Workways is a bottom up approach to data gathering facilitated through participatory style workshops centered on workers needs. It was co-designed and in partnership with Fashion that Works, Custom Collaborative’s first incubated women led worker owned manufacturing coop to help identify the founders’ needs and support them in transitioning from workers to coop-owners entering NYC’s garment sector. 

Custom Collaborative is a workforce development program championing women from low income & immigrant communities as entrepreneurs and designers in the fashion industry. 

PROJECT

OVERVIEW

In NYC, there is a staggering income inequality which impacts immigrant, BIPOC and low income communities disproportionately. While immigrants form a large part of the city’s workforce, they are clustered in a relatively small number of occupations, dominating jobs that offer low to moderate wages,  in sectors such as food service, construction, health care, manufacturing, and retail. Lacking opportunity for advancement and health benefits, many immigrant workers end up trapped in these lower wage jobs. 

 

An overwhelmingly high percentage of immigrant workers, most of whom are women, make up the skilled labor force of NYC’s fashion garment manufacturing sector. Yet they have little power over their own working conditions and wages. 

CHALLENGE

MORE SOON

PARTNER 

Custom Collaborative

Ngozi Okaro , Executive Director 

Tessa Maffucci, Strategy Director

Founders of Fashion that Works

ROLE

DESIGN RESEARCH, LEAD VISUAL DESIGNER, WORKSHOP DESIGN & FACILITATOR

PROJECT DURATION

 2020 | 1 YEAR

TEAM

VANESSA YIP

BUILDING INCLUSIVITY WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY