Duchess Meghan returns from maternity leave, launches capsule collection for Smart Works charity

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Duchess Meghan returns from maternity leave, launches capsule collection for Smart Works charity originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has debuted her latest project, a capsule collection for charity.

The Smart Set capsule collection of "workwear essentials" is on sale in stores and online for at least two weeks starting Thursday. It benefits Smart Works, a U.K. charity for women of which Meghan is patron.

“Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact," Meghan, 38, said in a statement. "It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell."

"Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good," she said in an Instagram post showing the behind-the-scenes of a photo shoot for the collection.

Meghan also thanked her partners on the collection, her friend and designer Misha Nonoo, as well as Jigsaw, a British line, and U.K.-based retailers John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer.

The collection's blazer and trousers were designed and are available at Jigsaw; the tote bag "which fits all the essentials needed for an interview" is from John Lewis & Partners; a "classic dress, flattering to all sizes" is from Marks & Spencer; and the "perfect crisp white shirt" is by Misha Nonoo, according to Buckingham Palace. Each item is available in stores and on the web.

"Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project - placing purpose over profit and community over competition," Meghan said. "In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other - another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”

(MORE: Duchess Meghan supports pal Serena Williams at US Open women's final)

For each item purchased from the collection, one item will be shared with a woman at Smart Works. Meghan described the five-piece collection as one that will "equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilize back into the work space."

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Meghan chose Smart Works as the first charity she visited after announcing her first four royal patronages in January. The London-based charity helps unemployed women get back on their feet and into the workforce through dressing and coaching services.

When Meghan visited the charity in January, she personally helped a woman style an outfit for her new job. The duchess saw during visits prior to her appointment as patron that the right choices or sizes were not always available for women helped by Smart Works, prompting her idea for the capsule collection, according to Buckingham Palace.

Meghan's newest initiative to help the women's charity comes just days after she flew from London to New York to help cheer on her good friend Serena Williams in the U.S. Open women's final.

It also comes as she appears to be ending her maternity leave with her 4-month-old son Archie and stepping back full-time into royal duties.

(MORE: Meghan Markle to return to royal duties from maternity leave with launch of collection)

Meghan has technically been on maternity leave since Archie's birth in May but has continued to work behind the scenes on initiatives, including the British Vogue issue and thecapsule collection.

Meghan, Harry and Archie will travel to South Africa later this month for their first official overseas tour as a family of three.

The family will visit South Africa on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, according to Buckingham Palace.

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