Vintage for a Cause - From Granny to Trendy offers women over 50, sewing workshops where they can meet, talk, be creative, learn and add value to their lifes.
The project addresses two issues. Textile waste and SILVER seamstresses’ sense of isolation. Created in 2012, by Helena Antonia, the project produces fashion collections using sustainable methods and materials. They source deadstock and sustainable fabrics to make beautiful vintage inspired styles at a fraction of the environmental impact of conventional fashion, thus assuming the mission to inspire a sustainable way to do fashion. The idea started a pilot during 2013. At first the team was composed by 4 volunteer designers and the clothes were made with de participation of women over 50, looking for creative activity, social inclusion and empowerment. Social impact was very significant. In order to meet commercial concerns, in 2015, the brand was registered and a fashion designer and a professional sewer joined the team, thus creating an efficient way of producing high quality upcycled clothes and also to provide upcycling workshops to the beneficiaries. Vintage for a Cause started to be present at lifestyle events testing the public feedback. In january2016 the brand affirmed itself as an ethical fashion brand. Since then it has been developing production processes that can respect the brand’s social and environment mission and its circular economy principles, expanding under the model of From Granny to Trendy Clubs.
Key stakeholders were Fundação EDP, Porto Municipality, Fashion Designer Katty Xiomara and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.1000 Rostos Association.
Three professionals (one project coordinator, one designer, one sewer). Five volunteers. Equipment and insurances.
Circa 64 000 € .
Evidence of success
The process adopted is highly effective. Around 30 sewers are involved in a permanent way in each Granny to Trendy Club. Around 100 people are active in events and workshops. In 2012 it was the winner of the 1st Prize in the Bootcamp in Social Entrepreneurship in IES Social Business School, powered by INSEAD. In 2013 received the award EDP Solidária and in 2018 received an honour mention in the Green project Awards and the Sustainability Award of Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Potential for learning or transfer
The structure of the practice is by itself exemplar. An association is created and registers brands. Some volunteers and one professional coordinator sponsored by donators help to gather a group of beneficiaries, women over 50 years old, wanting to fight social isolation, seeking for learning processes, social empowerment and recognition. Together they mount upcycling workshops to find in a creative activity, as seamstresses, activity and self-esteem. They are always guided by top fashion designers, a , always using the concept of upcycling, by using as basic material used clothes or textile deadstock. The transformed clothes are sold in an online store and fund and expansion process based on a social franchise with the name From Granny to Trendy Clubs. Transfer possibilities of this modus operandi not only are feasible, they are part of the project and encouraged.