As part of their compact with the communities they serve, social enterprises publish a report to document their impact in the areas they focus on. As a social enterprise, the two areas that United Sewing and Design focuses on are creating work opportunities for marginalized individuals facing barriers to achieving well paid employment and manufacturing products with materials removed from the waste stream for our line “White Horse Style.” (For a portfolio of White Horse Style products visit this page.) Currently, United Sewing and Design works with independent contractors to manufacture products for individual, corporate and non-profit clients. For a profile on Green Banana Paper Company, one of our clients whose company manufactures accessories from recycled banana fiber, click here. For more info, be sure to check out the helpful links at the bottom.
United Sewing and Design: Report on Employment and Environmental Impact 2016-2017
04/21/2016-12/31/2016 (United Sewing and Design began doing business on 04/21/17)
Number of clients: 8
Number of clients manufacturing products of materials diverted from the waste stream: 2
Number of individual contractors: 3
Barriers to Work Experienced by Individual Contractors :
Amount paid to each contractor in 2016 :
Contractor A $190.25
Contractor B $102.50
Contractor C $135.00
Average contractor earnings: $142.58
Amount/type of materials diverted from the waste stream: Approximately 80 pounds of designer home décor fabric samples, 30 pounds of cotton broadcloth and 10 pounds of material scraps. We also repaired and converted a group of costumes preventing them from entering the waste stream.
Number of Clients: 6
Number of Clients manufacturing products of materials diverted from the waste stream: 2
Number of Individual contractors: 2
Barriers to Work Experienced by Individual Contractors:
Amount paid to each contractor annually:
Contractor A $100.00
Contractor B $81.25
Average contractor earnings: $90.63
Amount/type of materials diverted from the waste stream: four pairs of women’s pants; four lawn and leaf size garbage bags of designer home décor fabric samples ( approximately 320lb); three large vinyl advertising banners, and approximately ten pounds of vintage bed and kitchen linens and notions. Also, we re-purposed a step ladder, hollow core door and bi-fold door from The Reconnstruction Center in Newington for use in our workroom. Additionally, we began initiatives to accept scrap fabric waste from local apparel designers by developing methods for categorizing and utilizing these scraps.
2018 Goals Estimate
Our goals for this year include:
Number of Clients: 10
Number of Clients manufacturing products of materials diverted from the waste stream: 5
Number of individual contractors: 8
Barriers to work: emotional or social disability, transportation restrictions, previous incarceration
Amount paid to contractors in total: $16,000
Amount/type of materials diverted from the waste stream: 120 pounds of designer décor samples, 80 pounds of vintage linens, 150 pounds of material scraps.
If you are a designer, educator, home sewist or manufacturer and would like to discuss converting your material scraps please contact us.
If you have suggestions for ways that United Sewing and Design can positively impact your community in the areas of labor and the environment please contact us.
If you are interested in sustainable manufacturing, the circular economy, the environmental impact of the apparel industry, and fair labor initiatives among other topics, follow my Twitter feed @UnitedSewing.
For more thoughts on how your personal consuming affects our environment read this
Mary Ruth, Owner of United Sewing and Design has over 30 years experience in the manufacturing of products by sewing and is author of “Industry Sewing Construction Methods” http://amzn.to/2yMxMmk. Her focus is on design, entrepreneurship; social enterprise; the connections between the environment, the apparel industry, and manufacturing; and how owners can leverage artistic methods to benefit their business.