First, happy new year to all of our members and friends. 2016 was clearly a year of change and polarisation at an international level, though perhaps those of us living in Switzerland have been somewhat isolated from that. Moving into 2017, we would like to renew our commitment to have a positive impact in our community and beyond, and we look forward to achieving that together with our members, customers, and supporters.

We plan to do this by growing Project Rethread, our refugee integration programme, and to expand our international collaborations with other social enterprises. In 2016, 38 people who come from a refugee background attended our Thursday morning sewing programme and our other social events. We also piloted work placements for two tailors, Cisse and Bijoux, and this has been valuable and interesting from both sides. In 2017, we would like to expand this programme to offer a total of four work placements.

Early in 2016, we also started to work with Freeset, a social enterprise based in India that employs former prostitutes in Calcutta. Together with Freeset, we have been offering custom printed promotional gear to conference organisers and corporate customers. In 2017, we will be piloting two additional collaborations, the first with a social enterprise in Romania that employs local artisans, and the second with a Greek organisation that re-trains and employs women who have been subject to human trafficking. These two enterprises will be producing some items that we have designed with our team at Social Fabric.

Of course, we will also continue to offer courses and community events, in order to bring our members and supporters together. On that note, we would like to invite you all to join us at Social Fabric on the evening of January 19th (18.30 – 21.00) for a potluck dinner. Let’s bring in the new year by getting together, sharing some food, and exchanging unwanted Christmas gifts. Bring your favorite dish, with enough to share with at least three other people. Did you receive any Christmas gifts that you don’t like or won’t use? Bring those as well (optional), and you can offer them for exchange. Social Fabric will supply drinks, plates, napkins, and cutlery.

If you haven’t been to visit us before, you can find us at Eichstrasse 29, 8045 Zurich, on the third floor of the building.

We wish you all a great start to 2017, and we look forward to seeing you soon,

Heather and the Social Fabric team