Refugees in Texas

Refugees are those who have left their own country to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Did you know that in the last 5 years, Texas has brought in more refugees than ANY OTHER STATE?

One reason for Texas embracing those fleeing their own countries is the state’s sheer size: It is the second-largest state by population and square mileage, and so has the capacity to accommodate more people. There are also a number of non-profits helping refugees in the resettlement process, which creates a large support system.
But there’s another aspect-an economic one. “For the most part, Texas communities have seen it to be a huge benefit to bring refugees in, an economic motor and a real opportunity for building the social fabric of these communities,” says Denise Gilman, Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas Law School.
— qz.com

Over the last few months, EBEC has formed partnerships with refugee groups in Austin and San Antonio.

Evan, Emily, and Thang at Open Arms, reviewing the brand new Texas grown & sewn Tees!

Evan, Emily, and Thang at Open Arms, reviewing the brand new Texas grown & sewn Tees!

Open Arms is a non-profit social enterprise of the Multicultural Refugee Coalition in Austin. They offer living-wage employment to refugee women in Austin.

EBEC's Texas Grown & Sewn Tshirts are produced here!

Los chiquitos locos in their loco local Texas Grown & Sewn shirts.

Los chiquitos locos in their loco local Texas Grown & Sewn shirts.

The goal for these shirts was to make sure EVERY PART of the supply chain upheld fair trade standards, so we used Texas organic cotton and produced them in Austin.

I even visited with a Texas Organic Cotton farmer in Lubbock, TX.

These organic cotton shirts respect the Texas plains by avoiding chemicals and support Texas jobs on the farm and in Austin!

Friday morning sewing class at the Center for Refugee Services in San Antonio

Friday morning sewing class at the Center for Refugee Services in San Antonio

I have also started hanging out with the refugee ladies in San Antonio! I saw some of their beautiful work at a Christmas market last year and asked if they would like to make a few simple items for the King William Fiesta Parade in April. They said yes!

So they made these adorable "Turban Twist" headbands and Fiesta skirts. 

Kimmie loves headbands and girly skirts. These will be available at the King William parade in San Antonio on April 23.

Kimmie loves headbands and girly skirts. These will be available at the King William parade in San Antonio on April 23.

Wouldn't it be great if most of our clothing was made locally, like how it has been throughout history before about 50 years ago?

Many refugees come in "pre-screened, fully documented, and eager to work." This kind of employment is a blessing to so many refugees in Texas. 

And boy, do they have some stories to share!!

Friday morning sewing class is a fun time to learn and practice sewing skills, and form friendships with women from ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Friday morning sewing class is a fun time to learn and practice sewing skills, and form friendships with women from ALL OVER THE WORLD!