In an unprecedented move, Natalie Chanin—founder and principal of Alabama Chanin and The School of Making—has announced her plans to gift the businesses to Project Threadways, the 501(c)(3) she created to record, study and interpret history, community, and power through the lens of fashion and textiles.
Learn more about these three iconic brands and their future in Alabama.
About Alabama Chanin, The School of Making and Project Threadways
Before she was a household name in fashion, Natalie Chanin moved to New York City post-college to pursue her passion in style and design. After catching the eye of influential New York designers for her one-of-a-kind designs, Natalie called workshops in New York to produce a limited run of her t-shirts—however, none could deliver the quality she was looking for.
Instead, Natalie turned to her hometown of Florence—once a thriving hub for embroidery and textile manufacturing. There, she founded Alabama Chanin—a fashion company that creates textiles and fashion through commitments to sustainable design, preservation of artisanal craft, organic supply chains and local manufacturing.
In addition to Alabama Chanin, Natalie has founded two Florence-based organizations to further her commitment to the preservation of the art of design.
- The School of Making provides workshops, conversations and experiences that explore creativity, craft and design through the act of making, focusing on cultural preservation and education.
- Project Threadways, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that documents, studies and interprets history, community and power through the lens of fashion and textiles. From raw material to finished goods, Project Threadways seeks to understand the impact of textiles on our community, nation and world.
Becoming one Nonprofit
To help preserve the legacy and ethos of her brands, Natalie Chanin will gift Alabama Chanin and The School of Making to Project Threadways. Operating under the umbrella of Project Threadways, Alabama Chanin and The School of Making will adopt a non-profit structure to preserve the past, present, and future work of each branch and allows for a strengthened commitment to Chanin’s values of sustainability.
In order to support this change, Natalie Chanin plans to renovate a building in downtown Florence—complete with an education center and workshop—to expand her impact in the Florence community.
Want to learn more about the evolution of Alabama Chanin, The School of Making and Project Threadways, check out their website at AlabamaChanin.com/Project-Threadways.
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