REFOUNDRY: AN INNOVATIVE NEW PROGRAM
Refoundry trains formerly incarcerated people to refurbish and repurpose discarded materials into one-of-a-kind home furnishings. The program culminates with incubation and ongoing support to help participants develop their own successful businesses.
TWO PROBLEMS: ONE SOLUTION
Wasted Human Resources
While violent crime has gone down 30% over the last four decades, the prison population has risen over 700%. Today, more than 2.4 million people are in state and federal prisons. Of these, 700,000 are released each year, and face often insurmountable barriers to employment and healthful reintegration into society.
Wasted Environmental Resources
The U.S. has made great strides in recycling over the last decade, but our landfills remain choked by commercial and residential furniture, and by construction waste — all of which take a long time to break down. Many of these discarded resources still have valuable use.
A Solution: Refoundry
Refoundry recognizes the value in people and in materials too often discarded by society, and has designed a unique program that recognizes and promotes the worth of these precious resources. Refoundry products reflect their component parts and the people who are reworking them, each infusing the other with new use and value.
Refoundry products are not beautiful in the traditional sense — they may have scratches, dents, rust — and like all of us to some degree are imperfect. But what some eyes perceive as blemishes, we see as each piece's authenticity: Unique features that evoke a distinct history. At Refoundry we value the story in every piece of furniture, and in each of us.
FEATURED NON-PROFIT PARTNER
Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society provides education, employment, and extensive social service support to men and women coming home from prison in NY State. Recognizing the potential of Refoundry's innovative approach, Fortune provided us with our initial workspace on site at their Long Island City, Queens location.
Featured COMMUNITY Partner
Refoundry is grateful to the Flatbush Avenue Shake Shack for selecting our organization as its Community Partner. We look forward to working together with the Shake Shack team to further our mission.
Refoundry has selected participant Ralphy Dominguez to launch it's premiere incubation project. Ralphy developed business, branding and product development skills during a year-long program with Refoundry partner Defy Ventures. His business, Pen & Pistol, makes high-quality, handcrafted leather accessories. Read more about Ralphy & Pen & Pistol here, and follow their development on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
A young but vibrant company, Brooklyn Flea runs several highly-attended flea and food markets throughout Brooklyn. Supporting dozens of local artisans and small businesses, Brooklyn Flea has graciously offered to host Refoundry.