Grant Blvd: Sustainable Style Fighting for Reform

Look good. Do good. Feel good.

Kimberly
Social Good
$14,025
pledged of $14,000 goal
103
Backers
0
Days Left

Project Description

The American criminal justice system currently holds nearly 6.5 million people in its claws, and it imprisons more people per capita than any other country in the entire world.  

I didn’t really think about what mass incarceration meant on a micro level until the fall of 2016 when I volunteered for the first time at Books Through Bars, a non-profit  in West Philly.  My time there convinced me that I wanted to do more to resist a criminal justice system that by design is unfair- I wanted to give hope more directly.

This is the beauty of Grant Blvd.

As a sustainable brand, Grant Blvd's mission is to do what’s good for people and to do what’s good for the planet. To accomplish this, we design womenswear from a place of love, but also from a place of logic. Clothing made with a sense of environmental and social consciousness is the best kind of style to us.

In our first design collection we use discarded men’s shirts- which means no new chemicals, pesticides, or water use, and we reconstruct them. This is how we define sustainability in this collection. In the process, we do something that has a positive impact on the planet and that creates a pathway to supporting incarcerated people. What’s more, for every top that you buy, a book will be sent to Books Through Bars. Just as soon as we're able, our other major goal is to give returning citizens at an opportunity to begin rebuilding their lives by teaching them how to sew, giving them jobs in manufacturing, and paying them the fair wage that workers overseas are denied, in a studio, right here in Philadelphia.  In the future, we plan to launch collections that use other more sustainable fabrics such as hemp, linen, and silk.

We welcome your support in bringing to market incredibly stylish designs that not only do no new harm, but that create careers for returning citizens- folks we know who are in need of opportunities to begin again.

The money you contribute will be used to:

  • Lease a manufacturing space
  • Purchase manufacturing equipment
  • Train 5 returning citizens in industrial sewing
  • Purchase essential technology

We invite you to not only follow our journey, but to share our brand story and mission with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones. We also invite you to help us not only meet, but to exceed our goal.

Change will require that we all pitch in what we can, and change is what you have the opportunity to help create today. This isn’t only a fashion brand: it’s a movement for people from all across the country who want to see and support social innovation. And we couldn’t be more grateful to have each one of you standing beside us.

Sincerely,

Team Grant Blvd

The Project FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

I am a huge fan of what this brand aspires to, but I'm curious: how will Grant Blvd identify returning citizens to train and employ?

Good question! In cities across America there are groups of dedicated people who have long been committed to advocating for returning citizens. Team Grant Blvd has a deep and abiding respect for the remarkable what they've done and continue to do. This is precisely why we plan to rely on the insights and experience of non-profits in the city of Philadelphia that are currently supporting returning citizens. They have an intimate understanding of what reforms our criminal justice system needs and they also already have relationships with this unique community of citizens. They have welcomed our efforts and have offered to help us with identifying potential candidates for training and employment. That said, two of the non-profits we've established partnerships with are The Center for Returning Citizens (http://tcrcphilly.org/) and Sisters Returning Home (http://www.sistersreturninghome.org/).

While many of us are excited to act as supports for these citizens, the truth is that being away from home is not only emotionally distressing, but filled with several levels of challenge. With this in mind, we plan to work hard to identify the strongest candidates for training. It is critical that we are purposeful in recruiting individuals who are ready for the kind of mutual commitment our business demands, and who are excited to join a team designed to support them in building careers.  We plan to do more than just reduce recidivism (likelihood of a return to jail), we want to help citizens re-imagine not only who they are, but who they can be.

How exactly will Grant Blvd train returning citizens in sewing? 

Another good one! We will offer training in sewing in coordination with a local fashion institute. Specifically, our trainees will take 2 courses in industrial sewing before joining our manufacturing team, at which time they will received specialized training in the production of our designs. This in house level of training will occur under the supervision of our Director of Production, who is an experienced and talented seamstress, patternmaker, and designer.

Why can't I choose the color of my tee shirt or top?

Our goal in this first collection is to experiment with the highest standard of sustainability possible- no new waste. That means we want to promote the idea that although Americans discard 85% of the fabrics we purchase, many of these textiles still have viability. Our goal is to extend fabric life- that means we source from garments that already been created, making each our pieces one of a kind. How amazing is that?

 

 

Julia
09/14/2018
Monetary Contribution
$15
09/14/2018
Monetary Contribution
$10
Michelle Glover
09/12/2018
Monetary Contribution
$11
09/12/2018
The Friend
$15
Jamie Turner-Hall
09/12/2018
The Ally
$25
Rebecca Krueger
09/10/2018
The Environmentalist
$65
09/10/2018
The Environmentalist
$65
09/09/2018
Monetary Contribution
$50
Sarah Gulish
09/08/2018
The Hero
$125
09/05/2018
Monetary Contribution
$400
Monetary Contribution

If you simply care about the environment, value supporting incarcerated people, and seek to help create careers for those who are returning but want nothing in return- we are grateful. Thank you.

19 Supporters
Contribute
$15
The Friend

We are so appreciative of your support! To show you, we're going to add your name to the patron page on our website as a friend. Thank you!

44 Left
6 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
The Ally

Thank you for giving us your support! In return, a book contribution will be made to Books Through Bars on your behalf, you'll be given access to campaign updates, and your name will be added to the patron page on our website as an ally.

79 Left
21 Supporters
Select this reward
$40
The Advocate

Thank you for your support! In return, you'll receive a limited edition, one of a kind, repurposed “World Leaders: 6.5M” tee, the number which reflects the total number of people currently in jail, prison, on probation or parole. You tell us the size you need and we'll surprise you with the color. You'll also gain access to campaign updates and have your name listed as an advocate on the patron page of our website.

23 Left
27 Supporters
Select this reward
$65
The Environmentalist

Thank you for your support. In return you'll receive a one of a kind Summer ‘18 collection "Lorraine" blouse. You tell us the size (XS- 2XL- see picture below), and we'll select a stripe or pastel perfect for summer. What's more a book will be contributed on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and we'll also list your name on our patron page as an environmentalist.

34 Left
16 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
The Visionary

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll receive a private tour of our new studio space, 2 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts in the design of your choice in sizes XS-2XL. Choose from the “Lorraine”, the “Harriet” or the “Lucretia” (pictured below and above). Because this a pre-order of one of a kind pieces, you get to choose from these 3 styles and we get to surprise you with pretty pastels perfect for summer!  What's more, a book contribution will be made on your behalf, you'll receive access to campaign updates, and we'll also list your name on our patron page as a visionary. 

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
$350
The Reformer

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll receive a private tour of our new studio space, 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from Lorraine, Lucretia, or the Harriet- sized XS-2XL). You tell us the style and size and we'll happily surprise you with a pastel. What's more, a book contribution will be made on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and your name will be listed on our patron page as a reformer.

25 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
The Change Agent

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll be invited to meet with our creative team to discuss our mission, private tour of our new studio space, 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from "Lorraine", "Lucretia", or the "Harriet". Trust us, you'll love the fabrics we select! What's more, a book will be contributed on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and we'll list your name on our patron page as a change agent.

13 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Leader of the New School

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll be given a seat behind the scenes at Grant Blvd’s Fall ’18 photoshoot, coffee with our creative team, private tour of our new studio space, one limited edition, one of a kind “6.5” tee (you choose the size, we choose the color), 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from Lorraine, Lucretia, or the Harriet in a color of our choosing), a book contribution on your behalf, access to campaign updates, and we'll list your name on our patron page as a leader of the new school.

3 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

If you simply care about the environment, value supporting incarcerated people, and seek to help create careers for those who are returning but want nothing in return- we are grateful. Thank you.

19 Supporters
Contribute
$15
The Friend

We are so appreciative of your support! To show you, we're going to add your name to the patron page on our website as a friend. Thank you!

44 Left
6 Supporters
Select this reward
$25
The Ally

Thank you for giving us your support! In return, a book contribution will be made to Books Through Bars on your behalf, you'll be given access to campaign updates, and your name will be added to the patron page on our website as an ally.

79 Left
21 Supporters
Select this reward
$40
The Advocate

Thank you for your support! In return, you'll receive a limited edition, one of a kind, repurposed “World Leaders: 6.5M” tee, the number which reflects the total number of people currently in jail, prison, on probation or parole. You tell us the size you need and we'll surprise you with the color. You'll also gain access to campaign updates and have your name listed as an advocate on the patron page of our website.

23 Left
27 Supporters
Select this reward
$65
The Environmentalist

Thank you for your support. In return you'll receive a one of a kind Summer ‘18 collection "Lorraine" blouse. You tell us the size (XS- 2XL- see picture below), and we'll select a stripe or pastel perfect for summer. What's more a book will be contributed on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and we'll also list your name on our patron page as an environmentalist.

34 Left
16 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
The Visionary

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll receive a private tour of our new studio space, 2 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts in the design of your choice in sizes XS-2XL. Choose from the “Lorraine”, the “Harriet” or the “Lucretia” (pictured below and above). Because this a pre-order of one of a kind pieces, you get to choose from these 3 styles and we get to surprise you with pretty pastels perfect for summer!  What's more, a book contribution will be made on your behalf, you'll receive access to campaign updates, and we'll also list your name on our patron page as a visionary. 

21 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
$350
The Reformer

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll receive a private tour of our new studio space, 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from Lorraine, Lucretia, or the Harriet- sized XS-2XL). You tell us the style and size and we'll happily surprise you with a pastel. What's more, a book contribution will be made on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and your name will be listed on our patron page as a reformer.

25 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$500
The Change Agent

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll be invited to meet with our creative team to discuss our mission, private tour of our new studio space, 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from "Lorraine", "Lucretia", or the "Harriet". Trust us, you'll love the fabrics we select! What's more, a book will be contributed on your behalf, you'll gain access to campaign updates, and we'll list your name on our patron page as a change agent.

13 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
$1,000
Leader of the New School

Thank you for your support. In return you’ll be given a seat behind the scenes at Grant Blvd’s Fall ’18 photoshoot, coffee with our creative team, private tour of our new studio space, one limited edition, one of a kind “6.5” tee (you choose the size, we choose the color), 3 one of a kind Summer ‘18 shirts (choose from Lorraine, Lucretia, or the Harriet in a color of our choosing), a book contribution on your behalf, access to campaign updates, and we'll list your name on our patron page as a leader of the new school.

3 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward