Nurturing People with Special Needs and Disadvantaged Communities
I was inspired by the founder of the Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR), Eileen Yap's vision to nurture the people with special needs and disadvantaged communities through an inclusive movement called Fashion for a Social Cause. I knew that I wanted to support her movement by bringing in SFR’s items to the Livconsciously site and impact the lives of its beneficiaries.
Triana (T): Tell us more about SFR?
Eileen (E): SFR is a social enterprise and we nurture people with special needs in our Fashion for a Social Cause and Food for a Social Cause movement. Currently, we run a centre for families with special needs, 2 retail Fashion for a Social Cause stores and 2 Food for a Social Cause stores. These stores are managed by youths and/or families with special needs. The trainings that we teach the youths include designing, drawing, crafts-making, sewing, retail management, food & beverage preparation and customer service. Proceeds from the merchandise and/or food are then used to hire and employ the youths with special needs, so they can earn a sustainable living too.
Can you share more on your beneficiaries and how you support them?
E : Our beneficiaries are people with special needs and disadvantaged groups. We support them as we run a centre where they can visit weekly, and we also provide authentic learning environments since we have 2 retail fashion stores and 2 food stores, so the youths are also hired and employed too to sustain their living. The disadvantaged communities learn about creative arts (design, art, crafts-making and photography), performing arts (modelling, dance, singing and public speaking) and/ or entrepreneurship (retail management, events management and online business), so that their talents are presented in our Singapore Fashion Runway shows and platforms.
T : What is the inspiration behind your business?
E : I wanted to impact lives and so when I started SG50 in Singapore Fashion Runway, it was to create a platform so people with diversified talents can come together. The inspiration behind my business is about impacting lives.
T : Why and how do you work with Livconsciously?
E : Livconsciously purchases our items and supports our Fashion for a Social Cause movement. Every purchase and support helps our social enterprise so that we can raise funds to run our centre, stores and empower the youths with special needs. I think Livconsciously runs great initiatives and we are very thankful for what they are doing for the community.
T : What life mantra do you live by to keep yourself motivated and passionate with what you do?
E: Believe in yourself, and with the right purpose, you can help many people with your talents.