is a New York City-based entrepreneurship and workforce development program that trains and supports low-income women, especially immigrant women, to launch viable apparel careers and businesses. By learning the standard techniques and ethical business practices of the garment industry, our clients professionalize their sewing and design skills, overcome barriers to employment, and ultimately, change the economics of the apparel industry.
What We Do
CC teaches women to create and sell high-quality and sustainably sourced made- to-measure garments, enabling them to support themselves and to meet other women’s need for clothing that actually fits. CC customers find a valuable alternative to the “fast fashion” that exploits people and the environment, while trainees and graduates receive support for their development and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Custom Collaborative's comprehensive training program covers the art, craft, technique, and business of clothing. Our 3rd 14-week training cohort began in November. We are creating a network of skilled professionals and cultivating a customer base to extend Custom Collaborative's social and economic impact.
Custom Collaborative offers management consulting, mentorship, technical assistance, advanced training, and professional equipment to participants who have completed the training program and to others in the garment industry. Our goal is to maximize the opportunity to create jobs and strengthen local economies.
worker owned cooperative
A worker-owned sewn-goods cooperative comprised of Custom Collaborative graduates. We accept sample and contract manufacturing orders of 1 - 200 pieces. We sell made-to-measure clothes to individual clients.
Ifey Anoliefo, Legal & Regulatory Advisor, Department of Veteran Affairs
Starita Ansari, Director of Philanthropy at United Methodist Women
Kobla Asamoah, Director, HBK Incubates at Hot Bread Kitchen
Heidi Bruce, Director of Development, University of Maryland
Ruth Conner, Management Consultant, Clearstory Communications
Dennis Derryck, President, Corbin Hill Road Farm
Cathy Gilliard, Senior Minister, Park Avenue United Methodist Church
Guylene Grace, Senior Product Development & Garment Production Consultant
Makeba Morgan Hill, Deputy to the President and Chief Planner, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Amini Kajunju, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Africa Integras
Christina Lem, Strategy Consultant, Poet’s House
Marsha Modeste, Assistant Professor, Penn State University
Patience Oti, Assistant Vice-President, WIN (formerly Women In Need)
Eric Palmer, Grants Accountant, Stevens Institute of Technology
Michelle Pryce-Screen, Manager of Social Services, Hope Community
Mark Reed, Founder, Contact Fund LLC
Arva Rice, President, New York Urban League
Andrea Rogers, Nonprofit & International Philanthropy Consultant, CRE
Lisa Shepard Stewart, Designer, Cultured Expressions, Inc.
Vanna Sin, Director of Donor Engagement Fundraising, ASPCA
Caitrin Watson, Fabric and Sustainability Coordinator, Lafayette 148
Alfonso Wyatt, Public Speaker
Support for Custom Collaborative creates work and businesses for low-income women in garment manufacturing. Your generous gift helps our participants professionalize and learn, get hands-on work experience, and start new careers as artisans and entrepreneurs.
WHAT YOUR gift SUPPORTS
$3,000: Supplies and curricular materials for one training cohort of 10 students.
$1,000: Plus size professional dress form.
$500: Fabric supplies for one training cohort of 10 students.
$100: Muslin fabric for three dress projects.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT US
- Donate dress forms, fabric and sewing machines.
- Volunteer as a model for students (women of all sizes and shapes are needed).
- Volunteer as a classroom assistant.
- Volunteer as a guest speaker.
Partner with us
- Introduce us to donors and investors.
- Refer potential students to our program.
- Talk to us about contract manufacturing.
- Talk to us about hiring graduates.
We are grateful for the support of our partners and donors who are dedicated to helping low-income women obtain education and networks so they can access good paying careers. We extend special thanks to The Riverside Church.
Alder, New York
Lafayette 148 New York
Wesley, Brown & Bartle
Eileen Fisher Community Foundation
Goldman Sachs Gives
Hyde and Watson Foundation
New York Women's Foundation
Valentine Perry Snyder Fund
Chinonso Akano, Rhonda Allen, Ifeyinwa Anoliefo, Anonymous, Ava Bynum, Susan Bynum, Deborah Chay, Ruth Conner, Dennis Derryck, Angelique Dorsey, Melody Rollins Downes, Steven & Susie Feldman, Reverend Cathy S. Gilliard, Victoria Grant, Dr. Adam Hill, Suwha Hong, Kerry James, David Jones, Veronica Jones, Amini Kajunju, Patricia J. Kozu, Rana LaPine, Christina Lem, Michele Long, Marsha Modeste, Carol Baldwin Moody, Alisia Moore, James Okaro, Ngozi Okaro, Nnabike Okaro, Eric Palmer, Christine Pomeranz, Michelle Pryce-Screen, Andrea Rogers, Vanna Sin, Denise Slater, Ramona Sunderwirth, Elaine Reiss, Juliana Rowe, Solade Rowe, Sharona Sankar-King, Laurel Schaffer, Willa Shalit, Vivian Taylor, Soo Uhm, Carl Webb, Susan York