Between 1948 and 1949 approximately 2500 tailors and their families immigrated from Europe to Canada through the Garment Workers Scheme, a plan that found jobs for those with skills in tailoring. It was the first time in history that the country opened its doors to so many Jewish people, many of whom survivors of the holocaust. Thanks to the unique employment opportunities, these immigrants were able to rebuild their lives.
To commemorate the momentous time in history one social entrepreneur launched a project documenting the stories of those tailors. And, wanting to replicate the success of that innovative model of 1948, his team started a social enterprise to help refugee tailors find jobs in Canada, once again using the tools of their trade.
On today’s episode, we speak with Paul Klein, founder and CEO of Impakt, and its nonprofit arm, Impakt Labs which recently launched The Tailor Project, leveraging a social innovation from Canada’s past to bring jobs and hope to refugees of today. In our conversation, Klein explains what inspired the Tailor Project and its social enterprise – a made-to-measure shirt company that provides meaningful employment to refugee tailors living in Canada.
He shares the initiative’s auspicious beginnings that saw the very first shirt produced presented to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a recent Holocaust Remembrance Day event. And he offers his vision for the Tailor Project, a social enterprise borne of history, whose impact and relevance is being re-imagined today.
Listen to the story of The Tailor Project below. Enjoy. Share.