Refugee Women Make Upcycled Home Accessories

From upcycled cushions made using life jacket’s from a refugee’s journey to safety, to napkins which feature the S.O.S Morse code as a call to action, Love Welcomes’ team of refugee artisans are certainly breaking the bias this International Women’s Day.

Founded in 2017 in response to the refugee crisis in Greece, today creative social enterprise Love Welcomes helps refugee women begin to stitch their lives back together. Love Welcomes works in multiple locations supporting refugees in camps across the world, as well as those who have resettled, to create modern textiles for the home.

The refugees work with leftover waste and deadstock fabrics to create one-of-a-kind pieces, and each item is made with care and sustainability in mind. Collaborations include a hand sewn mat made from life jackets with street artist Banksy, and patchwork blankets with textile artist and designer Margo Selby, made from an extensive archive of remnants from Margo’s studio.

In honour of International Women’s Day and beyond, Love Welcomes’ S.O.S range focuses on the Morse code distress signal ••• — — — •••, symbolising the urgency of their plight and the immediate need to support these displaced communities.

The brand has just dropped on online shopping platform, Akojo Market, with a curated edit of home accessories, each with its own backstory.

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In a blog post, the Love Welcomes team highlights the barriers and challenges of resettling as a refugee in the UK, including negative bias such as beliefs that refugees are ‘coming to take our benefits’, to misconceptions that refugees are ‘uneducated and lazy’.

Love Welcomes add: ‘As we see in Ukraine, a refugee has no choice to leave their country and family in times of war and persecution. If our team was born in a safe country, they would have never left.’

So each time you buy something from Love Welcomes, you’re supporting a refugee and her family as they begin to rebuild lives shattered by war.

The Love Welcomes S.O.S collection, available to buy via Akojo Market, includes handmade cushions, placemats, napkins and lavender sachets.

Akojo Market, founded by two London-based women, supports emerging, ethically-minded designers and artisanal communities from Africa. Selling handmade accessories, jewellery, homeware and fashion, Akojo Market discovers and champions homegrown talent from across the continent who are committed to a sustainable and transparent way of working, and go above and beyond to provide skills training and employment opportunities for their workforce and artisans, as well as engaging in philanthropic and social impact projects locally in Africa.

Explore more brands at akojomarket.com.

Refugee Printed Linen Napkins in Yellow-Light Blue (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£19.00

This colourful linen napkin set, featuring a large yellow dot design, is a modern take on the Morse code dot. Lovingly handmade by refugee women, the napkins are made from recycled linen – upcycled by weaving waste linen fibres from the textile industry – and printed using eco-friendly water-based dyes.

This recycled napkin set is part of the Love Welcome’s S.O.S range which zooms in on the Morse code distress signal ••• — — — •••. For Love Welcomes, it symbolises the urgency and immediacy of the need to support these women.

This cheery yellow and blue combination is perfect for setting your table this spring, or take it out into the garden for alfresco lunches.

Refugee Printed Linen Napkins in Pink-Green (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£19.00

Obsessed with pink and green? These complementary colours work a treat and will make any table setting pop.

Refugee Printed Linen Napkins in Orange-Blue (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£19.00

Alternatively, choose orange and navy. Tip: Mix and match with the yellow-blue and pink-green colourways for a vibrant table setting.

Refugee Handmade Lavender Satchets – 3 Pack

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£23.00

Fill your home with the calming scent of lavender with these beautiful handmade lavender sachets. Place these in your bathroom, a clothing drawer, or next to your bed to encourage relaxation.

Crafted by refugee women, the design features the Morse code ••• — — — ••• standing for S.O.S – the international distress signal. For Love Welcomes, it symbolises the urgency and immediacy of the need to support these women.

Made from recycled linen, it’s available in three colourways – green, pink and blue – and are hand printed using sustainable water-based dyes.

Refugee Ruby Pink Hand Woven Cushion

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£50.00

The story behind this pink hand woven cushion, handmade by female refugees, is an emotive one. The cushion is woven out of strips of life vest material and upcycled blanket fabric that accompany the refugees on their journey.

The cushion comes with a duck feather or hollow fibre insert – both soft, plump and supportive.

Refugee Grey Hand Woven Cushion

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£50.00

If pink is too bold for you, opt for versatile grey, guaranteed to complement your existing decor, whether you choose to layer on your sofa or bed.

Refugee Hand Printed Pink Tea Towel

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£16.00

You can never have too many tea towels, right? This hand printed design, made from 100 per cent recycled linen, is powerful in both meaning and design. While at first it looks to echo a modern graphic pattern, on closer inspection it features a repetitive S.O.S morse code design and represents a message to respond to the calls for help from these refugee women.

Refugee White & Yellow Linen Placemats (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£33.00

The continuous circle design on these white and yellow linen placemats represents inclusivity. Hand screen printed by refugee women artisans, the vibrant yellow is inspired by the designer’s favourite female artists of the Bauhaus era.

These placemats, made using soft recycled linen and environmentally friendly water-based dyes, have a reversible print. They’ve been upcycled by weaving waste linen fibres from the textile industry.

Refugee White & Navy Linen Placemats (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£33.00

Swap yellow for navy blue or mix and match for a vibrant table setting.

Refugee White & Orange Linen Placemats (set of 2)

Love Welcomes
akojomarket.com

£33.00

Or go for this bright, warm orange. With a simple design, you can build up your tablescape theme by playing on orange accents.

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