, will be led by UCOF´s chairman and president, Ciano Clerjuste. Aside from being hands-on at the hospice, there is also the chance to experience all that Johannesburg has to offer. As the largest city in South Africa, you´ll be able to visit attractions such as the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Freedom Park and Pretoria Zoo just to name a few. During the evenings, Fashion Week is all for the taking.

Keeping in-step with their desire to explore the depths of humanitarian efforts while still adhering to their artistic endeavors, UCOF is indeed making strides in the New Year and beyond.

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