“Refugee women have the highest unemployment rate, about 60 percent,” Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, founder of Seattle-based Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) shared, “and over 85 percent of textile waste ends up in landfills.” RAI hires immigrant and refugee women for livable-wage jobs to sew for small-batch manufacturing. At the same time, they upcycle discarded or leftover materials. Over the last five years, 5,000 pounds of textiles did not end up in the landfill and many of the women have started their own small businesses.

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