Thanks to my friend Lee, I had the good fortune of meeting Deborah the Founder of Hearts of Gold. The non profit exists to improve the lives of homeless mothers and their children. She said “If you are giving back, what purpose does life have.” www.heartsofgold.org> RESTORE™CLOTHING is already dreaming about ways to collaborate.
Our favorite part of our work at RESTORE™CLOTHING is the extent of what we are learning and the connection to our community. Thank you you Jillian Blume and the New York Observer for highlighting Lifelong Learning and for shining the light on us and the Sustainable Designer Entrepreneur Certificate Program at FIT coming in March 2010!
Céleste and Anthony Lilore
Over the summer, Anthony and Céleste Lilore attended a series of classes on Sustainability in order to stay current for their brand of eco-friendly apparel, RESTORE™CLOTHING. The “Tools of the Trade-Go Green” series was held at The Fashion Institute of Technology.
We took the classes to make sure we’re in compliance with what’s happening from a labor standpoint and from materials,” says Céleste. “But in addition to the educational benefits, we also made wonderful connections that have evolved into both personal and business connections with like-minded individuals.”
When they decided to launch RESTORE™CLOTHIN, they were already living a green lifestyle. They had a company that makes uniforms for luxury cosmetic and fragrance companies, and when sourcing textiles for these private label clients, they kept stumbling on eco-friendly fabrics, but they couldn’t sell them. “Five years ago, I don’t think people were as aware as they are today.”
So we had this vision, Céleste says. “We wanted to take what we know how to do professionally and marry it to our driving interests, which are wellness and the environment. We did a boatload of research on the internet, but we couldn’t find any sustainability courses that were offered locally and were economical until the series at F.I.T. came up.”
Céleste describes the classes as very open, with fruitful exchanges between the people who led the classes ad the people who were attending. The majority of people that attended the class were either starting green businesses or already had them, and they were looking for some kind of support network. There were students in the classes that I already knew, and we connected even more with the community.”
It helped the couple gain a greater understanding of sustainability across a multitude of disciplines. “It also taught us about fair trade practices and what can actually happen in communities offshore. One of the seminar leaders owns a handbag company, and he employs women in three Mexican villages. He is the largest employer of people in those villages. It was very inspirational.”
They are now excited to learn that F.I.T. is launching a new Sustainable Design Entrepreneurs Certificate program this March. “It should be of great value to many entrepreneurs trying to learn how to go green or to help their clients go green.”
From frustrated bystander to community organizer Laura van Straaten helps us start out 2010 filled with hope and wonder. Thanks to Ms van Straaten’s tireless efforts the Fire Dept is offering CPR Training in 28 New York Sports Clubs around New York City. FDNY CPR to Go is a 3 month pilot program.