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Local organization needs your unwanted jeans

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Empowering women in the community, that’s what Sew Loved Women’s Center has been doing since 2011.

The organization began as an idea and a small group of neighborhood women; now 250 women visit the center each month.

Sew Loved needs your unwanted, unused blue jeans to continue production of their market bags.

Donated jeans are deconstructed, and the up-cycled materials are transformed into bags.

The production of the market bag is a great training piece for girls who want to get into industrial sewing.

President of Sew Loved, Vicki Miles, says there are thousands of open industrial sewing jobs in the region. She says manufacturers desperately need women who know how to sew. 

The sales of the market bag support the organization’s programs that teach sewing and valuable life skills to women in the area.The goal of Sew Loved is to be entirely self-sustaining by 2019.

The center offers all kinds of learn to sew and quilt programs, and soon garment construction classes for free to all women in the area.

Women from across Michiana are provided the tools they need to not only create sewing projects, but the training for employment.

Sew Loved has partnered with many organizations. For instance, the center teaches a course on basic home sewing skills with The Crossing in South Bend. 

If women can afford to make a donation for services, the center asks that they help. Otherwise, all services are free.

“They’re offered a way to be creative. As anybody knows, but women particularly, when they can exercise they’re creative side, it boosts they’re self- esteem so much. It adds value to their life, besides that we have a great community of women here, and being able to come in, and just hang out with other women who enjoy the needle arts is just really satisfying,” Miles said.

Every part of a pair of donated jeans is used in some type of way.

After the material is renovated into a market bag, the scraps are sent to support Goodwill as they are sold to a company who makes insulation and industrial rags out of the scraps.

“You don’t understand how much just one pair of jeans can help; it’s about half a market bag. Then, we can turn around and sell that and it helps support the operations here,” said Miles. 

Next week an Etsy shop for the market bag will be finalized and announced on Sew Loved’s Facebook page.

Volunteers with different talents are encouraged to volunteer at the center located at 251 E Sample Street in South Bend. “Come and volunteer at Sew Loved, one day a month, one day a week, we don’t care. But, come down visit us, get involved,” Miles said.

To learn more, you can visit Sew Loved’s Facebook page here, or contact Vicki Miles at 574.329.2639.

The organization is also collecting leather belts for a future product.

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