He was an 83-year-old man living in St. George. His wife, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s for two years, passed away the year before. And his son — the youngest of eleven children — nominated him to receive a brand new suit.
“I just want to do something nice for my dad,” the son said. “This is perfect.”
Utah Woolen Mills has been giving away suits in this manner since 2016. The purpose? To give men who are “committed to improving their lives for the better” the opportunity to advance.
“It was really emotional,” says Bart Stringham, CEO of Utah Woolen Mills, of the experience with the father and son. “That’s the kind of stuff we like.”
Since beginning the initiative — called Suited For Good — Utah Woolen Mills has given away more than 400 suits. And the joy of giving has only grown and grown.
“How wonderful it is [for them] to think that somebody cares about them,” adds Stringham. “We’ve had many cool experiences placing suits on deserving men.”
View more recipient stories on the Suited For Good website.
Suited For Good
A family-owned company that began in 1905, Utah Woolen Mills has been in the business of selling high-end suits for five generations. And now, through Suited For Good, they want to give back.
“We decided it was time to do something,” says Stringham, recalling a conversation he had with his son Bart Jr. “We’d been in business a long time and we’d been very blessed.”
So began Suited For Good, a philanthropic initiative to give away one free suit for every suit they sold. Stringham and his team travel to communities across the region and invite members of these communities to nominate “a deserving man” to receive a new suit.
“The coolest thing is giving a suit to a guy who has a place to live and a wife and a kid and is just trying to get a job,” says Stringham. “Or just a guy who’s been down on his luck.”
Stringham adds, however, that they don’t want to place stringent rules on the initiative.
“Some of the best stories are of guys who could possibly afford a new suit, but don’t buy one,” he says. “Maybe they could afford it but they just don’t do it because they’re always giving to others.”
This Tuesday, June 26, it is Rexburg’s turn. Suited For Good will be fitting a handful of men that our community nominates to receive a new suit. We all know someone that could use the suit, whether to help them get a job or just to award a good neighbor. So let’s get them suited up.
How to nominate someone to receive a suit
The mission of Suited For Good is designed to do much more than making a candidate look good.
“Sometimes just by getting a new suit, you look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s nothing I can’t do!'” says Bart Stringham. “The confidence rises to another level and you’re able to accomplish things you never thought you could do. And we’ve seen it happen.”
The person you wish to nominate may have just suffered a loss, like the man from St. George. Perhaps he really needs to nail that job interview. Or maybe he’s just a good man, and you want to do something for him. Regardless, Stringham has just one condition for those who receive a suit from Suited For Good: “pay it forward.”
“It’s a hand up, not a handout,” says Stringham.
To nominate your person to get fitted for and receive a new suit on Tuesday, June 26, fill out this application form. Suited For Good will select a few nominees and will notify you if your candidate is selected.
“We want them to just be recognized for being great people,” Stringham says. “And that’s why we’re giving them a suit.”