Why is there a need to be sustainable?
Keeping costs of production low by teaching the new entrepreneurs how to source their textiles from thrift stores, fabric samples and end bolts of fabric gives them a price advantage for their “one of a kind” products in the market place.
However, there is another equally important reason to do this. Environmental impact!
According to Fibre2Fashion.com, “The textile and clothing industry is a diverse one, as much in the raw materials it uses as the techniques it employs. At each of the six stages typically required to make a garment, the negative impacts on the environment are as numerous as they are varied. Spinning, weaving and industrial manufacture undermine air quality. Dyeing and printing consume vast amounts of water and chemicals, and release numerous volatile agents into the atmosphere that are particularly harmful to our health.” (A good Netflix movie to watch on this subject is called “True Cost”.)
Our students will also be able to boast that their products are not responsible for damaging the environment! Going “green” is a very valued asset in today’s market!
The fact that our program is also repurposing older sewing machines keeps many, many machines out of dumpsters! Maybe the best part is that these machines were made from all metal parts which, when repaired and serviced are as good as new and will need much less service and continue to operate much longer than the newer models made with mostly plastic parts!
Vison, Mission & Methods
New Creation Trades wants to work with under-resourced individuals who face significant barriers to gainful employment by teaching the forgotten trades associated with the textile industry. These trades include sewing, sewing machine repair and upholstery. Most of our students need to be able to work from home for a variety of reasons. Some have disabilities; others have family members with disabilities who need constant care; others have language barriers. The list of possible reasons is very long, but the fact is that a large number of individuals want to work for their own living if it were possible for them to work from home. Those who don’t need to work from home will benefit from the program by learning the trade and being employable in sewing work rooms, alteration shops and other sites where their services are needed.
We are partnering with neighborhood churches; refugee centers and shelter programs for the actual training program. We want to partner with ex offenders programs; teen mom programs; veterans programs for victims of PTSD, and programs working with the disabled for the students who would qualify for our program. While the list of programs above is long, it is not exhaustive. The bottom line is: anyone who is receiving government assistance or who is living below the poverty line because of significant barriers to employment is within our target population. We believe that our program can create a path for each of these individuals to overcome their employment barriers and become productive and self sufficient members of the community by working from home.
The textile training program creates an opportunity for churches and other ministries to have an outreach program that would not otherwise be fiscally feasible. For the under resourced individual to thrive, there must be a robust mentoring/relationship building aspect to any outreach program. Through church/ministry partnerships, God’s love will be demonstrated through His people and the result can be the healing of broken hearts and a new lease on life. The program will bring both health and wealth into financially and emotionally depressed neighborhoods and give whole communities hope for the future by creating skilled laborers and entrepreneurs!
The host church/ministry provides the needed support personnel and classroom space. The church/ministry will also recruit the individuals from their communities and the programs mentioned above, who have significant barriers to employment and who would be suitable for this type of work. NCT will provide the class instruction, sewing machines, textiles and all of the associated material resources needed for implementation of the program. NCT will also train the classroom facilitators and classroom aides who have been selected by each church or ministry, in part, because they already know how to sew or upholster. The training will be fairly straight forward as all of the actual instruction will be from professional videos. The facilitator and aide will set up the classroom, introduce the lesson and assist the students as needed.
The average cost of purchase per sewing machine is $20 which includes needed parts. The associated cost of supplies such as sewing notions which includes all of the cutting and measuring tools is about $20. Labor for refurbishing the machines will come from volunteer instructors and students learning the trade of sewing machine repair. Sewing instruction will come from You Tube videos. Upholstery which uses many of the same components as sewing will also come from videos.
A majority of our sewing machines have been purchased from thrift stores for about $20 each. We have also received many donations of machines, along with notions and equipment such as cutting tools, cutting mats etc. from individuals who no longer sew, but want to see their “no longer wanted” sewing supplies and equipment go to a good cause.
In the future, we expect to receive most of our supplies through individual donations. These machines restored/repaired are worth at minimum $50 each. The bulk of the textiles we need in order to train our students has been provided by “Fabrics That Go”, a locally owned decorator fabric store. They gave us a very generous donation of a 16’ box truck load of decorator fabric samples and partial bolts of fabric. If the quality of fabric we received were to be bought at market it would cost between $12 and $25 per yard. We will be able to train students for several years on this one donation alone. Our classroom training costs are low because of the ability to use You Tube videos which are open license. These classes are very well designed for the inexperienced/new sewing student.