This teen fashion designer is upcycling clothes for young homeless LGBT people
A teenage fashion designer from Los Angeles is upcycling unwanted clothes and donating them to young homeless LGBT youth.
Dillon Eisman is a high school senior who invented “Sew Swag” who decided to put his love of fashion to use for the community.
“Seeing people who are my age who are not accepted and basically being kicked out of their families because they’re gay was just so heartbreaking,” he said.
Eisman learnt how to sew with the help of his mother and began practicing on old clothes that family members no longer wanted.
He hopes that one day he can be so skilled that his can create his own brand on a much larger scale with other people working with him.
“It’s something that all underprivileged kids need — new clothes that make them feel good when they put them on,” Eisman said.
He added that he knew how important clothing was, especially as a queer person.
“I know as a gay person, dressing to your identity is so important,” he said.
“What you wear plays such a big role in how you view yourself and how you want others to view you, so I just think it’s a really important thing that these kids really needed.”
Covenant House International, the largest privately funded youth homeless shelter in the Americas, commissioned a study from Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) on Labor and Sex Trafficking Among Homeless Youth.
The research shows that homeless LGBT youth are disproportionately affected by sex trafficking.
The MSRP interviewed 641 young adults aged 17-25 from ten cities across the US and Canada.
A faith-based homeless youth centre rejected a $3,000 donation from a Gay Men’s Chorus – at the same time as making an emergency plea for government funding.
The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus had raised more than $3,000 for charity through a performance at a Methodist church in Grants Pass, Oregon.
The group had attempted to donate the proceeds from the concert to local Grants Pass charity Hearts With A Mission, which provides shelter and support to runaway, and at-risk youth.
However, the charity declined the donation because the donor was an LGBT group, fearful of a negative reaction from its evangelical Christian support base.