These hand-woven pieces are fashioned for you through Social Catalysts’ program that enables individuals with disabilities to work and simultaneously helps minimize our impact on the environment. Environmentalist? Promoter of social good? Style conscious?
Social Catalysts achieves its mission through a partnership model. For our weaving initiative, we collaborate with established social service agencies that provide employment training services and day habilitation for adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, mental illness, and behavioral health disabilities.
Our weaving sites are located in Somerville, Allston, and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Lawrence is one of the historical homes of the New England textile industry so it’s a fitting location for the birth of this weaving program. Social Catalysts provides each social service agency with the resources to run a weaving operation, including the raw materials such as videotape and the loom. The loom is set up at the social services agency site by a professional weaver who creates the warp, the long parallel threads that are the framework for the weaving. The reclaimed videotape will be woven into the warp to create the fabric. The agency identifies potential weavers—clients who are interested in trying it out—and then supervises their work. The weavers are paid for their work. Social Catalysts also offers weaving training.
We also partner with professional weavers and seamstresses. When the whole bolt of fabric is done, it is passed on to a professional seamstress who creates our products, including beautiful tote bags, clutches and zipper pouches.