Alabama Chanin: 21 Years of Sustainability

Alabama Chanin - Mary Celeste Beall + Blackberry Farm, 2021

Mary Celeste Beall + Blackberry Farm, 2021

 Blackberry Farm publishes a conversation with Natalie in the The Radiate Issue, the third volume of Blackberry MagazineBlackberry Farm is a luxury resort, quietly tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Acquired by the Beall family decades ago through a project to preserve, protect, and honor this land and its natural resources, the farm now spans 4,200 acres and is home to two resorts, Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain. 

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Alabama Chanin - Nest Partnership, 2021

Nest Partnership, 2021

In the spring of 2015, The School of Making partners with Nest, a non-profit organization that supports the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan and maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion. The team at Nest collaborates with artisan-based businesses that have strong leadership and the potential to transform their communities by alleviating poverty, empowering women, and promoting peace.

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Alabama Chanin - Left on the Café Table, 2020

Left on the Café Table, 2020

In 2013, The Factory Café opens, becoming a gathering place for guests, community members, staff, workshop participants, and visitors to dine—and create. Four-by-six-inch recycled cards and sharp pencils are placed on each table so that guests can draw and write. The collection of thoughtful notes and unique sketches that are regularly left behind are photographed for what becomes the “Left on the Café Table” series.  In 2020, The Factory Café closes permanently for lunch service and the Friends of the Café dinners are suspended due to the risks of COVID-19. We are eternally grateful to our guests, chefs, and team...

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Alabama Chanin - CFDA/Vogue

CFDA/Vogue "A Common Thread" Fashion Fund, 2020

Founded in 2003, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund provides opportunities for emerging designers during the lasting economic and societal impacts of 9/11. At the onset of another global crisis in 2020, the CFDA repurposes this fund into “A Common Thread,” a fundraiser to aid businesses within the fashion industry whose operations are  impacted by the pandemic. This philanthropic initiative serves as a lifeline for many organizations in the midst of great uncertainty. As a grateful recipient of this grant, Alabama Chanin is able to scale up its face mask production and produce over 60,000 masks for those in need during the nationwide shortage.

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Alabama Chanin - Jennifer Rausch, 2013

Jennifer Rausch, 2013

Natalie meets Robert and Jennifer Rauch in the fall of 2000. Robert becomes a decades-long collaborator with Project Alabama and Alabama Chanin, photographing collections and books, and designing graphics, posters, and catalogs. Natalie and Jennifer become lifelong friends and part-time colleagues.

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Alabama Chanin - Makeshift Tote Bag Project, 2013

Makeshift Tote Bag Project, 2013

The Makeshift Tote Project begins in 2013 through a workshop hosted at the Standard Hotel Penthouse. Guests are given a blank organic cotton tote bag to customize throughout the evening, using provided materials and sewing notions. The conversations that ensue offer inspiration, as guests process and connect the themes, topics, and other shared experiences from previous Makeshift events that year. 

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Alabama Chanin - Lisa Fox and LF8, 2008

Lisa Fox and LF8, 2008

Natalie and Lisa Fox meet during a trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman in New York in 2000. They quickly realize that they eat lunch each day at Bar Pitti on Sixth Avenue—where Project Alabama makes the uniforms. After making plans to meet the next day for lunch,  a lifelong friendship forms. From trunk shows and travels, to “Stitch and Bitch” gatherings and Makeshift dinners, the two collaborate often. Lisa’s business, gallery, and event space, LF8 becomes showroom, and home, for Natalie in New York. 

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Alabama Chanin - Textile Story Quilts, 2007

Textile Story Quilts, 2007

For over two decades, Natalie works with collaborators to collect and archive oral histories from quilters and textile workers across the Southeast, in what is now Project Threadways. In 2006, Natalie realizes that these oral histories tell a patchwork story, much like the historic quilts from this region.Through the Textile Story Quilts project, a collection of threadbare, disused, and fraying quilts are lovingly restored. Stories from collected  oral histories are embroidered over the repaired sections of the quilts.The Textile Story Quilts, historical artifacts, are displayed at galleries, museums, and stores around the world, preserving the art of quiltmaking and the stories of textile workers. Today, this collection of quilts are available for view at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and Don Purcell in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Alabama Chanin - Steven Smith, 2001

Steven Smith, 2001

In 2001, on a cold December Friday, Steven Smith shows up at the Project Alabama production office at Lovelace Crossroads.

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Alabama Chanin - COVID-19: Alabama Chanin Pivots to Face Masks, 2020

COVID-19: Alabama Chanin Pivots to Face Masks, 2020

In response to the growing Covid-19 pandemic, and the shortage of N95 face masks, Alabama Chanin pivots manufacturing to masks, designed in collaboration with local medical professionals and intended for reuse.

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