At a workshop near Paris, migrants train to upcycle used designer clothes

In the Parisian suburb of Villejuif, a workshop run by the French NGO Renaissance trains unemployed people – including migrants – to create luxury fashion pieces from castoff clothes and linen. It’s a transformative experience as participants embark on a journey of acquiring professional integration skills in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner.

“My dream is to sew a dress for Zinedine Zidane’s wife,” reveals Ibrahima, a 32-year-old football fan and Guinean refugee who arrived in France just two years ago. Ibrahima may be new to France, but he already has a very precise goal: to make sewing his profession

It’s an objective shared by participants at a workshop run by Renaissance, a French NGO that promotes sustainable and eco-friendly recreations of luxury clothing.

The workshop is held in Villejuif, a southern suburb of Paris. Here, Ibrahima and his colleagues are in the process of reintegrating into the workforce. Some are long-term unemployed, others are young people without degrees and still others are asylum seekers or refugees.

Trained by Philippe Guilet – the founder and head of Renaissance who worked for leading fashion designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld – the team of around 10 women and men have been learning haute couture techniques since September. Continue reading “At a workshop near Paris, migrants train to upcycle used designer clothes”