When we received the application for sewing machines from YouMe Clothing we couldn’t help but smile. It’s such a unique and beautiful idea! I asked Lauren Wallis, YouMe’s Founder, for a brief update:
“YOUME Clothing is a nonprofit that exists to empower communities with our unique repurposing model! We work with partners in Africa to provide new school uniforms or clothing to children in need, and in exchange the kids give us their oldest piece of clothing. We bring this old clothing back to the states, wash, cut and sew them into one-of-a-kind patches onto our YOUME branded products! Product sales go back to fund more uniform exchanges and a community development project like: clean water wells, school supplies, seeds for farming, etc. It’s a beautiful cycle of turning rags into resources, YOU and ME working together.
Recently, we’ve partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in San Diego to train and hire refugee women, like Ahkam, to design and sew the patches onto our shirts and products. Sewing from home gives her the flexibility to take care of her children. This wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with The Sewing Machine Project and their generous donation of sewing machines for this program! We were able to use them during the training and then gift the women with their very own high-quality sewing machine when they were hired. Ahkam loves her new machine and said it gives her so much joy to think of the children she is helping in other countries with her sewing. With the continued support of partners like SMP, our hope is to continue creating more jobs here in San Diego for women like Ahkam, as we continue to impact communities abroad as well!”