Innovation That Matters

| Photo source FutureStitch

Socks with a social conscience

Fashion & Beauty

A knitwear company provides stable employment for justice-impacted individuals and supports their personal and professional growth

Spotted: At any given time, there are approximately two million people behind bars in the United States according to the Prison Policy Initiative. And an estimated 68 per cent of released prisoners are re-arrested within three years, which jumps to a massive 83 per cent before a decade is up.  

Knitwear company FutureStitch, which is based in the US, is looking to end this cycle by providing meaningful work, new skills, and mental health support to once-incarcerated women.  

Reintegrating into society post-incarceration is an uphill battle, and finding work is foremost among the barriers. On top of providing a stable job, FutureStitch has an education programme in its US facility. It provides the women who work there with essential skills like sending emails and using Google Docs in tandem with more entrepreneurial expertise so they can work towards reaching managerial roles. 

As a leading manufacturer of socks that also has capabilities in shoes and circular knit, FutureStitch has already made waves in the industry. And Nike, Under Armour, Stance, Crocs, Toms, New Balance, Lulu Lemon, and the NBA number among its partners.  

In line with its social justice ethos, sustainability is woven into the company’s operations. For example, the FutureStitch facility located just outside of Shanghai received the highest possible LEED Platinum Certification for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility at every stage of its operations.

In the archive, Springwise has spotted other fashion companies with a focus on inclusion. These include another startup that also mainly hires formerly incarcerated individuals and a social enterprise that provides women with craft-based employment opportunities.

Written By: Amanda Simms



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