Shopping can benefit more than just you and your fab wardrobe. What if it could also help someone less fortunate than you? With lur® apparel, you can do just that, and they’re launching a new program to make it even easier.
“We’re launching the ‘Wear It Forward’ commitment to create a tangible link between our customers and those who benefit from our social mission,” says founder and CEO Mark Heiman.
This approach provides the family and community of the recipient with enhanced economic security. “We view our ‘Wear it Forward’ program as just the beginning of the lasting impact we can create through this type of effort,” says Heiman.
They are currently working with a non-profit partner that provides the vocational training to create a line of accessories from their own production waste (fabric scraps) that can be made by the vocational school graduates. This will allow them to provide graduates with sustainable jobs and income. “Our hope is through these efforts we are creating a rising tide of prosperity in one of the areas of the world that needs it the most,” explains Heiman.
The company was started as a social enterprise and follows a triple bottom line approach to the business. “We have always produced environmentally friendly products and since our inception we’ve given back financially the communities we operate in,” says Heiman. “We are always looking at how we can carry our mission even further and ‘Wear it Forward’ was a natural extension to go beyond providing financial support.”
Wear it Forward allows them to work hand in hand with their non-profit partners to provide vocational training and develop products that our target market will love.
The commitment grew out of the company’s existing relationship with local non-profit Miracles in Action. Miracles in Action works to support the Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation, which develops programs for the indigenous population of Santa Cruz La Laguna – the same region where lur® manufactures their clothes.
The adult vocational training program that Amigos runs, CECAP (Centro de Capacitacion), offers programs for students and adults in sewing, computer education, carpentry, welding and foot loom weaving. These skills help participants get jobs, start businesses, and create products for sale in both local and international markets.
News of the ‘Wear It Forward’ program comes as lur® is also working with CECAP participants to create products for their upcoming accessory line of scarves. The scarves, made from lur®’s fabric scraps, will be produced by students during and after their training and sold online and through retail stores in the US and Canada. The students will be paid directly for the goods they produce, increasing their wages and market opportunities.
“Although our support at this time is limited to CECAP, we are investigating expanding the commitment to include domestic opportunities as well,” says Heiman. “We can see one day using this commitment to provide meals for the hungry, or similar education and training to those in need here in Cincinnati.”
There’s more exciting news, too. lur®’s parent company, Tulong LLC, announced the brand would be moving into a new facility in Cincinnati’s Northside. The 15,000 square foot facility has been renovated to facilitate the brand’s arrival. The new building will bring together the brand’s seven employees for the first time since its launch in 2012.
“We couldn’t be happier to be investing right here in Cincinnati,” says Heiman. “We’re confident that Cincinnati’s Northside and this new facility will help foster continued growth for our brand.”
The company sees a lot in their future as they continue to expand and grow. “By listening, learning, and treating our staff, suppliers and customers like queens and kings. We are creating styles that our customers love, providing service that exceeds expectations, and treating everyone we touch with dignity and respect,” says Heiman. They continue to expand the number of retail stores they are available in and are seeing growth in their online store.