Calais Light's exciting initiative to change the narrative around refugees in Britain by collaborating with some of the UK's biggest, edgiest clothing brands to provide refugees arriving in the UK, who often do not have more than what they are standing in, a chance to choose brand new, cool, age-appropriate clothing and shoes.
This is a unique initiative by Calais Light, launched May 2021. We work with aspirational, edgy, high-quality fashion brands and ask them to supply new, age-appropriate clothing, shoes & other products to refugees in the UK. We check the exact sizes of, say, 300 refugees in a bridging hotel & ask our helper brands to deliver an entire outfit, in exact sizes, directly to the hotels and the charities who support them.
What's wrong with second hand clothes?
All refugees have suffered unimaginable loss & must travel 1000s of miles to seek sanctuary. They have had to leave behind family, loved ones, luggage and almost all of their possessions. They arrive in one outfit - often with no shoes.
We all want to feel good and new clothes can be a real help. This is no different for refugees who want to look similar to others in their new world. Although second-hand clothes are great & necessary, often these donations are the wrong size, ill-fitting, sometimes grubby or too dated for the 20-somethings who receive them. New clothes can work wonders for refugees' mental health and aid their integration into society. We want #CourtCommerce to ‘honour refugees’ but primarily to change the way many British people perceive them. We want to start a new, more open conversation about refugees - one of respect, personal dignity and choice.