MEDIA RELEASE: April 29, 2023
$150,000 OTF Grant uplifts local organization that blends sustainable fabric and sewing skills to empower women
Ottawa, ON – On Saturday, local MPP Lucille Collard met with the team at EcoEquitable to hear more about the $150,000 Resilient Communities Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that was used to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, including hiring staff and purchasing equipment and materials to support the re-design of their sewing programs during the pandemic. The project comes to completion on June 14, 2023 and will mark a year of progress and resiliency for EcoEquitable as they look to continue to grow their programs and impact in the community for self-identifying women experiencing barriers to employment, newcomer women, and marginalized women.
“Congratulations to EcoEquitable on their hard work promoting social inclusion and sustainable development through sewing! So many women – newcomers, marginalized or self-identifying women - are hard at work in the Sewing for Jobs program, finding their path and building new communities. "I was so impressed to see the many beautiful fabrics on sale at the Open House and the sense of community they are building. EcoEquitable is very deserving of the Ontario Trillium Foundation funds to help them run a nonprofit social enterprise that is inclusive, equitable, and environmentally sustainable” said MPP Lucille Collard.
In addition to hiring staff and purchasing equipment and materials to support the program, the grant also supported the development of new and innovative plans for the organization to run their social enterprise programs, which helps the organization generate its own revenue to sustain its programs and operations in the long run. The organization is accessed for a variety of reasons, from their Sewing for Jobs flagship program, to their Eco Fabric Boutique, and Public Sewing Class offerings. And thanks to the $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, this organization and the women it serves will continue to thrive into the future.
"The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be overstated,” said Julia Hunter, Executive Director of EcoEquitable. “This grant has supported key staff positions and the continued success and implementation of our Sewing for Jobs program. Our programs are now fully operating again, in-person, and we are thrilled to be able to welcome a diversity of women into our programs and continue our work in the textile reduction space as well. We want to congratulate the Ontario Trillium Foundation on 40 years of granting and building healthy and vibrant communities across the province.”
EcoEquitable runs a monthly Open House on most of the last Saturday of each month, where they open their doors to the public to shop the Eco Fabric Boutique. All proceeds from the sale of fabric, notions, or donated sewing machines go towards their dual mission of textile waste reduction and women’s empowerment that intersect through the art of sewing. The shop can also be visited Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm. To learn more about their mission and programs, please visit: www.ecoequitable.ca
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
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