Increasing job market prospects by making boxershorts
Many – especially immigrant – women have difficulty finding their place in society, even though they are very motivated and have a lot to offer. They have no jobs, little working experience and are often socially isolated.
Van Hulley is a sewing workshop in Groningen, where immigrant women with poor prospects on the job market can gain experience, skills and knowledge to increase their chances for a place in society and for a paid job. The women are given an education (sewing, but also a starter qualification for the intermediate vocational education level (MBO)) while at the same time increasing their independence, self-confidence, self-esteem and their social skills and network.
In the sheltered work environment, which is the sewing workshop, customers' shirts are transformed into unique boxer shorts. The women are stimulated as much as possible to find solutions to the problems they encounter in the working process, together. The responsibility for the quality of the product is given to the seamstresses themselves, in order to stimulate autonomy and self-management. Therefore, a lot of attention is given to learning how to give feedback and how to work in a team.
Van Hulley is an A-brand with a personal touch, which stands for re-/upcycling and social production. A brand with a good story. The quality has to be good. Customer focus and perception have to be as good as they can be. Van Hulley attempts to create a business model in order to achieve social return in a financially and environmentally sustainable manner.
Van Hulley trains immigrant women and thus increases their prospects on a paid job. Due to their cultures, many immigrant women already have a close affinity with sewing. By offering these women structure, education and responsibility, their self-confidence grows, which results in more cohesion, both within their families and in their neighbourhoods. If through this experience their chances of abandoning dependence on social security increases, because they will be able to accept a full job, then it is a double-edged sword.