UNHCR recently announced that a record-breaking 100 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts. This is truly alarming. The speed and volume of forced displacement is far outpacing the availability of solutions such as return, resettlement, or local integration.
In a press statement released yesterday United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, put it starkly, "Every year of the last decade, the numbers have climbed. Either the international community comes together to take action to address this human tragedy...or this terrible trend will continue.”
The message is clear: we must work together to protect the right to seek asylum and to find solutions that enable those who have been forcibly displaced to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. This is why today, and every day, initiatives like MADE51 are more important than ever.
In MADE51, we work in collaboration to build sustainable and scalable income generating opportunities for refugees. Through our partnerships with social enterprises in 23 countries around the world, we see the resilience and talent of refugees. We see the way they can enrich businesses and communities. Refugees are capable people that deserve the opportunity to use their skills to support themselves and their families.
On this World Refugee Day we are excited to announce several new activations and partnerships that will allow us to continue to bring work to the 3000+ artisans we currently work with, and to reach new artisans in the months and years ahead.
UNIQLO Pop-ups & Limited-Edition Keychains with UNIQLO
We are thrilled to announce that our partner, UNIQLO, is celebrating World Refugee Day by bringing refugee-made products from MADE51 to their customers in Japan, USA, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy.
On 17 June, MADE51 pop-up stores opened in five UNIQLO locations in Japan and six European cities: London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Milan.
Today, 20 June, an original, limited edition UNHCR x UNIQLO #WithRefugees Keychain launched through UNIQLO online stores in Japan and the United States. The keychain was beaded by displaced women in Kenya and South Sudan.
UNIQLO supports MADE51 as part of a global partnership with UNHCR that is in its eleventh year.
Partnership with Common Objective
Common Objective, a business network and platform that helps enable the growth of ethical supply chains for the fashion industry, has announced a partnership with MADE51 to increase market access for refugee-made products.
Common Objective will call upon their network of brands and companies who are committed to sourcing responsibly and introduce them to MADE51. Through the collaboration, Common Objective will support UNHCR to grow the number of retail partnerships by guiding brands to source refugee-made products through the MADE51 network.
Partnership with Nest
Nest, a US-based non-profit that supports the responsible growth of the artisan economy through their 1600+ member network, announced today that they are formalizing a partnership with MADE51 to expand their support of refugee artisans.
In 2021, Nest welcomed the first cohort of artisan enterprises owned by, led by, and/or employing a majority refugee workforce into its Artisan Accelerator program. Given the success and growing need, we will work together to create a dedicated cohort of MADE51 social enterprise partners that can be incubated and supported in Nest’s next Artisan Accelerator through dedicated fellowship support, curated market access, and facilitated peer to peer learning.
Supplier relationship with WeWork
WeWork, a leading flexible space provider announced today they are including MADE51 as one of their preferred decor suppliers. WeWork has already started purchasing MADE51 products to showcase in locations in London, Paris, Oslo, Lisbon and Singapore, and has committed to expand this sourcing. They aim to have products in all regions by the end of 2022 through new building openings, refurbishments and upgrades to member spaces. WeWork also intends to inspire other companies to source refugee-made products through MADE51 and will raise awareness of the brand amongst its members.
This action builds upon WeWork’s existing partnership with UK for UNHCR.
Launch of #WithRefugees Products
This World Refugee Day we’re proud to introduce a new collection of products inspired by UNHCR colors and designed to make easy gifting items. These #WithRefugees products are the start of the MADE51 corporate gift range, which makes it easy for companies to show their support of UNHCR and refugees by gifting refugee-made items to their employees, business contacts and partners. A leading item in the collection is our Solidarity bracelet, which includes a $2 donation to UNHCR; this is our first-ever fundraising product that also supports refugee livelihoods. All these items, in addition to building a brighter future for refugees, bring visibility for UNHCR.
Pop-up with Aspesi
The Italian brand Aspesi, a high-end retailer, is planning a MADE51 pop-up in their flagship Milan store, starting 28th June. This is our first-ever engagement with Aspesi and we’re honored to be given center stage in their beautiful spaces. Aspesi is planning to host a cocktail event in collaboration with UNHCR Italy to kick off the event.
Learn more about the refugee crisis
For those interested in learning more about the refugee crisis and UNHCR’s work to offer protection and create solutions for refugees, we encourage you to read UNHCR’s two flagship reports which have just been published.
Global Trends covers the world’s forcibly displaced and stateless populations and explains how and why the displacement numbers grew to a new record by the end of 2021.
The Global Report gives a comprehensive overview of UNHCR’s efforts to respond to the needs of forcibly displaced and stateless people, with chapters detailing the impact of our work in different thematic areas and across seven regions, as well as extensive data on progress towards implementing UNHCR’s Global Strategic Priorities, and its funding.