Canary Wharf Group Opens Streetwear Store to Support Youth Employment – 29.03.23

  • Circle Collective will help 250 unemployed young people in Tower Hamlets access employment opportunities through its partnership with Canary Wharf Group
  • New store opening in Jubilee Place selling streetwear, skate and vintage pieces from brands including Dickies, Kickers and Fila

Canary Wharf Group has today announced its partnership with Circle Collective, a social enterprise, which works alongside its sister charity Circle Community, to help unemployed young people get into permanent work.

The London-based social enterprise and charity has opened its third physical store in the Lower Mall at Jubilee Place, staffed by young people with the retail space provided free-of-charge by Canary Wharf Group as part of its broader social impact strategy. The store will sell own-brand merchandise, vintage clothing and homeware including global streetwear brands such as Eastpak, Dickies, Kickers and Fila. 

In addition to selling streetwear, Circle Collective’s retail space will be used for workshops, pop ups, art shows and ticketed events. The young people’s work experience will include customer service, product knowledge, cash handling and time keeping which will enable them to learn core transferable skills to further help them find permanent employment. Clothing adjustments and shoe cleaning will be available instore to enable its staff to learn core transferable skills to further help them find permanent employment. Proceeds from every store sale will be used to fund the “back your future” employability course run from the premises by the sister charity Circle Community, which will support those aged 16-30 with barriers to employment to gain work experience, boost their employability skills and get into work.

Recent figures show that 788,000 young people in the UK[1] are not in employment, training or education, a number that is only getting higher. Beyond the provision of high-quality retail space, the partnership between Canary Wharf Group and Circle Collective will support participants to gain valuable work experience, customer service training and coaching. The Canary Wharf base is expected to help 250 young people into work.

Since its launch in Westminster in 2010, Circle Collective has successfully launched two retail stores and training facilities in Lewisham and Hackney and helped 800 young people into permanent jobs through serving 150,000 customers. Further to this, it has partnerships and has collaborated with Landsec, Sage, NHS Properties, Mayor of London, Poplar Works and many London boroughs to further its mission to help young people overcome obstacles to work.

Emma Warden, Associate Director, CSR & Community at Canary Wharf Group comments“We are proud to welcome Circle Collective to the heart of our retail offering in Jubilee Mall and are looking forward to partnering with them in their mission to help young people find sustainable work.  Youth employment remains one of the most prominent issues locally and nationally as unemployment figures rose to 5% in the past year[1]. Using our position as a connector and owner of space, this partnership forms part of our wider vision to create lasting social impact through meaningful collaborations with community partners, our customers and our own people.”   

Turly Humphreys, CEO of Circle Collective comments: “We are so excited about being donated this wonderful space in such a prestigious location. Our young team and trainees are bolstered with confidence. Our customers are shocked that such a unique and beautiful store holds such strong mission and vision, we have already had people offering to volunteer and mentor our trainees and corporates offering entry level jobs.”

Local residents and workers are being called on to sign up as volunteers and get involved with the initiative with various roles available.  Click here to find out more

[1] Office for National Statistics


For further information, please contact:

Press Office
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166

Notes to Editors

About Canary Wharf Group:

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and over 1,100 Build to Rent apartments. 

CWG is a sustainable developer in the UK and also excels operationally as it has purchased 100% electricity from renewable sources since 2012 and sent zero waste to landfill since 2009. 

CWG has created a 24/7 city where people can live, work and thrive on the Canary Wharf estate and enjoy all the benefits: great transport links, access to green spaces and waterside living; and a wide range of amenities including an award-winning arts and events programme. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises over 300 shops, including grocery stores, pharmacies, health clubs, bars and restaurants, all within 15 minutes’ walk. 

The Company’s current £2bn construction activity and pipeline includes more than 500k square feet NIA of commercial properties and over 2,300 new homes for sale and rent.
LinkedIn: @CanaryWharfGroup
Instagram: @canarywharflondon /@canarywharfworks
TikTok: @canarywharflondon
Twitter: @CanaryWharfGrp / @Level39CW / @Wood_Wharf

About Circle Collective

Circle Collective comprises a charity and a social enterprise with a combined mission to get disadvantaged young people aged 16-30 years into life-changing work. They support unemployed young people, including those facing multiple barriers to work, to acquire and develop the skills and resilience to secure and sustain life-changing economic opportunity.

Founded in 2010, their social enterprise arm (a CIC, also known individually as Circle Collective), runs two streetwear/skate stores in Lewisham and Hackney and an e-commerce platform whilst Circle Community, their charity, delivers the Back Your Future employability programme. Young people on Back Your Future gain structured work experience and customer service training in their retail stores in a unique offering that ensures that the young people on programme gain skills and experience in a customer-facing setting, along with the job coaching, corporate insight sessions, mentoring, wellbeing and personal finance management support provided by Circle Community.

The innovative, connected relationship between the two operating arms sets their programme apart from other employability models. Their success is largely down to this integrated model; the two entities are crucial to each other.

Their aim is to grow their social enterprise so that retail profit can be reinvested into Circle Community, their charity.

They have achieved the London Youth Bronze Quality Mark in 2022, which provides youth organisations with a badge of excellence that is recognised by local authorities and funders. The Circle Collective has also been acknowledged for their charity work by a visit from King Charles.