United Colours of Fashion (UCOF Canada) is a non-profit focused on empowering newcomers and BIPOC/visible minority groups facing barriers to vocational training, education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, through the UCOF Sewing Hub Project. It aims at addressing the economic, social, and cultural needs of participants who are drawn from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. It also provides a platform for participants to express their talents and pursue their passion in the fashion industry by showcasing their designs alongside established fashion designers/retailers at the annual UCOF Fall Fashion Show.
Over the last few years, New Brunswick has witnessed an influx of immigrants from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds with varying skill sets including sewing and fashion designing. Many often arrive in Canada with high expectations of a better life for themselves and their families. However, due to some barriers, including language, the settlement process often extends beyond the anticipated timeframe.
United Colours of Fashion (UCOF Canada) seeks to empower newcomers and visible minorities in overcoming identified barriers through fashion.
To harness the talents of newcomers and visible minority groups who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in the fashion industry by creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities that enable them to become active players in growing the local economy through their skills, vocation, activities, and businesses.
To be a platform for empowerment and collaboration towards a more inclusive and diverse cultural representation
To help newcomers, BIPOC/visible minority groups overcome economic barriers by providing fashion training and knowledge-sharing opportunities through partnerships with industry experts and institutions.
To increase brand visibility for local, newcomer/immigrant businesses in the fashion industry through UCOF fall fashion shows
To support newcomers, BIPOC/ visible minority groups with appropriate strategies and resources required in the attainment of their life goals, particularly with regards to the fashion industry.
To promote acceptance of the growing diversity and multiculturalism composition of New Brunswick through increased public awareness
To attract, integrate and retain immigrants interested in the fashion industry in New Brunswick as their province of choice.
Why Colours of Fashion
Colour is a form of non-verbal communication with various elements around us. Each colour represents varying ideas and identities in different cultures. Similarly, fashion is a unique, dynamic and compelling form of communication, which makes it possible for individuals to connect based on common identity while expressing their unique personalities.
The fact that colours mean different things to different people established the difference in background, race and ideologies of newcomers and various people across the world. In the world of fashion, when various colours are combined using various designs, fabrics and styles, the results are often magical, hence they appeal to our subconsciousness.
United Colours of Fashion was borne out of the need to celebrate the uniqueness of each colour, race, nationality, background, in line with the values that each of them contributes to the cultural and economic landscape of Canada. One of the main goals of the UCOF Fall Fashion Show is to promote engagement and collaboration among fashion enthusiasts of diverse backgrounds while providing training and mentorship where necessary.