‘We’re giving people a reason to wake up’: crafting a new life for refugees around the world

Meet the business owners teaching Syrian and Malian refugees, prison inmates and those with learning disabilities to create successful and sustainable ranges of clothes and homeware – some of which are ending up in high-end fashion houses

At the Love Welcomes workshop, in a refugee camp outside Athens, Syrian women learn to weave on a simple loom. The recycled yarn and thread they use comes from life vests and blankets discarded by exhausted refugees as they disembark from boats. The throws, cushions and doormats they produce are sold online. “We support women who are waiting to have their papers and visas processed; it can be a hopeless, desperate time,” says Love Welcomes co-founder Abi Hewitt. “Our aim is to give people a reason to wake up in the morning and feel they’re contributing to society.”

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