YOUME is a San Diego based nonprofit that exists to renew and empower communities through collaborative repurposing partnerships. It provides school uniforms and new clothes to kids in developing countries in exchange for their oldest, most tattered garment – which is repurposed into YOUME products and sold. Proceeds fund further clothing exchanges and development projects.
YOUME’s cycle is composed by 3 steps:
1. Clothing Exchange – A partnership is formed by trading new clothes for a community’s oldest garments.
2. Repurposing Process – The old garments are washed, cut and incorporated into YOUME’s one-of-a-kind clothing with its own unique story.
3. Community Development – Proceeds from product sales go back into the community to fund projects that address both immediate and long term needs.
Youme was conceived in 2009 by Willie Register, after meeting a young boy in Uganda wearing nothing but tattered rags. This inspired him to create a process that met not only the child’s immediate need for clothing, but used his rags to fund solutions to deeper, more systematic needs within his community as well – turning his rags into resources.