What’s happening? The Blankfaces, founded by Glaswegian Gerard McKenzie-Govan, is a social enterprise and brand that’s working in Glasgow to help the homeless community there. The team have opened a new store in the Buchanan Galleries, and are hiring.
How it works: The streetwear range, which is designed by people from Glasgow’s homeless communities, features accessories, hats, bags, face masks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, handmade jackets, and kids wear. Each designer receives a percentage of each product sold and the profits go to the homeless community organisations they partner.
The Blankfaces work with a growing number of partners which include Marie Trust, City Mission, Simon Community, Y People, EY Foundation and The Big Issue.
Organic and vegan: Sourced from ethical and sustainable manufacturers the team use organic and vegan materials and the design process involves The Blankfaces hosting creative classes in shelters across Glasgow.
New store discount: To celebrate the expansion, there’s 13 per cent off all Blankfaces merchandise this weekend in both locations - Buchanan Galleries and at 427 Great Western Rd.
Gerard McKenzie-Govan, Founder and CEO said: “This project has a purpose and it’s my passion, on a day-to-day basis people walk past the homeless and don’t even acknowledge them. As if they are a blank face. A nothing, a nobody but that is far from the truth and this was the idea for the name.
“We want to be a brand people want, need and appreciate rather than buying purely because they feel sorry for the homeless.
“Each of our designs is inspired or created by a homeless person, this inspiration then forms the backbone of our range, and we give a percentage of every product sold directly back to the homeless participant who has shared their story.
“It's not just about raising money it's also about giving people a voice, an outlet, a way to tell their story and our aim is to change perceptions and erase the stigma about those who are homeless, they’re not just a statistic, they should not be faceless, ignored and forgotten”.
“The new store is huge, come say hi this weekend, you’ll find us on the first floor next to The Entertainer.
“We’re excited to showcase our own brand and be partnering with some flourishing, independent and ethical Scottish brands including Re:ply Skateboards which is an upcycling brand, Concrete – which combines fashion with mental health and Whitehill Mercantile Co, a Glasgow based bespoke accessories designer”.
Hiring staff: If you’re interested in volunteering or looking for a job, Gerard would love or hear from you: “We’re looking to hire people who love working with a brand who has a purpose and have an interest in joining a small team which has a positive impact and if you love fashion and design, even better.
“We’d love to roll the brand out across the UK and see where it takes us.”
If you’re interested in a new job or volunteering opportunities, please send your CV to [email protected]