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Refugee-Employing Enterprises

The 'Open Arms Shop' Provides a Living Wage for Women

— March 14, 2012 — Social Good
The Open Arms Shop isn't quite part charity, part business, but rather, as a social enterprise, it fuses these components to create something entirely unique on its own.

The products range from burnt orange skirts (made from an upcycled t-shirt, of course) to royal blue scarfs with lettuce-edging. What stays the same throughout is that each product is made from 100% recycled materials and, what's more, made by women refugees living in Austin, Texas.

"At Open Arms, we are committed to providing refugee women in America a living wage (the baseline hourly income necessary for food and shelter [including housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs]) which typically runs $3-$7 above the federal minimum wage," the social enterprise writes on its website. "Combining ESL and enrichment classes on an as-needed basis with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living wage are intended to set these women and their families on an upward path of integration and prosperity."

Now, that's the way to do business.

Contact Information
The Open Arms Shop website
Open Arms on Facebook
Open Arms on Twitter
Open Arms on YouTube

Trend Themes
1. Social Enterprises Empowering Refugees - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Creating businesses that provide living wages and meaningful work for refugees can promote integration and prosperity.
2. Upcycling and Sustainable Fashion - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Developing fashion brands that use 100% recycled materials can meet the growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products.
3. Workforce Development for Marginalized Communities - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Offering ESL and enrichment classes with family-friendly hours can help marginalized groups gain skills, integration, and economic empowerment.
Industry Implications
1. Social Entrepreneurship - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Supporting the growth of social enterprises that prioritize both profit and social impact can create sustainable business models for addressing societal challenges.
2. Fashion and Apparel - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Fostering the adoption of upcycling and sustainable practices in the fashion industry can lead to a more environmentally conscious and socially responsible sector.
3. Workforce Development and Training - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Building comprehensive programs that provide accessible education and job opportunities for marginalized communities can contribute to social and economic equality.
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