My visit to Zaatari refugee camp

At the beginning of 2017 I was ask to join a small team headed by Prof Helen Storey traveling to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

The brief was to fulfil a need the young women of the camp had mentioned.

They asked to be warm in the winter and be able to gift to their friends.

Out of the conversation between Helen and the Tiger girls (These inspiring girls enjoy reading) the #lovecoat project was dreamed up .

Helen came to me and together we worked on ideas to create a coat that would be easy for the young tiger girls to create. We went in the summer of 2017 for a week and worked in100% heat to get the project across.

The fabric for the coat was fleece which was donated by the company who makes the blankets you see handed out to displaced people.

We were sent 100m of it with the promise if more if needed.

We asked for donations of pretty trims from UK businesses and cloth house in Soho stepped up with some wonderful trims ,which the girls loved .

Oxfam donated huge bags of old clothes that were no longer useful as garments .

The idea being the girls would decorate their own coats upcycling the clothes into appliquè and pockets

The old clothes were a challenge as this idea was so alien to this culture but the trim went down a storm.

The coat shapes were cut by the older women of the camp and they also helped the girls to design and decorate their coats.

As you can see from this last picture the girls preferred the fabulous donated trims to cutting up old clothes but they each created a coat they were proud of.

At the end of this amazing week they invited their friends and family to a catwalk show and the joy on everyone's faced was astonishing .

I hope they carried on using the fabrics we left them to create more coats for their friends and families and I hope they gained something from having us there .I know I gained so much from the experience myself .

Jax's gang they were making me ribbon flowers and sewin

g them to my dress :)

making ribbon flowers and exchanging sewing language tips with the girls and the wonderful helpers


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