Designing with refugees and asylum seekers


Dear colleagues,
I hope you had a recharging Xmas break and I wish you have a promising New Year, full of resilience, creativity, and fulfilment.

I got back to work today and I am progressing plans for the next set of workshops for the project on inclusive fashion and design with refugees and asylum seekers in East London. The project offers a welcoming and safe space for creative and collective making. We would like to hear refugees’ and asylum seekers’ stories of strength and hope, co-create textile work that reflects their voice, talent, and culture, and contribute to improving refugees’ wellbeing in the future while welcoming them in the fashion and textile system. Our aim is to make their voice heard through this creative work, and contribute to shaping a better way of working with refugee communities across the UK.

We are still recruiting participants in the project. We are looking for refugees and asylum seekers aged between 18 and 60, and based in London (ideally Newham, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, or at least willing to travel to East London to participate in the project activities). They can be of any gender, and nationality. If they speak – even basic – English, that would be important, and if they have some basic fashion and textiles skills, that would be an advantage, or at least having an interest in learning such skills would be important. In a nutshell:

About the project
·       It is free of charge
·       Travel fares will be reimbursed
·       Materials will be provided
·       Light refreshments will be offered during the sessions
·       Share your skills and/or learn new skills
·       Meet new people, make new connections
·       Receive a certificate of participation from University of the Arts London
·       Have your work exhibited in a gallery
·       Possible connections to education, employment or entrepreneurship opportunities in the fashion and textile industry

The activities will take place in 3 locations: Rosetta Arts (in Newham), Arbeit Studios Leyton Green (in Waltham Forest, and Teviot Centre (in Tower Hamlets). The participants can choose which group to join – depending on the location (amongst the 3 indicated above) and workshop timings most suitable to them.
For more info:

We still have some places available in the project and I would like to ask you whether you could be so kind to please share the Call for Participants to your relevant networks. I am attaching a flyer, and a selection of photos which could be shared on social media, accompanied by some text taken from the flyer – feel free to edit it as needed.

If anyone is interested in participating or would like to discuss things further, they could send me an email at or contact me via Whatsapp at 07457403514.

It would be great we could finalise the participant recruitment by 15th January, so that we can start delivering the workshops from the following week.

Thank you ever so much.

All the best,
Dr Francesco Mazzarella FRSA
Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change
Centre for Sustainable Fashion
London College of Fashion, UAL
20 John Prince’s Street
London, W1G 0BJ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7514 1878
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