Michigan clothing nonprofit expands with federal funding

DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) — A Michigan-based nonprofit is set to expand with federal funding, with 74 new jobs planned for the state as a result.

The National Garment Nonprofit Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC) is a nonprofit institute for the sewing trades that was developed to change the way the industry operates. Company officials said they are making American apparel manufacturers competitive in the global market.

“The last 30 years have truly been a race to the bottom,” said ISAIC Board Vice Chair Brenna Lane. says on their site. “In today’s global economy, an entire garment is made for pennies or just mere dollars. But we know why the cost is so cheap: there are environmental practices that are terrible. There are human labor practices that are terrible.

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Jennifer Guarino, CEO of ISAIC, said the company is training people in the United States to make clothes locally, competing with fast fashion that relies on international shipping.

“If you want to call your product sustainable, but it depends on people who don’t have sustainable lives, that’s not sustainable,” Guarino said.

ISAIC will expand its operations in Detroit, Governor Whitmer announced Monday. The announcement was made alongside the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), with the project expected to generate a capital investment of $500,000 and create up to 74 jobs.

A $259,000 Jobs Ready Michigan grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund is helping fund the project.

The organization plans to expand its facility in Detroit with new machinery and equipment. The project will involve new advancements for on-demand cutting and sewing needs that can help reduce costs while meeting changing needs in 24 hours.

“This expansion of ISAIC, a national nonprofit sewing trades organization that regularly partners with Carhartt, will create 74 well-paying manufacturing jobs in Detroit and build on our economic momentum,” Governor Gretchen said. Whitmer. “I will work with anyone to invest in our hardworking employees and innovative businesses so they can thrive. Right now Michigan’s economy is growing.

ISAIC has partnered with Carhartt and others to develop industrial sewing trades in Michigan. The project is expected to bring 74 jobs to Detroit residents with future pathways into the industry.

Michele Wildman is Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives for MDEC. Much like what happened with watchmaker Shinola, she said she wanted to see Detroit become known for fashion.

“We are thrilled to celebrate ISAIC’s continued growth and look forward to working together to grow, create jobs and provide better opportunities for Detroit residents,” said Wildman. “We are grateful to the Governor and lawmakers for the continued support of the Jobs Ready Michigan program. We are proud to partner with DEGC, the City of Detroit and ISAIC as it builds on Detroit’s manufacturing heritage and spirit of innovation and creates a thriving fashion hub in the Motor City. .

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