A group of women gather around a table, with craft and sewing supplies

Fashion the Future Forward

As a company dedicated to creating ethical employment opportunities for women negatively affected by the carceral system in America, Grant Blvd is excited to be starting a new fellowship program: Fashion the Future Forward. We will be working with a cohort of women in a 6-week program, teaching them the technical skills that they need to create clothing for Grant Blvd, and enriching them through a series of wellness programs, including yoga, barre, and nutrition. All the materials used for sewing lessons in this program will be 100% reclaimed or upcycled.

The company lead on this project is Elizabeth Quinn, a Philadelphia-based designer who has experience in design, merchandising, and education. She has spent the past 4 years as a professor of fashion design at Drexel University, making her well-suited to educate fellowship participants. She is also currently employed as the Director of Impact for Grant Blvd, and is passionate about building infrastructure that allows small businesses to work within and alongside their communities. She was the instructor of the first Grant Blvd cohort members, who were trained in 2019, and is excited for the relaunch of this program. 

We will also be partnering with the WPSI (West Philadelphia Skills Initiative), managed by the University of Pennsylvaina’s Netter Center, which focuses on connecting young community members to positions in academic medical centers. The WPSI is expanding into professional development and career coaching for adults as well, making it a natural partner for this new Grant Blvd initiative.

Through Fashion the Future Forward, we are excited to be educating and empowering the next generation of Grant Blvd makers. When they have graduated, participants will be given a guaranteed spot in our paid internship program, followed by a job on our production team, earning $15 per hour. Through this program, we hope to challenge the criminalization of poverty, and design a radically inclusive pathway to progress the collective good of our community while protecting our planet.

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