Seeds to Sew International is a member of the Fair Trade Federation focused on improving the lives of women and girls in disadvantaged communities through education and job skills training. Women and girls participating in Seeds to Sew programs in rural Kenya made all products that they sell — all proceeds benefit the artisans directly.
Previously located in a smaller shop down an alley off Seminary Avenue, founder and executive director Ellyn Ito said they are excited to move into a larger location. The Seeds to Sew team just returned from a service trip to Kenya, where they visited with all the seamstresses and artisans, and brought back lots of new inventory.
“In addition to our regular and ever-growing line of products, we thought it would be interesting to try something different,” Ito said. “Each month, we will give other organizations who work directly with artisans a platform to showcase a sampling of their product line, while simultaneously offering our loyal customers something new to look forward to each month.”
Starting April 6, on the first Friday of every month Seeds to Sew will have extended hours and an open house to introduce the Pop-Up Shop for the month. The Pop-Up Shop will feature products from other “do-good” organizations. Their first Pop-Up Shop feature will be Sustainable Threads from North Brunswick, who work with artisans all over India.
“The goal is to give our customers a new reason each month to visit the shop by celebrating other socially-conscious organizations,” Ito said. “We are going to be carrying beautiful, creative, unique products. Of course, we will always have our Seeds to Sew gifts that empower the lives of women and girls, but we want to share the good work that other socially-conscious organizations are doing as well.”
The larger space will also afford the organization an opportunity to involve volunteers on a more regular basis. Seeds to Sew works closely with other community organizations to improve the lives of those in need, and works with area high school and college students in service learning opportunities. Last summer, students from Hopewell Valley Central High School reinforced their sewing co-op in Nyanchonori Kenya, a joint collaboration between Seeds to Sew and Global Connections Kenya (an organization founded by HVCHS biology teacher David Angwenyi).
For more information about Seeds to Sew, visit their website.