Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Blog

The Untours Foundation held its second annual UnGala on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the gorgeous home of Bart and Chrissy Houlahan outside of Philadelphia. We are so grateful for everything about this event: our generous hosts, our wonderful community of supporters, our inspiring investees, and our hardworking volunteers. The celebration brought out nearly 100 of our closest friends to mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation with great food and drink, warm fellowship, and a little bit of April Fool’s Day tom foolery. The party’s atmosphere was a true expression of the foundation’s work: bringing passionate and caring people together in the understanding that business can be a force for good in the world.

Untours Foundation Director, Elizabeth Killough, with Rachel Faller, founder of tonlé

We used the occasion to present our new UnDreamed Of Award, including a $5,000 cash prize provided by an anonymous donor, to Rachel Faller and her visionary Fair Trade clothing business, tonlé, which employs women in Cambodia in a negative waste manufacturing model that challenges the fast fashion industry. tonlé recovers usable waste fabrics from other factories and creates brilliant designs from them. It goes further by taking scraps from their own manufacture of dresses and tops and using them to knit handbags and other accessories. And in a final delight—tonlé scoops up leftover tiny scraps and even threads and uses them in the creation of handmade paper, which they turn into beautiful note cards, which are also for sale.  tonlé doesn’t stop at protecting the environment from industrial fashion waste—they protect their employees as well. By paying workers twice the industry average and providing unlimited sick days, tonlé is helping to set a new standard in labor practices in that part of the world. We couldn’t have dreamed it up any better!

Devon Walls of New Day Chester

The crowd was also inspired by keynote speaker, Devon Walls, an Untours Foundation investee who is leading an arts renaissance in the struggling city of Chester, PA. His company, New Day Chester, and its non-profit arts partners are transforming Chester’s downtown; lifting up aspiring artists; generating much-needed economic activity; engaging children, adults, and families in exciting arts classes and workshops in every genre; and changing Chester’s image in the eyes of the world. Devon and New Day Chester are great examples of the power of art—and business—to heal distressed communities.

The Untours Foundation relies on its supporters to keep the mission of the foundation moving forward. Please consider making a generous donation today!

Enjoy more photos–click to enlarge.

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