The Times Australia

Small Business Marketing
The Times

Magazine

Women from refugee backgrounds are engaged in the workforce

  • Written by The Times

With today marking the start of Refugee Week, it’s time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions and impact of refugees on our industries and communities. As part of this, The Social Outfit is making a difference again with their  Wear The Change fundraiser and ethical styling challenge, encouraging Aussies to wear 1 garment 5 different ways, over 5 days.

The Social Outfit is a social enterprise and charity that creates ethical and sustainable clothing from remnant deadstock fabrics to showcase the skills, creativity, and strengths of refugee and new migrant workers. With only one in five (20%) of women from refugee backgrounds engaged in the workforce, the organisation also offers training for sewing and working with textiles and employment programs for those of refugee background to help them develop skills and confidence.

The Wear The Change campaign raises funds to help support women from refugee and new migrant backgrounds with training to build skills in a supportive environment and provide employment pathways in Australia’s fashion industry. 

The campaign also aims to draw attention to the important issue of fashion waste and sustainability. Recent research from Afterpay found that two thirds of Australians are struggling to shop sustainably and are buying at least one item of clothing a month, adding to the 227,000 tonnes of clothing that ends up in the landfill each year.  

Australian fashion designer and Brand Ambassador for The Social Outfit, Bianca Spender celebrates the impact of refugee women in the fashion industry:

“Refugee women are at the heart of the Australian fashion industry. Every sewer I have ever worked with throughout my career has been a refugee. There is an incredible power that they have in their hands and an ability to show their skill without words. It is amazing to see this grow through The Social Outfits organisation that is about giving that first job to refugees in Australia. 

For more information and to participate or donate, visit wearthechange.thesocialoutfit.org

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