Unlocking local employment opportunities for sustainable business



  • Service Area: Employment
  • Project: Inspire Project
  • Values: We Collaborate & We are Enterprising

Halifax Opportunities Trust’s Employment Team works with a range of people, partners and organisations to build a local network that supports the recruitment of local people for local employers. This approach supports a more circular economy, helping strengthen the communities we live in and build the opportunities available to those who live in them.    

It’s great when the Trust’s approach to employment and collaboration is reflected in the partners we work with, as it reinforces a more sustainable way of working. When Simon and Helen contacted the Employment team, looking for new staff members to support the growth of their sustainable clothing business, it was a breath of fresh air.

Small steps

In 2014, Simon and Helen Payne were just two ordinary parents, juggling work-life balance. They had an idea to start a new business, to allow them to spend more time at home with their children. The initial idea was to resell returned or surplus stock from retailers at a discounted rate, giving items a new lease of life. 

What began with countless hours and weekends trawling car boots and markets to find stock to sell on eBay, soon lead to Helen and Simon pioneering a sustainable method of resale.

Big Impact

Since launching the business, Sole Responsibility has grown 40% year on year and the pair now have a team of nine employees, as well as Custard the office pooch.

What’s more is that they have helped save 70,000 (and counting) pairs of unworn branded trainers from landfill or incineration and they have donated 4,000 coats to the homeless in Manchester over Christmas.

Sustainable growth

In 2021 Sole Responsibility became a sustainable partner with JD Sports and is official partner with eBay.

With this growth meant more responsibility, which Simon and Helen simply couldn’t manage with their small team, so their search for more people began.

Responsible Business

An important part of their business plan, from a responsible perspective, is helping local people get back on their feet and give them an opportunity to get back into employment. Something that the HOT Employment Team is dedicated to.

Over the last 6 months, Halifax Opportunities Trust have formed a fantastic working relationship with Sole Responsibility and supported them with their recruitment.

So far, five of HOT’s Inspire project participants have secured full and part time roles in the organisation in various roles from warehouse to photography. The business hopes to offer more opportunities in the future as it grows.

Sole Responsibility is currently recruiting:

If you have good IT and communication skills, a willingness to work hard and reach targets then please get in touch by email [email protected] or ring Jo on 07891 956062.