Meghan Markle backs donation of 500 handbags to Smart Works charity

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Meghan Markle Backs Donation Of 500 Handbags To Smart Works Charity Meghan Markle Backs Donation Of 500 Handbags To Smart Works Charity
The Duchess of Sussex launches Smart Works capsule collection, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

Meghan Markle has partnered with an accessories brand which is donating 500 handbags to women seeking employment in the UK.

The classic structured totes by Cuyana will go to clients being supported by the Smart Works charity, of which Meghan is patron.

Meghan hailed “the magic of Smart Works” which provides interview clothing and coaching for unemployed women, and said the collaboration would help women in the UK as they “mobilise back into the workforce”.

The announcement came ahead of Giving Tuesday, a global movement encouraging people to give back following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Meghan said: “Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the magic of Smart Works – women’s confidence and lives transformed.

“Smart Works invests in women so they know they can thrive in any workplace, and Cuyana is a company that is by women and for women, so this feels like the perfect fit.

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“Similar to the Smart Set collection we created many years ago for Smart Works, this collaboration will support women in the UK as they mobilise back into the workforce.

“I am proud to bring these two together to further our shared mission of uplifting and empowering women all around the globe.”

The classic structured tote (Cuyana/PA)

In 2019, Meghan launched a charity capsule clothing collection of workwear essentials with Smart Works, in partnership with John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw and Misha Nonoo.

For two weeks, items were available on a 1:1 model, meaning that for every item bought by a customer, another was given to help a woman get back into the workplace.

The tote bags, which usually cost around £205, are by US-based Cuyana, which describes itself as a women-built, heritage-led company which offers “timeless design, luxury quality, and sustainability”.

Kate Stephens, Smart Works’ chief executive, said: “At Smart Works we believe in fashion as a force for good.

“We know that when a woman looks and feels great about who she is, she can change her life.”

She said the bags would “bring joy and confidence to hundreds of the women we support setting them up for success ahead of their interviews”.

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