News / Winnipeg

Cozy for a cause: Clothing shop to raise money for Winnipeg shelter

EMK Clothing, in Winnipeg’s West Broadway, is donating 50 per cent of proceeds from the sale of scarves to domestic violence shelter Willow Place.

Erin Kembel, of EMK Clothing, is donating money from the scarves sold at her store or online to women's shelter Willow Place in Winnipeg Manitoba. She's pictured here on Oct. 31, 2017.

LYLE STAFFORD / For Metro

Erin Kembel, of EMK Clothing, is donating money from the scarves sold at her store or online to women's shelter Willow Place in Winnipeg Manitoba. She's pictured here on Oct. 31, 2017.

Social media campaigns only have so much steam before the next topic comes along, but a Winnipeg boutique wants to keep the "me too" conversation going, while also raising funds for a women's shelter.

EMK Clothing, in Winnipeg’s West Broadway is selling scarves and donating 50 per cent of the proceeds to Willow Place.

“I felt like I definitely could relate to the 'me too' campaign, and we thought it would be so great to do something to keep that conversation going,” said the owner of EMK Clothing, Erin Kembel.

“[Sometimes] it just kind of disappears and it’s out of people’s minds. We wanted to try and keep it alive, and help in a concrete way too.”

Activist Tarana Burke founded the "me too" campaign about 10 years ago as a means for sexual assault survivors to support and stand in solidarity with one another. The movement was recently resurrected after a number of sexual assault allegations against American film producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced. Millions of women around the world then took to social media, sharing their own experiences of sexual harassment and violence, using the hashtag #metoo.

Kembel's fundraiser also in light of Canada's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is held in November.

“We want to send the message [to women] that we support you, and to do our best to raise money for the shelter and help in that way,” Kembel said.

“So people don’t feel alone in that sort of struggle.”

Most of the scarves in the shop retail between $25 and $40.

“We felt like it was a cozy item—that sort of felt like a hug. I felt like maybe it had a double-meaning for the campaign,” Kembel said.

The shop is also collecting clothing donations for Willow Place, which is in need of pyjamas.

The campaign officially starts Wednesday, but Kembel says she has already seen a lot of support for the initiative.

“We’re really excited to see how much money we can raise, and getting the word out has been super great,” she said.

Willow Place is a family violence shelter that provides services, including a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter for women and children leaving domestic violence situations, counselling, and outreach services.

Proceeds from the scarves sold both in-store and online will go toward the shelter. Clothing donations can be dropped off at EMK Clothing at 143 Sherbrook St.

More on Metronews.ca