From a younger age, Nurayn Khan had an curiosity in style and designing her personal line of modest and natural clothes.
The 16-year-old Barrington Excessive College senior started researching how briskly style is produced and realized quite a lot of clothes manufacturers and firms outsourced their labor abroad to factories in China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh and different international locations with low labor requirements.
“It was truthfully appalling to me,” Nurayn stated. “It was very emotional and heartbreaking.”
Nurayn determined she wished to be a part of the answer, not the issue created by the industrial fast-fashion business. She channeled her ardour, and compassion, into launching a nonprofit clothes firm — with the assistance of her mom, Shazia — that educates and employs refugee Muslim ladies as seamstresses. Producing clothes in a socially accountable approach grew to become her focus fairly than earning money.
The South Barrington mother-daughter duo began All Sorts Organic in 2019. It goals to empower refugee ladies and ladies “one sew at a time,” serving to them achieve monetary independence by means of a stitching coaching program. The ladies create modest trendy clothes for teen ladies “incorporating a enterprise mannequin devoted to truthful commerce and sustainable practices,” the corporate’s web site reads.
Nurayn Khan, 16, of South Barrington is a senior at Barrington Excessive College who began a nonprofit to assist educate and make use of refugee ladies as seamstresses. They make aprons, oven mitts, blankets and hats fabricated from yarn, together with skirts seen right here with Nurayn.
– Mark Welsh | Workers Photographer
Nurayn had been volunteering at a refugee reduction middle and meals pantry in downtown Chicago when she realized what number of of these ladies wanted employment as a result of they’d change into the household’s main breadwinner.
“As I began actually attending to know the ladies and listening to their actually emotional tales about how they left every little thing they knew, every little thing they’d again at house only for a contemporary begin in America and a greater future for his or her youngsters, I spotted that I wished to focus extra on serving to the ladies than I did on my style designs,” Nurayn stated.
The refugee ladies she works with come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Myanmar, Syria and different international locations. They’re taught to crochet and stitch at Glendale Heights-based ICNA Aid’s middle in Chicago and make quite a lot of merchandise, together with hats, blankets, pillow instances, tunics, aprons, potholders, masks and ornamental place mats. Neighborhood members and native companies donated bolts of material for the merchandise and the Khans raised cash to buy stitching machines for the ladies to have the ability to earn a living from home.
“It is an necessary approach to help the laborious work that refugee ladies are placing in (for) their path towards independence in a brand new nation,” stated Shazia Khan, an Indian American main care doctor with Loyola Medical Middle in Oak Brook. “We practice about six to 10 ladies at a time. We have already had two graduated courses and now we’ve a 3rd spherical (of scholars).”
Nurayn Khan, 16, of South Barrington is a senior at Barrington Excessive College. Her nonprofit, All Kinds Natural, helps educate and make use of refugee ladies as seamstresses.
– Mark Welsh | Workers Photographer
At current, 20 ladies are taking part in stitching courses each Saturday. A number of ladies who’ve graduated from this system have discovered jobs stitching for Chicago-area corporations. Six ladies recurrently sew merchandise for All Kinds.
“All of them have been supplied some kind of gainful employment,” Khan stated. “Those who have been proficient, we truly have been in a position to associate with one other Muslim lady who lives in Kildeer. She began promoting medical caps when the pandemic occurred (and) employed eight of our women to stitch her caps at their very own properties. She was sending (caps) to totally different hospitals.”
All through the summer season, Khan and Nurayn have been promoting All Kinds merchandise at farmers markets in Barrington and Batavia and thru their Etsy site. The duo will probably be promoting objects at Batavia’s MainStreet Winterfest Artwork Market in downtown, Dec. 10-12.
“We’re at all times on the lookout for native markets to promote at,” Khan stated. “We’re getting such an inflow of individuals coming and donating cash, shopping for objects. We are attempting to achieve out to the Muslim group to allow them to see what (these) Muslim ladies have been doing.”
All proceeds from gross sales go straight towards coaching and supporting the ladies.
Nurayn stated she hopes to proceed working the nonprofit even after she graduates from highschool and heads to school. She plans to main in sustainability, specializing in sustainable style, environmental research and public coverage.
“We have truly been hiring stitching instructors … I nonetheless plan on designing and … holding in contact with the ladies, as nicely,” she stated.
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