Young designers given head start with free sewing machines

Textile recycling initiative and non-profit, Our Social Fabric, is embarking on an ambitious scholarship program to equip youth in the city with free sewing machines.

The Vancouver-based fabric store sells donated deadstock fabric and fibre-arts supplies online and in-person. Our Social Fabric was founded in 2009 and takes waste fabric and sewing related materials from designers, the movie industry and wholesalers and makes them available to purchase by the general public.

Their scholarship program, aptly named Sew Fun(d), launched in December and its first round will award three students in the Vancouver Lower Mainland area a brand new sewing machine, allowing them to take their creativity and love of fibre arts to the next level.

Sew Fun(d) coordinator, MaryAn Webb explains, In a time when some passions are becoming too expensive to pursue, we want to remove the cost barrier of acquiring your own sewing machine. Our store provides fabrics and supplies at a fraction of their usual cost and this program seemed a logical next step for us. This round we are giving away three machines but this is just the start and we have plans to grow our scholarship program in 2023.”

At Our Social Fabric we are passionate about encouraging the next generation of sewists. We are proud to provide machines to eager young people to help them explore sewing and their individual creative process.”

MaryAn Webb of Our Social Fabric, holds one of three brand new sewing machines which will be awarded to high school students in the Vancouver Lower Mainland.

Joanna Wyatt, chair of Our Social Fabric, explains further, Being part of a wider community is really important to us. Any surplus funds we have are channelled back into sewing-related educational opportunities and organisations, like Sew Fun(d), as well as key community causes.”

In 2021, Our Social Fabric kept more than 20 tons of textiles and sewing-related materials out of landfills. Over the last five years, they have diverted a staggering 85.5 tons!

Applications for Sew Fun(d) are being taken now and close at midnight on December 20.

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