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, social enterprise and charity, The Social Outfit is making a difference again with their Wear The Change challenge, which tackles the important issue of sustainable and ethical fashion by 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 and supporting the cause saying,
“The Wear the Change styling challenge is a great initiative from The Social Outfit. It connects us on multiple levels through stories, shows the value and versatility of clothing and encourages us to think about how precious the resources are that go into making every piece. It is a very active way of supporting refugee women that I am proud to support. “
Since its launch in 2014, The Social Outfit has trained over 800 people, paid over $1 million in Australian award wages, and used excess fabrics from some of Australia’s most beloved fashion brands to save over 12,000 kgs of fabric waste from landfill.
For more information and to get involved with the cause visit wearthechange.thesocialoutfit.org