Grant Blvd is much more than a sustainable fashion brand. This brilliant Black-owned, Philadelphia-based apparel company make one-of-a-kind pieces from deadstock and upcycles thrift store cast-offs into beautiful clothing.
Beyond this, Grant Blvd stands up for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, in its hiring practices, in some of its designs (like shirts that read “end cash bail”), and in its donations to Books Through Bars, which provides books to prisons. Founder Kimberly McGlonn is fluent in the issues of the criminal justice system and the use of prison labor in fashion, and she is an articulate advocate for reforms in this broken system.
So we were thrilled recently when she won a Bey Good grant from pop icon Beyoncé. The singer’s foundation supports Black-owned businesses and has targeted its grants to help small businesses survive and thrive during the financial hardships of the pandemic. BIPOC-owned businesses have suffered much more than their white-owned counterparts in the midst of COVID-related closures and a drop in income for would-be consumers.
Kimberly says she plans to use some of the grant money to hire additional women to her staff. She has also been excited about the local media attention the award has prompted, and she has used the media time to talk about the issues of fast fashion and prison labor. You can read more about Kimberly here.
Visit the Grant Blvd website to see her very stylish collections and to read more about the company’s mission. If you would like to learn more about mass incarceration and some of its many issues, follow Kimberly’s recommendation and watch the documentary 13th on Netflix.
The Untours Foundation is a proud investor in this enterprise.