Homeboy Industries Launches New Social Enterprise to Create More Jobs
Homeboy Industries has launched Homeboy Threads, a new social enterprise designed to support major fashion brands and companies in meeting their circularity goals, reducing environmental impacts, and improving the health of communities. By partnering with Homeboy Threads, apparel companies also have the opportunity to strengthen the mission of Homeboy Industries by helping to create quality jobs and training opportunities for formerly incarcerated and gang-involved individuals.
According to Closing the Loop: Increasing Fashion Circularity in California by McKinsey & Company, Californians bought and wore 780,000 tons of apparel in 2021 resulting in 740,000 tons of material that will eventually enter landfills, an amount that would cover an area more than 5 times the size of the City of Los Angeles. The report also finds that 92% of consumers surveyed said they would participate in a brand-sponsored apparel recycling opportunity if given the opportunity.
Operating out of a newly occupied, 20,000 square foot warehouse in the City of Commerce, Homeboy Threads has the infrastructure and capacity to process thousands of tons of clothing, extending their useful lives and preventing them from filling up landfills.
“We focus on sorting, grading, and pre-processing to optimize reuse and recycling outcomes for apparel and other textiles. This is the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting that brings circularity aspirations to life. It’s unglamorous but absolutely essential,” said Chris Zwicke, CEO of Homeboy Threads.“This work allows us to train and employ more people and is a direct extension of our belief that the circular economy must include people who have historically been left behind.”
Launched as a pilot last year, the social enterprise recently expanded a partnership with GUESS where clothes donated by GUESS customers are separated into items that will either be repaired and resold or recycled responsibly. A new and special collaboration between the two will be announced early next month. Homeboy Threads also has a partnership with Reformation, helping the brand responsibly reuse or recycle fabric scraps from their in-house manufacturing operations.
Every partnership has helped create jobs and training opportunities for participants and graduates of Homeboy Industries’ flagship 18-month program that, in addition to jobs and skills training, offers women, men and youth access to services including housing support, tattoo removal and mental health services.
Founded in 1988 by Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Homeboy Industries provides hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated individuals. Today, Homeboy Industries operates eleven social enterprises and is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. Every year, thousands of people are given the opportunity to heal from complex traumas through wrap around social services rooted in a culture of kinship and tenderness.
“Homeboy Industries supports people through an innovative model that includes an individualized approach, critical wraparound services, workforce training and jobs across eleven social enterprises. Healing is at the center of everything we do, and people are also learning valuable job and leadership skills as they work to change the direction of their lives,” said Thomas Vozzo, CEO of Homeboy Industries. “This new venture strengthens our broader mission and it’s exciting to know that we are already supporting a number of fashion companies successfully. It’s a milestone we’re proud of and we look forward to growing our list of partners into the future.”
Homeboy Threads is managed by the staff and leadership at Homeboy Electronics Recycling. Launched in 2016, the certified B Corporation supports a number of major corporations nationwide with IT asset disposition and electronic waste services. These two social enterprises demonstrate Homeboy’s commitment to create quality jobs in the green economy for people experiencing serious barriers to employment.
To learn more about Homeboy Threads, visit www.homeboythreads.com.
Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and reentry program in the world. Annually, the nonprofit welcomes nearly 8,000 people who are seeking services and support. An additional 10,000 people come as visitors who experience the exquisite mutuality of the community. Homeboy has an internationally recognized reentry program for formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated adults and youth focused on healing from complex trauma. In addition to providing comprehensive wrap around social services, Homeboy Industries provides job training and quality jobs through its 11 social enterprises. Homeboy Industries provides healing and alternatives to gang life, creating more inclusive, safer and healthier communities. Through the Global Homeboy Network, Homeboy Industries engages with hundreds of like-minded organizations around the world providing technical assistance to foster a paradigm of social change rooted in radical kinship and a commitment to standing with those on the margins. https://homeboyindustries.org
Homeboy Threads is a certified social enterprise offering reuse and recycling services for apparel and textiles. We specialize in sorting, grading, and pre-processing; the unglamorous but essential work that brings circularity and sustainability aspirations to life. Whether serving our customers as a one-stop-shop or as a partner in a broader program, we provide exceptional transparency and customizability compawith unparalleled social impact. As part of Homeboy Industries, the world’s preeminent gang rehabilitation and re-entry program, we proudly train and employ people committed to transforming their lives after incarceration. https://homeboythreads.com/
Guess?, Inc. designs, markets, distributes and licenses a lifestyle collection of contemporary apparel, denim, handbags, watches, eyewear, footwear and other related consumer products. Guess? products are distributed through branded Guess? stores as well as better department and specialty stores around the world. As of January 28, 2023, the Company directly operated 1,046 retail stores in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The Company’s partners and distributors operated 562 additional retail stores worldwide. As of January 28, 2023, the Company and its partners and distributors operated in approximately 100 countries worldwide. For more information about the Company, please visit www.guess.com.