The speakers discussed the participation of migrants and refugees in sustainable fashion and design projects and their representation in these initiatives
Around 70 people from 25 organizations and projects participated on February 23, 2023, in the final event of the project Fashion for Inclusion, which was held at the Maria Dolores Pradera Municipal School of Music and Dance in Madrid.
The partner organizations presented the results of the work carried out within the framework of the Fashion for Inclusion project and the materials for the training of professionals who work with migrants in the fields of sewing, textile recycling, fashion and clothing design. The products are also focused on accompanying VT professionals in the application of the gender perspective and interculturality through Upcycling, social entrepreneurship and job placement or tools to mediate as well as resources and tools to design and implement training itineraries.
The project coordinators, Lara Rot and Camila Renè Maggi, highlighted the importance of applying the training designed by the different partner organizations to adapt them to different contexts and verify their implementation, through the “learning by doing” methodology.
Next, the good practices of the partner entities were presented: Fabric Republic from IASIS in Greece, Social Chic from MondoDonna in Italy and Mamalyona from ABD and BAU in Spain. The speakers positively valued the exchange of knowledge promoted within the framework of the project, the generation of job opportunities for people who are part of these practices and the flexibility of the training program that allows, for example, to obtain technical training and assist with children to facilitate conciliation or being able to access the training without residence documentation. They also valued the possibility to socialize with other people and to learn how to organize and plan an event. Finally, they also highlighted the need to involve the people who are part of these initiatives in the planning of the project to take into account their needs and wishes.
In the second round table, Ojalá projects, Raíces and the Manteros Union of Madrid shared their experiences of social impact projects through fashion. From Ojalá they highlighted thinking about the process as a learning itself and working with a participatory methodology. Raíces’ fashion aims to represent a black African-European woman, adapting the styles and traditions of African countries to the context of life in Europe and making “aesthetic activism”. From the Madrid Manteros Union they explained how their Pantera brand was born as an evolution in the face of the needs detected in the pandemic. They went from having a resistance box to support fellow manteros to thinking about a project based on the community economy to generate autonomy. The price of carrying out initiatives based on the social economy and fair fashion is precariousness, they admitted both from the Union and from Raíces. “Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Being a social entrepreneur, more”, summarized from Ojalá projects.
The day ended with a flag-making workshop organized by Artur Caellas, a trainer linked to BAU, who encouraged the participants to let their imagination run free and translate their messages into designs of all types, shapes and uses, including “wearable” flags.
About Fashion for Inclusion
Fashion for Inclusion is a project of the Welfare and Development Association ABD that aims to promote the social and labor inclusion of migrants and refugees at European level, enhancing their access to vocational training in the field of sustainable and intercultural fashion.