Here’s how your purchases can make a difference this World Refugee Day

Images via The Social Outfit
Words by Tara Smith

In more ways than you think.

Today is World Refugee Day, a day to think about the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees around the globe.

But you can do more than think.

It’s a time to show public support for all the families forced to flee their homes, whether that be through raising awareness, donations, or supporting local social enterprises.

To help you do just that, we’ve rounded up a number of Australian social enterprises supporting those in need.

From buying local to cooking and attending workshops, here’s how you can lend a helping hand.


Arriving in Australia is one thing, getting settled is another. SisterWorks currently supports 171 women in becoming financially independent. It does this by teaching them the skills to create their own wares, as well as providing the space to sell them in. You can help by donating, visiting the SisterWorks store, or by attending a workshop hosted by a Sister.


The Social Studio

The Social Studio combines a fashion school, clothing label, retail shop, print studio and clothing manufacturer all in one to bring work to migrant and refugee communities. Run by those same communities, the enterprise strives to change public perceptions for those who have experienced being a refugee. It also provides a range of social support including legal advice, counselling, tutoring, driving lessons and formal training. You can visit the label here.


Free to Feed

Shaking things up on a culinary level, Free to Feed hosts cooking classes and workshops run by former refugees. Instructors will guide you through rich cultural traditions and recipes from their homeland, with the option to learn at your own house. Otherwise, a purpose-built kitchen is also available to visit in Melbourne. Taking it a step further is Now to Launch, the enterprise’s food business providing mentorship for migrant entrepreneurs (and they’re always looking for creative volunteers).



Melbourne locals may have already heard of Kinfolk. The cafe donates 100 per cent of distributable profits to local and international charities every year. These include the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, as well as past projects in Ghana, Rwanda and more.  If you give a fork, you can visit the Kinfolk cafe in Bourke Street.


From Found

From Found’s mission is to provide employment to women of refugee backgrounds. The Adelaide-based label does this by producing creative, ethical and sustainable clothing in made-to-order quantities. You can choose from existing collections online, or customise your own piece (including size, sleeve length and fabric length). The brand aims to do good by making you look good, training women so they can enter the mainstream workforce.


The Social Outfit

Sydney-based The Social Outfit is another enterprise that uses the fashion industry to support people from refugee communities. It taps into the creativity of these communities, training them in clothing production, retail, design and marketing. You might recognise the collections from previous collaborations with Romance Was Born, Bianca Spender and Matt Huynh. Shop its current range here.


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